The US Department of Defense is to begin collecting data in an effort to gauge whether women in science and engineering face discrimination when seeking grants from the agency, ScienceInsider reports.
This move, it adds, comes in response to a request from members of the House of Representatives for the Government Accountability Office to analyze the issue at the six largest federal research agencies. But the GAO found that three agencies, including the DOD, didn't collect the information needed to address the question, such as the gender of its grant applicants and award recipients.
According to ScienceInsider, Frank Kendall, the head of acquisition, technology, and logistics at DOD, told the lawmakers last week that the department found no restrictions against collecting the needed data and that it would work with other agencies like the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation that already do so "to determine best practices before beginning data collection."
The Department of Energy and NASA, the two other agencies with insufficient data, have yet to respond to lawmakers.