MRC has announced our new expectations of the inclusion of both sexes in experimental design in research involving animals, and studies that use human and animal tissues and cells. These changes will be coming into effect in late 2022, and applying to all funding in 2023. More info could be found on the Additional guidance for researchers page here ( ). For some background of this work aimed to improve diversity in research, making biomedical studies more reproducible and translatable, could be found in the report of a working group on sex in experimental design and a blog by its chair, Professor Mandy MacLean.


MRC is seeking researchers’ views in a survey ( ), hosted on the UKRI Engagement Hub, about what they need to implement these changes. This will be open until 24 April. I would appreciate if you could make research communities that you interact with aware of this and invite them to participate.


Please for further interest also see:

Sex: A change in our guidelines to authors to ensure that this is no longer an ignored experimental variable. Docherty JR, Stanford SC, Panattieri RA, Alexander SPH, Cirino G, George CH, Hoyer D, Izzo AA, Ji Y, Lilley E, Sobey CG, Stanley P, Stefanska B, Stephens G, Teixeira M, Ahluwalia A.Br J Pharmacol. 2019 Nov;176(21):4081-4086. doi: 10.1111/bph.14761.

Sex bias in preclinical research and an exploration of how to change the status quo.  Karp NA, Reavey N.. Br J Pharmacol. 2019;176(21):4107-4118. doi:10.1111/bph.14539