17 March 2022
Funder bars university from grant programme over white-male award line-up
by Freda Kreire @FKreier
Researchers overwhelmingly support Snow Medical’s decision to suspend the University of Melbourne from the foundation’s million-dollar fellowships.
Australian researchers have largely applauded a decision by a powerful research funder to bar academics at the University of Melbourne from winning the foundation’s prestigious million-dollar fellowships over concerns about gender and diversity.
The decision, announced by the Snow Medical Research Foundation on 7 March, comes after the University of Melbourne released a picture of six white men — but no women or people of colour — receiving honorary degrees, one of the university’s highest accolades, in a ceremony on 28 February. Researchers told Nature that the hard line from the foundation — Snow medical is Australia’s largest philanthropic funder of medical research — could prompt universities to tackle gender inequality more aggressively.