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ADVANCE: Increasing the Participation and Advancement of Women in Academic Science and Engineering Careers  (ADVANCE)

NSF Wide Programs

ADVANCE Program Information

Additional information about this NSF-wide program including information about ADVANCE awards, ADVANCE Implementation Committee members, and products, tools, and resources can be found here.

CONTACTS

Name Email Phone Room
Beth Mitchneck   bmitchne@nsf.gov (703) 292-5178  815N  
Cynthia R. Douglas   cdouglas@nsf.gov (703) 292-5175  815N  

PROGRAM GUIDELINES

Solicitation  12-584

SYNOPSIS

For many decades, an increasing number of women have obtained STEM doctoral degrees, however, women, particularly women of color, continue to be significantly underrepresented in almost all STEM academic positions.  While the degree of underrepresentation varies among STEM disciplines, women's advancement to senior professorial ranks and leadership roles is an issue in all fields.  The underrepresentation of women is also a critical issue for the nation, at large, as its need to develop a globally competitive and diverse workforce increases.

Research has shown that women's representation and advancement in academic STEM positions are affected by many external factors that are unrelated to their ability, interest and technical skills (Spencer, et al, 1999; Halpern and Tan, 2001; Hyde, 2005; National Academy of Sciences, 2007).  Such factors include, but are not limited to: stereotype threat, societal impacts, organizational constraints of academic institutions; differential effect of work and family demands; implicit and explicit bias; and lack of women in academic leadership and decision-making positions.  The cumulative effect of such diverse factors has been to create infrastructural barriers that impact the number of women entering, persisting and advancing in STEM careers.

Thus, the goal of the ADVANCE program is to develop systemic approaches to increase the representation and advancement of women in academic STEM careers, thereby contributing to the development of a more diverse science and engineering workforce.  ADVANCE also has as its goal to seminally contribute to and inform the general knowledge base on gender equity in the academic STEM disciplines.

To this end, ADVANCE will support the following types of projects:

Institutional Transformation (IT)

Institutional Transformation awards are expected to include innovative and systemic organizational approaches to transform institutions of higher education in ways that will increase the participation and advancement of women in STEM academic careers.  These awards support comprehensive programs for institution-wide change.  Additionally, IT projects must include a supplementary 5-page research study designed to investigate theory-driven models and innovations related to the participation and advancement of women in the academic STEM disciplines.  It is expected that the research study will inform institutional transformation, or other relevant areas of academic investigation.  Research that investigates novel aspects of the proposal is especially encouraged.

Previous or current funding from ADVANCE is not a prerequisite for submitting an IT proposal. Any institution meeting the minimum eligibility requirements may apply for an IT award (see Eligibility Information below). 

Proposals for IT awards from community colleges, primarily undergraduate institutions, minority-serving institutions (e.g. Tribal Colleges and Universities, Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Hispanic-Serving Institutions, Native Hawaiian Serving Institutions), women's colleges, and institutions primarily serving persons with disabilities are strongly encouraged.  It is anticipated that there may be significant differences in the issues facing faculty in these institutions, compared to faculty in other types of institutions, which will warrant development of unique strategies and/or adaptation of proven strategies in a unique way to achieve ADVANCE Program goals.

Institutional Transformation Catalyst (IT-Catalyst, formerly IT-Start)

IT-Catalyst awards are designed to support historically resource-challenged institutions in their efforts to conduct institutional self-assessment activities (i.e., data collection, data analysis, policy review) in order to identify specific issues in the recruitment, retention and promotion of women faculty in STEM disciplines. This area of work is considered fundamental for all institutions of higher education that plan to undertake institutional transformation. 

The institution's need for external resources to undertake institutional self assessment and policy review will, specifically, be evaluated using additional ADVANCE merit review criteria. Institutions applying for IT-Catalyst awards are expected to demonstrate institutional need within the proposal.  Such need should be unrelated to recent national or state occurrences (e.g., decreased state funding, national economic disaster, etc.) unless an institution is disproportionately impacted by such circumstances.  Institutions that are particularly encouraged to apply for the ADVANCE IT-Catalyst award include: primarily undergraduate institutions; institutions that have historically received lesser amounts of NSF research funding; minority serving institutions (e.g. Tribal Colleges and Universities, Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Hispanic-Serving Institutions, Native Hawaiian Serving Institutions); women's colleges; institutions primarily serving persons with disabilities; and institutions that have a Carnegie classification of master's colleges and universities, baccalaureate colleges, associate colleges or tribal colleges.  Further, it is anticipated that there may be significant differences in the issues facing faculty in these institutions, compared to faculty in other types of institutions, which will warrant development of unique strategies and/or adaptation of proven strategies in a unique way to achieve ADVANCE Program goals.

Previous or current funding from ADVANCE is not a prerequisite for submitting an IT-Catalyst proposal. Any institution meeting the minimum eligibility requirements may apply for an IT-Catalyst award (see Eligibility Information below). 

Partnerships for Adaptation, Implementation, and Dissemination (PAID)

Partnerships for Adaptation, Implementation, and Dissemination awards may focus on one institution or organization, or they may be a partnership between several institutions and/or organizations.  PAID projects can focus on all STEM disciplines, several disciplines, or only one discipline, including the social and behavioral sciences.   Projects may have an international, national, regional or local scope. 

Previous or current funding from ADVANCE is not a prerequisite for submitting a PAID proposal.  Any institution meeting the minimum eligibility requirements may apply for a PAID award (see Eligibility Information below). 

Proposals for PAID awards from community colleges, primarily undergraduate institutions, minority-serving institutions (e.g. Tribal Colleges and Universities, Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Hispanic-Serving Institutions, Native Hawaiian Serving Institutions), women's colleges, and institutions primarily serving persons with disabilities are strongly encouraged.  It is anticipated that there may be significant differences in the issues facing faculty in these institutions, compared to faculty in other types of institutions, that will warrant development of unique strategies and/or adaptation of proven strategies in a unique way to achieve ADVANCE Program goals.

Important Notes on ADVANCE Projects

ADVANCE does not support activities to increase or retain the number of women entering into or persisting in STEM doctoral degree programs; rather the program focuses on ensuring that women faculty consider academia as a viable and attractive career option.  As such, no student training initiatives/activities should be proposed.

ADVANCE funds, in general, cannot be used to support dependent care costs. However, costs incurred by the awardee organization under employee morale and welfare for dependent-care expenses (daycare facilities or other child/elder care arrangements) may be allowed, provided these types of expenses are charged through the application of fringe benefits or indirect costs (also known as Facilities & Administrative Costs).  Any such charges must be made in accordance with established awardee institutional policy as approved by the cognizant agency and consistently applied to both Federal and non-Federal sponsors.  For more information on the allowability of dependent care costs, visit the following NSF website:  http://www.nsf.gov/pubs/2010/nsf10032/nsf10032.jsp?org=EHR.

IT and PAID proposals are accepted on a biennial basis.  For this solicitation, PAID proposals will be accepted in 2012; IT and IT Catalyst proposals will be accepted in 2013.

Special populations of women, for the purposes of the ADVANCE Program, include women of diverse characteristics and backgrounds including, but not limited to: race, ethnicity, disability status and sexual orientation.

RELATED PUBLICATIONS

ADVANCE Program Brochure (NSF 09-41)

RELATED URLS

NSF-Wide Advance Program Page

ADVANCE Web Portal

ADVANCE Program Brochure

THIS PROGRAM IS PART OF

Additional Funding Opportunities for the CNS Community

Opportunities that Highlight International Collaboration

What Has Been Funded (Recent Awards Made Through This Program, with Abstracts)

Map of Recent Awards Made Through This Program

Events

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