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'We Gotta Change These Numbers'

The NIH recently announced the winners of an annual crop of prestigious "high risk, high reward" awards. The grants provide generous, multiyear funding which is meant to allow researchers to undertake risky, innovative research.

But once again, women have largely been left out, according to a new paper published in Science. Men won 69 of this year's 101 awards. And while women won awards in three of the four categories in numbers that met or exceeded their representation in the applicant pool, that representation was "meager," Science says. Only 18 percent to 38 percent of the applicants for the four awards were women, even though women have earned more than 50 percent of US PhDs in biological sciences in every year since 2008.

NIH Deputy Director James Anderson, who's in charge of the program, says attracting more female applicants in the future is crucial. "We gotta change these numbers," he adds.