Research persistently shows that women are underrepresented in most science and engineering fields and obtain fewer research grants than men. In this paper we consider gender-related interests to investigate female and male scientists’ rates of submitted grant proposals and their selection of research topics in research areas of life science, engineering science, physical science and mathematics. Do men and women differ in their research preferences? Do they vary in respect of numbers of submissions and topics? To study submission rates, we analysed data about applications of the Experiment! Grant programme of the German Volkswagen Foundation to do unconventional research. To identify research topics, we additionally applied an LDA-based topic model. The findings reveal uneven proportions of submissions among men and women in different research areas. Regarding research themes, results suggest that men dominate in more topics than women.