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The Elsevier Foundation: Ideas for Scholars with Family Responsibilities Advancing Women Students and Faculty in Science and Engineering: New strategies.

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Presentation on theme: "The Elsevier Foundation: Ideas for Scholars with Family Responsibilities Advancing Women Students and Faculty in Science and Engineering: New strategies."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Elsevier Foundation: Ideas for Scholars with Family Responsibilities Advancing Women Students and Faculty in Science and Engineering: New strategies and old ones that work November 7, 2008 David Ruth, Executive Director – Elsevier Foundation

2 Elsevier Foundation The Elsevier Foundation provides support for institutions in the global health and science communities working to advance scholarship and improve lives through scientific, technical and medical knowledge. ◦ Libraries addressing key issues of global health and development\ ◦ Programs for scholars in STM in the early stages their careers. The Foundation has awarded more than 50 grants worth over a million dollars to non-profit organizations working in these fields since its inception. Established by Elsevier, a leading global publisher of scientific, technical and medical information products and services, committed to making genuine contributions to science and health communities.

3 Choosing a focus for a Corporate Foundation The role of a Corporate Foundations Integral part of a corporate responsibility initiative Focus on compelling areas of need and concern to stakeholders Leverage unique opportunities for risk, experimentation and model-building Elsevier has a long-term stake in the developing and attracting talent in science, technology and medicine 7,000 journal editors, 70,000 editorial board members, 300,000 reviewers, and 600,000 authors publishing 2,000 journals, 19,000 books; with 2,000 new books each year

4 Why focus on STEM scholars with family responsibilities? Since the 1970s, women across the globe have entered science and engineering classes in larger and larger numbers. In the U.S. half of today’s medical students are women, and the numbers have been rising similarly in biology and mathematics. ◦ Yet, globally, female professional scientists represent 25%-35% of the research workforce. ◦ This figure is much lower in EU countries and in Australia, as well as Korea (14.5%). Women also make up less than 20% of senior academic staff in the majority of EU countries. The proportion of women "on track" to potentially becoming top scientists falls off at every step of the way ◦ Women in the United States have been getting Master's degrees in the same numbers as men for two decades, yet fewer women get Ph.D.s; and the numbers of women P.I.s (principal investigator) have not risen. ◦ For 30 years, women have earned at least 30 percent of the U.S.’ doctorates in social and behavioral sciences, and at least 20 percent of the doctorates in life sciences. Yet they appear among full professors in those fields at less than half those levels. ◦ Women in science still routinely receive less research support than their male colleagues, and they have not reached the top academic ranks like their growing presence would suggest. Parenthood has been identified as the factor most likely to determine whether a woman with science or engineering training from pursues or advances an academic career.

5 What we’ve learned from our grantees Common professional challenges The challenge of balancing career and family responsibility and cost where household responsibilities are not equally shared Relocation decisions Difficulty in re-entering an interrupted career Particular challenges associated with STEM scholarship Intense and often protracted laboratory or experimental activity together with regular communication with colleagues in the field. Pre-tenure expectation to establish an international profile - involves sustained productivity, success in grant funding, evidence of research impact; often coincident with a peak period of family responsibility. Participation fin conferences and meetings is critical to career advancement : an audience for sharing findings, establishing a professional identity among senior scientists, and building a peer network for future collaboration. Limitations of family-friendly policies, e.g. explicit limits on funding for childcare for conferences or meeting Differential rates of tenure between men and women with family responsibilities and discrimination avoidance behaviors

6 Grant priorities Focused on doctoral candidates and scholars in the first five years of their post-doctoral careers. Programs that: ◦ Enable scientists to attend conferences, meetings, workshops and symposia that are critical to the development of a career in science by helping them with childcare and other family responsibilities when attending scientific gatherings. ◦ Encourage networking and mentorship within the institutions and disciplines in ways that support the challenges of faculty and staff with family responsibilities. ◦ Demonstrate an institutional commitment to advancing women in STEM, including policies, programs and leadership. ◦ Have the potential serve as models and will encourage continued efforts to advance women in science. ◦ Promote partnerships and knowledge sharing among institutions.

7 Professional Development Grant for Parents of Infants and Toddlers -- University of California - Irvine Program to address the challenges of attending conferences and research meetings necessary to advance careers and contribute to scientific discovery and innovation. Provides dependent care assistance to faculty in science, technology, engineering and math who are at least 50% responsible for childcare Administered through an established competition with formal guidelines and backed up by a survey to evaluate its impact. The formal framework and evaluation report that will result will be the basis for developing future sources of funds to sustain the program.

8 Transitional Support Program -- University of Rhode Island Create and disseminate a series of programs to help new scholars in science, technology, engineering and math to meet their academic and parental obligations while on the job. Development of a lactation model program -- a prototype onsite lactation room and advisory resources for lactating faculty mothers. Sustained and will be replicated elsewhere at the university and in the region based on a formal assessment of its effectiveness. Builds directly on initiatives developed under an National Science Foundation grant.

9 SettleNet -- Rennselaer Polytechnic Institute Address barriers to relocation that affect the recruitment and retention of new women scholars. Focuses on wide set of new scholars – notably women with working spouses and partners whose careers present an obstacle to relocation Establishes resources to help new faculty settle in a new location, relocation counseling, a regional career network for faculty spouses, and career coaching for both the scholar and the spouse. Takes a regional approach that extends not only to other universities, but also to all PhD-hiring institutions. Would become self-sustainable through membership fees and will create incentives for institutions to participate in the network by offering credits to institutions that actively participate.

10 ASCB Child Care Award Program American Society for Cell Biology American Society for Cell Biology (ASCB) to provide stipends to cover childcare expenses for selected traveling scholars who attend the ASCB Annual Meeting. Women scholars make up nearly half of post-doctoral researchers in biology, but there is a sharp fall off of women in the ranks of assistant professors, associate professors and full professors. Society conferences offer attendees opportunities to highlight their research, hear from leaders in the field, and network with peers. This participation is an important venue for career development in the field.

11 From Graduate Student to Assistant Professor: Helping Post- doctoral scientists and engineers meet the demands of career and family life -- Princeton University Distinct work-family issues of the post-doctoral period, when disproportionate number of women scholars in science and engineering make the decision not to apply for assistant professor positions in research universities. Post-doctoral training occurs in a fairly brief time period and often does not take place either at the university where the researcher has earned her degree or at the university where she will ultimate become a faculty member. Challenges of this dislocation include separation from spouses or domestic partners and difficulty in finding childcare while traveling to conferences. Supports extension of funding for a dependent care travel program for post-doctoral fellows and support for travel for fellows whose spouses are graduate students or post-doctoral fellows in science and engineering at another institution.

12 Encouraging Diversity and Work/Life Balance in Engineering Faculty -- University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana, College of Engineering Develop and test new approaches to enhance to its existing programs to address the under-representation of women faculty in technical fields. Establish a monthly forum for faculty and post-doctoral students and their families to provide social reinforcement, advice and peer-counseling. Establish small groups of scientists and engineers, not including families, which would consist of both new and senior faculty to discuss work and work-life issues. The program also includes diversity workshops for faculty, department heads and search committee members, to enhance awareness among the engineering faculty of how gender issues can unfairly limit the opportunities available to women.

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