The Association of Medical Research Charities has joined with 28 other signatories to publish a statement of intent, highlighting the importance of the consideration of sex and gender at every stage to deliver high-quality, reproducible and inclusive biomedical, health and care research. We joined with organisations across the UK medical research sector to publish this statement, which was produced in collaboration with the Medical Science Sex and Gender Equity (MESSAGE) project.

The statement is below:

Integrating sex and gender considerations in UK biomedical, health and care research 

Sex and gender play fundamental roles in individual and population health. Sex and gender influence the medical conditions people develop, the symptoms they experience, the treatments and quality of care they receive, their disease progression and their overall outcomes. Studying and understanding sex and gender differences and similarities is essential for ensuring the safety and effectiveness of medicines and care, to improve the health of all people in the UK.

High-quality, reproducible and inclusive biomedical, health and care research requires consideration of sex and gender at every stage, from study design and recruitment to data analysis and transparent reporting of results. Unlike other high-income countries – notably Canada, the United States and European nations under Horizon Europe – the UK currently has no standard, unified guidance for researchers about how adequately to consider sex dimensions in cell and animal studies, and sex and gender dimensions in human studies.

For this reason, we are working with the MESSAGE initiative to co-design a sex and gender policy which will be available from 2024. Culture change in this space will ensure the UK cements its position as a world leader in rigorous, sustainable science and provides the most effective evidence to improve outcomes for patients and society, which AMRC strongly supports.  

AMRC's organisational commitments

We are committed to providing our research community with the guidance, skills and tools to ensure that future research meets the needs of all people, no matter their sex or gender. At AMRC, we will:  

  • work with MESSAGE to ensure a sex and gender policy framework for research funders that's relevant to the diversity of our membership   
  • raise awareness of the importance of the issues across our membership by signposting resources including the MESSAGE framework and sharing good practice. 
  • help share learning between our members to support and fund research that meets the needs of all people effected by or living with conditions, and to identify areas that need further thought and discussion.

The full list of signatories

  • Academy of Medical Sciences
  • Alzheimer’s Research UK
  • Alzheimer’s Society
  • Association of Medical Research Charities (AMRC)
  • Asthma + Lung UK
  • The BMJ
  • BMJ Medicine
  • BMJ Open
  • Breast Cancer Now
  • British Heart Foundation
  • Diabetes UK
  • Dunhill Medical
  • Epilepsy Action
  • Fight for Sight/Vision Foundation
  • Health Research Authority (HRA)
  • Heart Research UK
  • JDRF
  • Mankind
  • Medical Research Council (MRC)
  • National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE)
  • National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR)
  • Medical Research Foundation
  • Medical Women’s Federation
  • Men & Boys Coalition
  • Men’s Health Forum
  • Stroke Association
  • Trans Learning Partnership
  • Wellcome Sanger Institute
Read our news story for more on our involvement in MESSAGE and why we've joined the statement. 

You can find out more about the MESSAGE project at