The National Science Foundation's ADVANCE program supports projects to address the persistent underrepresentation of women on science and engineering faculties and in leadership roles at institutions of higher education. Institutional Transformation projects are multi-faceted initiatives that tackle underrepresentation at all levels, from hiring and advancement, faculty development and mentoring, through creating family-friendly policies and adjusting systems and structures that are less accommodating to women's lives and careers. E&ER has worked in evaluation and research related to ADVANCE IT projects.
E&ER conducted evaluation-with-research studies for LEAP, Leadership Education for Advancement and Promotion, at the University of Colorado Boulder. This ADVANCE project has sought to improve the representation and advancement of women on STEM faculties and academic leadership. Formative and summative evaluation of LEAP’s activities examined how they have affected individual participants and enacted LEAP’s faculty-centered, development-based, institutional change model. Pathways, a comparative interview study, addresses factors shaping the career decisions of STEM Ph.D.s in academe, including graduate students and faculty on and off the tenure track. Demographic modeling studies revealed gender differences in faculty recruiting and attrition.
This work was supported by the National Science Foundation under award HRD-0123636. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in these reports are those of the researchers, and do not necessarily represent the official views, opinions, or policy of the National Science Foundation.
We are examining NSF ADVANCE Institutional Transformation (IT) projects as a means to understand how universities can most effectively create institutional environments that support the success of women scholars. Individual institutions have assessed and chronicled their own goals, strategies, and processes.
In contrast, this study takes a cross-institutional, analytical and synthetic approach to extract the lessons, best practices, and organizational strategies that support the success of women scholars in STEM fields, seeking to answer the question: What has been learned about the effectiveness and long-term viability of organizational change efforts to create institutional environments that are conducive to the success of women scholars, particularly in STEM fields? E&ER's collaborators on this study are Ann Austin at Michigan State University and Kris De Welde from the College of Charleston.
This work was supported by the National Science Foundation under awards HRD-0930097 and HRD-1830185. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in these reports are those of the researchers, and do not necessarily represent the official views, opinions, or policy of the National Science Foundation.
Two decades of work with ADVANCE enables us to offer some historical perspectives on the origins, progress, and ongoing challenges for this program.
- Rosser, S., & Laursen, S. (2022). Looking back to look forward: A retrospective analysis of ADVANCE. The ADVANCE Journal 3(1). https://doi.org/10.5399/osu/ADVJRNL.3.1.2 (open access)
- Laursen, S. L., & De Welde, K. (2019). The changer and the changed: Evolving theories and practices of change in ADVANCE calls for institutional transformation. Equality, Diversity and Inclusion: An International Journal, 38(2), 140-159. https://doi.org/10.1108/EDI-09-2017-0192 [Author accepted MS]
As external evaluator for Texas A&M's (College Station) ADVANCE Center, E&ER provided advice, connections, and an annual review of the project's progress, challenges and accomplishments.
- Laursen, S. (2017). Summative Report: External Evaluation for Texas A&M ADVANCE. Year 7, May 2017. [Report to TAMU ADVANCE] Boulder, CO: Ethnography & Evaluation Research.
Current and archived resources about the work of TAMU ADVANCE are available at the TAMU ADVANCE website.
Independent evaluation of the TAMU ADVANCE Center was supported by the National Science Foundation under award HRD-1008385 to Texas A&M University-College Station. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in these reports are those of the evaluator, and do not necessarily represent the official views, opinions, or policy of TAMU ADVANCE or the National Science Foundation.