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Funding Agencies Look For Indicators Of A Positive Environment For Faculty Members

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2009 Annual Conference & Exposition


Austin, Texas

Publication Date

June 14, 2009

Start Date

June 14, 2009

End Date

June 17, 2009



Conference Session

Panel: What Funding Agencies Look For

Tagged Division

Women in Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

14.642.1 - 14.642.12

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Paper Authors


Jane Daniels Henry Luce Foundation

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Dr. Jane Zimmer Daniels is director of the Clare Boothe Luce and Higher Education Programs at The Henry Luce Foundation. Jane has worked on equity issues for women in the sciences and engineering for more than 30 years. She is the Director Emeritus of Purdue University’s Women in Engineering Program. Jane was the founding president of the Women in Engineering Programs and Advocates Network (WEPAN). She is a member of the Board of Directors for the Commission on Professionals in Science and Engineering (CPST), a fellow of the Society of Women Engineers and the Association for Women in Science, and a recipient of ASEE’s Vincent Bendix Minorities in Engineering Award.

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Kathleen Christensen Alfred P. Sloan Foundation

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Dr. Kathleen Christensen founded and directs the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation’s Workplace, Work Force and Working Families Program. She has worked on issues facing working parents, including the need for greater workplace flexibility, for over 25 years. Kathleen is a member of the Conference Board’s Work-Life Leadership Council and in 2004 was awarded the Work-Life Legacy Award by the Families and Work Institute for her role in founding the field of work-life. Prior to joining the foundation, she was a Professor of Psychology at the Graduate School of City University of New York.

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Jessie DeAro National Science Foundation

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Dr. Jessie DeAro is Program Director for the ADVANCE program at the National Science Foundation (NSF), a program to increase the representation and advancement of women in academic science and engineering careers. She has worked with several programs related to access to higher education for underrepresented minorities, women, and persons with disabilities for 10 years in the Federal government. She started her Federal career after earning a doctorate in physical chemistry from the University of California at Santa Barbara with a Presidential Management Fellowship (PMF) which she used to work with Hispanic-Serving Institutions, Historically Black Colleges and Universities, and Tribal Colleges and Universities at the U.S. Department of Education.

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David Ruth Elsevier Foundation

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Funding Agencies Look for Indicators of a Positive Environment for Faculty Members Jane Zimmer Daniels, Henry Luce Foundation Kathleen Christensen, Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Jessie DeAro, National Science Foundation David Ruth, Elsevier Foundation


The Clare Boothe Luce Program of the Henry Luce Foundation; The Workplace, Work Force and Working Families Program of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation; the New Scholars Program of the Elsevier Foundation; and the ADVANCE Program of the National Science Foundation make grants to improve the work environment for female and male faculty members in engineering and the sciences. The review criteria developed for these programs and components of successful grants suggest indicators of a positive environment for female and male faculty members. Similar to the proverbial “canary in the coal mine”, females’ decisions not to pursue careers in academia, or their premature departures from academic environments, suggest that negative conditions in the work environment may be one factor for the ever-declining proportions of women at each rank of academia.


Research on factors that may account for the lower proportion of women in the various ranks of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) faculties includes the effects of implicit and explicit bias; differential effects on women of conflicts between work and family demands; unequal access to resources such as space, salary, and supporting facilities; and underrepresentation of women in academic leadership and decision-making positions. 1 The cumulative effect of such diverse factors has been to create formidable barriers to the participation and advancement of women in academic STEM careers. Overcoming and eliminating these barriers and challenges, as well as addressing emerging challenges such as the increasing emphasis on a globally engaged STEM academic workforce and the increasing interdisciplinarity of STEM research and education, is critical to support the full participation of women in academic STEM careers.

The full participation of women in academic STEM careers is important given the pivotal roles that faculty members and administrative leaders have as intellectual, professional, personal, and organizational role models who shape the experiences and expectations of many prospective scientists and engineers. Persistent underrepresentation of women faculty, especially in leadership positions, may affect all students' critically important relationships with mentors, participation as members of research and education teams, and self-identification as potential researchers.

Daniels, J., & Christensen, K., & DeAro, J., & Ruth, D. (2009, June), Funding Agencies Look For Indicators Of A Positive Environment For Faculty Members Paper presented at 2009 Annual Conference & Exposition, Austin, Texas.

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