Genderful Research World: to integrate sex and gender in your research

An international team of early career researchers proudly present 'The Genderful Research World' (GRW), an interactive online platform designed for health researchers to easily access resources related to integrating a sex- and gender-perspective in their work.

1. For whom is the platform designed?

The GRW platform is designed for health researchers at any stage of training or career. We have specifically selected existing best practice resources that would be of interest and relevance to those who are new to exploring the integration of sex and gender into their research work, as well as for more seasoned sex and gender researchers. The resources are tailored for biomedical (fundamental research) and medical/health scientist (clinical and public health research) research phases.

2. What is the added value of your platform?

In considering what problem we wanted to tackle when it came to sharing information about sex and gender with the health research community, it was immediately clear to us that the problem was not the availability of good resources. On the contrary, there are many fantastic, evidence-based, well-designed resources out there but they remain underutilized because they are often difficult to find and lack interactivity. We wanted to eliminate the need for health researchers to comb through many webpages to find the resources that fit their current needs in a fun and interactive way, as well as providing a trusted hub for them to return to in the future.

3. Why have you started developing this platform?

By winning the ZonMw Gender in Research award, we got the chance to realize this idea from paper to prototype. This platform was intended to house a repository of resources, but also to make the process of locating these resources fun, playful, and easy to navigate. We expected the GRW to stick in researcher’s memory and keep them coming back. It was great to see our expectations confirmed by the results our feasibility study, where most health scientist mentioned to come back to the GRW for teaching, research and writing proposals/grants.

4. What makes the integration of sex and gender in research so important?

Integrating a sex and gender perspective in research is important to ensure high-quality, rigourous research. We know enough about the differences biologically between sexes, as well as the sociocultural influences of gender, to know that a 'gender-blind' approach of ignoring sex and gender in research causes inaccurate results and inequitable care. It is a research quality issue, but also a social justice issue. 

Meet the Genderful Research World Team!

Katelynn Boerner

Postdoctoral research fellow and registered psychologist at the Department of Pediatrics, University of British Columbia, in Vancouver, Canada.

Irene Göttgens

Health scientist and a doctoral researcher at the Department of Primary and Community Care and the Department of Neurology; Center of Expertise for Parkinson & Movement Disorders, Radboudumc, in Nijmegen, the Netherlands.

Lena D. Sialino

PhD researcher in health sciences at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam & National Institute for Public Health and the Environment, in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

Jasmijn Sleutjes

Resident and clinical researcher, finalizing her doctoral degree at the Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Erasmus MC, in Rotterdam, the Netherlands.

Natália Valdrighi

Biomedical scientist pursuing her doctoral degree at the Experimental Rheumatology Department, Radboudumc, in Nijmegen, the Netherlands.