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State agency points to gender gap in medical research
  • By Nam Doo-hyun
  • Published 2017.09.21 17:13
  • Updated 2017.09.21 17:13
  • comments 0

Female researchers who majored in medicine and public health and took the lead in the government’s R&D projects last year accounted for only 31.8 percent of the total. Moreover, their per capita research expense on average was 140 million won ($124,000) lower than males'.

According to a report titled “2016 analysis of national R&D project” released by Korea Institute of S&T Evaluation and Planning(KISTEP)한국과학기술기획평가원, the number of female researchers slightly increased for the past five years.

The number of women researchers increased 11.6 percent to 3,439 in 2012, 12.1 percent to 3,788 in 2013, 13.1 percent to 4,317 in 2014, 14.2 percent to 4,836) in 2015, and 14.6 percent to 5,147 last year.

However, the number of female lead researchers who majored in medicine and public health amounted to 2,723, or 31.8 percent of the total, last year, the highest share by majors.

By major, the shares of female lead researchers last year were 31.8 percent (1,267) for medicine and public health area, 20.4 percent (461) for humanities and social science field, 20.3 percent (1,744) for natural science area, 17.7 percent (295) for other sectors, 15.4 percent (427) for agriculture and fisheries area, and 6 percent (953) for engineering area.

Research cost per lead researcher was 466 million won for males, 2.1 times higher than females’ 222 million won. The increase rate of per capita research cost was 1.6 percent for women and 1.3 percent for men.

Among the medicine-public health majors, too, the average research cost of one female lead researcher stood at 140 million won, half of the 280 million won spent by a male lead researcher.


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