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Kimberly Wang, Archis R. Bhandarkar, Megan M. J. Bauman, Cecile Riviere-Cazaux, Juliana Rotter, Kristen M. Scheitler, Jaclyn J. Renfrow, and Michelle J. Clarke

OBJECTIVE

Metric tracking of grant funding over time for academic neurosurgeons sorted by gender informs the current climate of career development internationally for women in neurosurgery.

METHODS

Multivariate linear trend analysis of grant funding awarded to neurosurgeons in the NIH and World Research Portfolio Online Reporting Tools Expenditures and Results (RePORTER) was performed. Traveling fellowships for international neurosurgery residents sponsored by the AANS and Congress of Neurological Surgeons (CNS) were also analyzed.

RESULTS

Within the US, funding awarded to female neurosurgeons has remained static from 2009 to 2019 after adjusting for inflation and overall trends in NIH funding (β = −$0.3 million per year, p = 0.16). Internationally, female neurosurgeons represented 21.7% (n = 5) of project leads for World RePORTER grants. Traveling fellowships are also an important building block for young international female neurosurgeons, of which 7.4% (n = 2) of AANS international traveling fellowships and 19.4% (n = 7) of AANS/CNS pediatrics international traveling fellowships are women.

CONCLUSIONS

Over the past decade, funding has increased in neurosurgery without a concordant increase in funding awarded to women. Recognition of this trend is essential to focus efforts on research and career development opportunities for women in neurosurgery. Worldwide, female neurosurgeons head one-fifth of the funded project leads and constitute a minority of international traveling fellowships awarded by organized neurosurgery.