Asee peer logo

Research Internships In Science And Engineering (Rise)

Download Paper |


2002 Annual Conference


Montreal, Canada

Publication Date

June 16, 2002

Start Date

June 16, 2002

End Date

June 19, 2002



Conference Session

Retention: Keeping the Women Students

Page Count


Page Numbers

7.981.1 - 7.981.10



Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors

author page

Paige Smith

Download Paper |

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

Main Menu Session 1392

Research Internships in Science and Engineering (RISE)

Paige E. Smith, Dr. Janet A. Schmidt, and Dr. Linda C. Schmidt A. James Clark School of Engineering, University of Maryland


In science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields, the low presence of women has been well documented. Barriers contributing to the problems have been identified as external or contextually based, and internal or individually based. 5, 10 These barriers include the lack of female role models, the shadow job expectation for female faculty and low self- perceptions of ability by undergraduate women. 8, 20, 21

At the University of Maryland (UM), an innovative educational intervention is being introduced in summer 2002 to help overcome some of these barriers. Research Internships in Science and Engineering (RISE) serves women in the higher-educational pipeline: incoming first year students, undergraduates and graduate students. This program has two tracks. For incoming first year students, there is a ten-day orientation to engineering, the sciences and the UM community. The goal is to jump-start the careers of female students by providing them with teamwork and technical skills training and networking opportunities with both female faculty and each other, as well as exposure to research in STEM fields. For upper-level undergraduates, the second component of RISE consists of an eight-week team-based summer research experience.

The purpose of this paper is to describe RISE and identify how this program uniquely addresses some of the issues that women face in STEM fields via the two program tracks. The implementation of this program will begin in summer 2002. This program is funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation, the Clark School of Engineering and the Office of the Provost at the University of Maryland.


The low representation of women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields is well documented. This trend continues due to the low numbers of women enrolling in undergraduate STEM programs, the subset that persists to graduate, the fewer numbers that enter graduate programs and the exceedingly small number of women who become faculty members. 8 Over the past fifteen years, the percentage of women earning bachelor’s degrees in engineering remained relatively unchanged. 17 This is in strong contrast with the number of women entering business, medicine and law, which are previously “female scarce” fields. 10

From a recent literature review on women in STEM fields, many factors inhibit women from entering, persisting or advancing in STEM. 8, 9, 10 These barriers have been classified as “external” and “internal.” 10 External or contextual barriers refer to structural factors that are characteristics of the environment impeding access to opportunities within that environment. “Proceedings of the 2002 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright Ó 2002, American Society for Engineering Education”

Main Menu

Smith, P. (2002, June), Research Internships In Science And Engineering (Rise) Paper presented at 2002 Annual Conference, Montreal, Canada. 10.18260/1-2--10977

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2002 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015