Women under microscope in research

MESSAGE (Medical Science Sex and Gender Equity)

Through the MESSAGE (Medical Science Sex and Gender Equity) project, researchers, collaborators, and patient groups will co-develop best practice recommendations and a sex and gender policy framework for funders and regulators to improve gendered health outcomes in the UK. This policy framework will be complemented by educational and training materials to support the implementation of the project’s recommendations.

An experienced advisory group - members of which are listed below - will guide the co-creation process to ensure meaningful involvement of women’s groups, transgender groups, health practitioners, funding regulators, and other key stakeholders.

The project responds to the paucity of policies in the UK that require researchers to consider the sex and gender of people who participate in research trials in the UK. This means that results are often not analysed by sex or gender. As a result, healthcare providers and the public are denied potentially crucial findings about women, men, trans and non-binary people which could influence the medical care they receive.

The UK falls far behind other countries. In Canada, the US and Europe, sex and gender inclusion policies are standard, and many have been in place for over 10 years. With project outputs expected late 2023, MESSAGE will offer the tools to secure sex and gender inclusivity in medical research for the benefit of society as a whole. You can read more in this introductory document

The first Policy Lab was held in May 2023 - the briefing pack for this is available here.

Research Group

Leads: Kate Womersley, Robyn Norton 

Alice Witt, Louise Cooper

Ana Alden, Claudia Batz, Emma Feeny, Carinna Hockham, Chloe Orkin, Katherine Ripullone, Mark Woodward

Advisory Group Members

Kathryn Abel, Michael Brady, Kent Buse, Rageshri Dhairyawan, Sally Hines, Lilian Hunt, Ian Kidd, Catriona Manville, Neena Modi, Esther Mukuka, Sanne Peters, Marina Politis, Londa Schiebinger, Amy Vassallo, Ben Vincent