In this Kit:

ORWH Mission ORWH Director Inclusion of Women in Clinical Research Sex as a Biological Variable ORWH Programs ORWH Publications Images

 

ORWH Mission


The Office of Research on Women’s Health (ORWH) serves as the focal point for women’s health research at NIH. It is the first Public Health Service office dedicated specifically to promoting women’s health research within and beyond the NIH scientific community. ORWH also fosters the recruitment, retention, reentry, and advancement of women in biomedical careers. 

 

ORWH Director


Janine Austin Clayton, M.D., was appointed Associate Director for Research on Women’s Health at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and Director of the NIH Office of Research on Women’s Health in 2012. Dr. Clayton is the architect of the NIH policy requiring scientists to consider sex as a biological variable across the research spectrum. This policy is part of NIH’s initiative to enhance reproducibility through rigor and transparency. As co-chair of the NIH Working Group on Women in Biomedical Careers with NIH Director Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D., Dr. Clayton also leads NIH’s efforts to advance women in science careers. You can learn more about Dr. Clayton from her Director’s Corner and Blog and by following her on Twitter.

 

Inclusion of Women in Clinical Research


Women and men are different on a cellular level. The inclusion of women in clinical research is necessary and important. Different pathways in men and women may lead to the same disease. Additionally, knowing how each sex responds to diagnosis and treatment is vital to improving the delivery of care. NIH Inclusion Policies and NIH Inclusion Toolkit: How to Engage, Recruit, and Retain Women in Clinical Research provide more information.

 

Sex as a Biological Variable


Until a few decades ago, researchers believed there were no significant differences between males and females other than their reproductive functions. Because of this belief, basic and preclinical research focused only on male animals and cells. To gain a clear understanding of female biology, NIH developed and implemented the NIH Policy on Sex as a Biological Variable (SABV), which states: “NIH expects that sex as a biological variable will be factored into research designs, analyses, and reporting in vertebrate animal and human studies.” Investigators seeking NIH funding for research should study both sexes or provide a strong justification for studying only one sex. You can read the NIH Policy on Sex as a Biological Variable and guidance on Consideration of Sex as a Biological Variable in NIH-funded Research for more information.

 

ORWH Programs


ORWH fosters, guides, and supports research on women’s health and the influences of sex and gender on health and disease to improve the health of women. ORWH partners with the NIH Institutes, Centers, and Offices (ICOs) and other Federal agencies to co-fund research in these areas:

Learn more about our funded research and programs

 

ORWH Publications


ORWH publications provide a wealth of information about the mission that drives our work and our strategy to improve the health of all through better scientific research. 

 

Images