To survive and grow public Research and Development (R&D) centres need to raise competitive funds (Bazeley 1998; Lee and Om 1996; Muñoz 2007; Santamaría, Brage-Gil and Modrego 2010). The factors that can influence the capacity of national R&D teams within R&D centres to apply for and obtain competitive funding does not seem to have been studied in depth. The purpose of study is to firstly, to examine whether a consistent set of priorities defined by R&D centre lead principal investigators secures more competitive funding. Secondly, to examine whether the PI gender moderates the effect of the PI’s priorities on the amount of competitive public funds that the R&D team of the PI obtains. Our study focuses on R&D activities carried out in Spanish public centres in the areas of Health and Biomedicine. Our results found that there were no gender differences in relation to the acquisition of competitive funding which is contrary to findings of other studies (Mayer and Rathmann 2018; Lerchenmueller and Sorenson, 2018).