NIH Announces New Transgender Studies Costing $200,000 Each

Past research includes studies of how transwomen use Facebook

Dozens of protesters gather in Times Square near a military recruitment center to show their anger at President Donald Trump's decision to reinstate a ban on transgender individuals
Protesters gather near a military recruitment center to show their anger at President Donald Trump's decision to reinstate a ban on transgender individuals / Getty Images
September 13, 2017

The National Institutes of Health announced its plans for funding numerous new studies on transgender issues that will cost $200,000 each.

The agency released two announcements Friday that it will soon begin accepting applications for transgender studies to begin next year, on the heels of the Republican-controlled Senate approving a $2 billion spending increase for the agency.

"This funding opportunity announcement (FOA) calls for exploratory or developmental research on the health of transgender and gender nonconforming people," according to a grant announcement. "Transgender and gender nonconforming people encompass individuals whose gender identity differs from the sex on their original birth certificate, including individuals who are making or who have made a transition from being identified as one gender to the other, as well as individuals who are questioning their gender identity, who identify with more than one gender, or whose gender expression varies significantly from what is traditionally associated with or typical for that sex."

"While there are a number of terms for this group of individuals, for the sake of consistency this document will refer to the group as 'transgender and gender nonconforming people,'" the NIH said.

Grants awarded by the agency will cost up to $200,000 per year. The NIH will begin accepting applications next month.

Some research topics the NIH is looking for include studies on "understanding the impact of stigma," "minority stress," "diversity in gender identity and expression," transgender employment, and incarceration.

"More information is needed on relationships with partners and family, as well as on sexual and reproductive health," the NIH said.

Studies may also examine the "biological underpinnings of gender and gender identity," "how estrogen hormone treatments affect the male reproductive tissues," and studies on puberty blockers for adolescents.

Another topic: "Research on the impact of brain development of hormonal therapy and surgical interventions such as removal of testes and ovaries."

The NIH said the number of studies it funds would be dependent on its budget and the number of "meritorious applications" the agency receives.

In the past, studies deemed meritorious by the NIH have included a study seeking to give jailed transwomen "gender affirmation" that has now cost taxpayers $675,715, and a $393,790 studying transwomen in Uganda.

The agency has also awarded $43,576 to a researcher who believes having a "vagina does not equal woman" to study the health status of transgender individuals.

A study to find out why gay men and transgender individuals get syphilis in Peru has now cost $1,082,833. Another NIH grant to research how transwomen use Facebook has cost $351,608.

A recent study is examining whether "gender norms" make LGBTQ people drink, for $438,699.

The NIH funding announcement should not be hindered by budget constraints. The Republican-controlled Congress is set to increase the NIH's budget by another $2 billion for fiscal year 2018, against the Trump administration's proposal to cut the agency's funding. The agency budget will be raised to $36.1 billion.

Published under: Government Spending