Notice of Special Interest: Health Influences of Gender as a Social and Structural Variable

Application Due Date
Brief Description

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) vision for women’s health is a world in which the influences of sex and gender are rigorously integrated into the health research enterprise. For the purposes of this Notice, sex refers to a set of biological variables, including anatomy, physiology, genetics, and hormones. For the purposes of this Notice, gender refers to a set of social and structural variables that encompass gender identity and expression, gender roles and norms, gender relations, and gender power systems (e.g., structural sexism).

Sex-linked biology and gender-related factors can act independently or interactively to influence health. As a social, cultural, and structural construct, gender encompasses multiple domains. Many other social variables including race, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, and education intersect with gender to impact health and disease in unique ways. Intersectional frameworks enable consideration of how these socially determined categories overlap and interact to create disparate and inequitable outcomes for individuals and communities.

The NIH Office of Research on Women’s Health (ORWH) and our Institute, Center, and Office (ICO) partners are issuing this Notice to highlight interest in receiving research and training grant applications focused on health impacts of gender-related social and structural variablesFor this Notice, relevant domains of gender are gender roles and norms, gender relations, gender equity/inequity, gender equality/inequality, gender-related power dynamics, and structural sexism. Applications can consider one or more domains as they relate to health.

For consideration under this NOSI, applications should have a clear and central focus on social and/or structural domains of gender as demonstrated through a primary aim of EITHER (1) elucidating modifiable factors in gender-related health disparities OR (2) developing, testing, or implementing social or structural interventions to mitigate gender-related health disparities OR (3) investigating the interactions between multiple social and structural domains of gender (e.g., gender roles and gender inequity; power and gender relations). In each of these potential areas of focus, intersectional approaches to gender-related social and structural variables are strongly encouraged.