June 22, 2008
June 22, 2008
June 25, 2008
13.354.1 - 13.354.8
Demystifying the Faculty Search Process: Increasing Women’s Pursuit of Academic Careers through Knowledge and Networking Abstract
The under-representation of women and U.S. ethnic minorities in science, technology, mathematics, and engineering (STEM) is a well established fact. There are numerous studies that disclose reasons for this under-representation at all steps along the academic process. In response to this research and in the interest of bridging the Ph.D. and postdoctoral scholar steps into an academic career, the Cockrell School of Engineering at the University of Texas at Austin, the George R. Brown School of Engineering at Rice University, and the Wiess School of Natural Sciences at Rice University in Houston, Texas have designed and hosted workshops since October 2004 entitled, Negotiating the Ideal Faculty Position. The workshops at Rice University are funded through a National Science Foundation (NSF) ADVANCE institutional transformation grant. At each of these workshops, a national invitation was extended and 350- 730 women responded with applications. This level of response clearly demonstrates the interest in the topic and, at the same time, the lack of information available to women in their local institutions.
One to three follow-up surveys have been completed by the workshop participants. The longitudinal data show that these workshops have had a strong impact on the participants’ career paths, with a high percentage pursuing (and succeeding in) academic careers.
The workshops have three goals:
1. To provide critical information to female postdoctoral scholars and Ph.D. students about the academic career application process. 2. To provide information to women in STEM about academic careers and encourage them to pursue this career. 3. To give the departmental faculty an "early" look at women in their departmental fields so they have a chance to recruit highly qualified women to faculty positions.
The third goal provides one of the most interesting questions for universities interested in diversifying their faculty. What models of recruiting are most effective and how can we change our “search committees” from “envelope opening” to true “search” committees? Can workshops provide a model and not just be seen as another workshop to “fix” the women? Can a nationally accessible database of female postdoctoral scholars and Ph.D. students provide search committees with quality applicants? Will search committees use such a source to search for faculty candidates?
Negotiating the Ideal Faculty Position Workshop
The Cockrell School of Engineering at the University of Texas at Austin (UT Austin) developed a three-day, interactive workshop called, Negotiating the Ideal Faculty Position (NIFP), for female Ph.D. students (within two years of degree completion) and postdoctoral scholars interested in academic careers in engineering. This workshop was first offered in Fall 2004. The
Rinehart, J., & Woods, S., & Richards-Kortum, R. (2008, June), Demystifying The Faculty Search Process: Increasing Women's Pursuit Of Academic Careers Through Knowledge And Networking Paper presented at 2008 Annual Conference & Exposition, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. 10.18260/1-2--3958
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