Gender bias in team formation: The case of the European Science Foundation's grants

Michele Pezzoni & Fabiana Visentin


This paper investigates gender bias (if any) when teams are formed. We use data from the European Science Foundation to estimate if female scientists have the same opportunities as their male colleagues to join a team when applying for funds. To assess gender bias, we construct a control group of scientists with the competencies for being invited to join the team but do not join. By comparing the proportion of female scientists in the control group with the one in the observed teams, we find a gender bias against female scientists only when a project leader is a male scientist. At the same time, we do not observe gender bias when the project leader is a female scientist.

Keywords: Gender bias, Team science, Team selection, Research grants

JEL Classification: O30, J16

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