Specialized resources, mentorship, and opportunities are required to translate high-impact faculty research into commercialized products and enterprises. Entrepreneurship can amplify the impact of basic science discovery and allow the realization of the social and commercial benefits of faculty research.
Translational research is scientific research that helps to translate the findings from basic science into practical applications that enhance human experience through such outcomes as increased health and well-being, improvements in the built environment, or mitigation of the impact of human populations on natural resources. For example, in medicine it is used to “translate” findings in basic research quickly into medical therapies.
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.