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Catalyst Grant : Sex as a Variable in Biomedical Research

Opportunity Detail

Since the early 2000s, there has been a growing recognition by the research community that the sex of cells, tissues, animals, and humans matter in biomedical science. Every cell has a sex, with sex differences beginning at conception and varying along the lifecycle. When sex is taken into account, it promotes reproducibility of research findings and increases scientific rigor by allowing results to be generalizable to both males and females. When sex is not taken into account, important effects may be missed. Failure to consider sex in biomedical research can come at the cost of human lives, as illustrated in the case of health advisories that make post-market sex-specific dosage recommendations or post-market adverse reactions reporting that show differences between men and women. Much of our understanding of human disease and physiology stems from research on cells, tissues and animals, prior to trials conducted in humans. Sex considerations in biomedical research provide a foundational understanding of human biology, which can inform research and development of therapeutic interventions. Differences in the epidemiology of disease and the effect of sex chromosomes or sex hormones suggest that pathophysiologic mechanisms may vary according to sex. Despite the importance of sex considerations in biomedical research, many researchers have not fully explored the potential for discovery accounting for sex as a biological variable in their studies. This funding opportunity aims to encourage biomedical scientists to include sex as a variable in their research questions and experimental designs. In support of this aim, the Institute of Gender and Health (IGH) has developed a free online course that examines how sex can be integrated into biomedical research at every stage of the research project.


Important dates • Application deadline: October 30, 2017 • Anticipated Notice of Decision: April 27, 2018 • Funding start date: April 1, 2018 • In-person meeting of successful applicants: Spring 2019 (Dates and location TBC)

Sponsored ByCIHR Institute of Gender and Health

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Opportunity Details

Date PostedSep 11, 2017
Start DateSep 11, 2017
End DateOct 30, 2017
Apply BeforeOct 30, 2017
St. George
Mississauga (UTM)
Scarborough (UTSC)
Level Of Study
Subject Areas
Life Sciences
Toronto, ON
School of Graduate Studies
• The total amount available for this funding opportunity is $3,450,000, enough to fund approximately 23 grants. • The maximum amount per grant is $75,000 per year for up to 2 years. This funding is non-renewable.
Eligibility to Apply For an application to be eligible, the Nominated Principal Applicant must be: a.An independent researcher appointed at an eligible institution (See Institutional Eligibility Requirements for eligibility process and associated timelines) b.The Nominated Principal Applicant must also have successfully completed the Institute of Gender and Health’s online training module “Sex and Gender in Biomedical Research” and submit the Certificate of Completion. For general eligibility requirements for individuals, refer to the Individual Eligibility Requirements.