NSF and AWIS Celebrate 10th Anniversary of ADVANCE Program
This year’s ADVANCE PI meeting held November 13-15 in Alexandria, VA marked the National Science Foundation (NSF) program’s 10th anniversary. For the last three years, AWIS has had the pleasure of organizing the annual meeting for PIs and Co-PIs of NSF ADVANCE grants, focused on increasing the participation and advancement of women in academic science and engineering careers. Unlike other programs at NSF, ADVANCE is funded through voluntary contributions by the individual Directorates (organized by discipline). This dedication of the NSF Directorates to the mission of ADVANCE speaks to the foundation’s commitment to advancing the careers of women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), and investigating the barriers to success that persist in academic institutions.
The theme for this year’s ADVANCE meeting was to celebrate 10 years of broadening participation and inclusion, with a focus on outreach to minority-serving institutions. Many representatives from Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCUs), and Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs) were in attendance, and keynotes included the President of Jackson State University, Dr.Carolyn Meyers, Acting Assistant Director of Education and Human Resources Directorate at NSF (EHR), Dr. Wanda Ward, President of Research!America, Mary Woolley, and Assistant Director of National Security at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), Dr. Pat Falcone, who also represented the White House Council on Women and Girls (WHCWG). The break-out sessions of the meeting featured panels on topics such as Women of Color in Higher Education, Best Practices for Work/Life Satisfaction, and Moving Your Research to Market. All presentations can be found here on the AWIS website.
In addition to organizing and staffing the ADVANCE PI meeting, AWIS is also a Partnerships for Adaptation, Implementation, and Dissemination (PAID) grant recipient of the NSF ADVANCE program, with AWIS Past-President and Professor Emeritus of Biochemistry at the University of Pennsylvania, Dr. Phoebe Leboy as the PI. Our initiative, the Advancing Ways of Awarding Recognition in Disciplinary Societies (AWARDS) Project embodies the mission of ADVANCE, by addressing the under-recognition of women for research awards and prizes in STEM professional societies, and illuminating implicit bias as the mechanism by which women are denied the opportunity to advance in their careers through scholarly recognition.