UC Davis ADVANCE is an Institutional Transformation grant that began in September of 2012. The program is supported by the National Science Foundation’s ADVANCE Program which aims to increase the participation and advancement of women in academic science and engineering careers.
Institutional transformation that diversifies STEM faculties at UC Davis will have a significant, nationwide impact on these disciplines and the researchers who practice them. The UC Davis ADVANCE program is rooted in the premise that a multiplicity of perspectives derived from both gender and cultural diversity can increase STEM research innovation by seizing the advantages that a heterogeneous group of talented individuals can bring to problem-definition and problem-solving.
Our program capitalizes on the growing pool of culturally diverse STEM professors and doctoral degree recipients, whose experiences and perspectives enhance our ability to solve complex problems that cross disciplinary boundaries. To this end, the UC Davis ADVANCE program has a four-pronged approach to increase the participation and advancement of women in academic science and engineering careers:
Build a vibrant, welcoming and diverse STEM research community through establishment of the “Center for the Advancement of Multicultural Perspectives on Science” (CAMPOS)
Establish an institution-wide, inclusive STEM climate that values diversity
Promote equitable career advancement among STEM faculty
Understand barriers and catalysts for Latinas in STEM
The National Science Foundation began supporting ADVANCE initiatives in 2001, and has awarded over $130M in funding for a variety of programs. The most significant efforts seek to create permanent institutional transformation.
Professional disciplinary groups allow members to meet, engage, and share knowledge. This effort is particularly important to foster supportive, collaborative networks among scientists from under-represented groups.
We have compiled multiple publicly available databases of the published research related to NSF ADVANCE program efforts to increase diversity in STEM education and the STEM labor force. These include the literature on implicit bias, mentorship and other topics.
Balance is real challenge facing many faculty, particularly women with children. The perception (and reality) of the inflexibility and rigor of an academic career is one cause for the lack of diversity in STEM disciplines.