In 2024, momentum is building for improved integration of sex and gender in medical research

Women scientist doing research.

Following the launch of the MESSAGE project in January 2023, there has been exciting and widespread engagement among the UK’s medical research sector on the need to improve how research accounts for sex and gender dimensions. Since December 2023, 32 members of the UK medical research sector have shown their support for the MESSAGE project’s aims in public statements showcasing their commitment to improved integration of sex and gender in biomedical, health and care research.

These signatories contribute an estimated £4.1 billion per year to UK medical research, and their support will lead to significant change in how sex and gender are accounted for in research. Given the critical influence of sex and gender on health and wellbeing, research with sex and gender sensitive design will be more rigorous, and will improve medical knowledge, treatments and outcomes for all people.

You can find a full list of the organisations and their statements of support here:

Academy of Medical Sciences

Alzheimer’s Research UK

Alzheimer’s Society

Association of Medical Research Charities (AMRC)

Asthma & Lung UK


BMJ Medicine

BMJ Open

Breast Cancer Now

British Heart Foundation

Chest, Heart & Stroke Scotland

Diabetes UK

The Dunhill Medical Trust

Elsevier, including The Lancet Group and Cell Press

Epilepsy Action

Fight for Sight/Vision Foundation

Health & Care Research Wales

Health Research Authority (HRA)

Heart Research UK


Medical Research Council (MRC)

Medical Research Foundation

Men and Boy’s Coalition

Medical Women’s Federation

Men’s Health Forum

Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA)

National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE)

National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR)

Stroke Association

Trans Learning Partnership

Wellbeing of Women

Wellcome Sanger Institute

In 2024, momentum continues to build, with the MESSAGE project being cited in UK parliament by MP Andrew Griffith, Minister of State for Science, Research and Innovation, who highlighted our work to ensure that female patients are included in medical research and clinical trials.

Later this year, we will launch the co-designed MESSAGE sex and gender policy framework for research funders. Adoption of new sex and gender policies based on this framework will be a critical step for improving the quality, accuracy and equity of UK research.

As awareness of the need for sex and gender equity in medical research grows, please reach out to the MESSAGE team if you would like to learn more or share your own statement of support.