Despite significant increases in the proportion of women pursuing science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) doctoral degrees, women are significantly underrepresented as faculty, particularly in upper ranks, and in academic administrative positions, in almost all STEM fields. The problems of recruitment, retention, and advancement that are the causes of this underrepresentation vary by discipline and across groups of women faculty (e.g., by race/ethnicity, disability status, sexual orientation, foreign-born and foreign-trained status, and faculty appointment type). The ADVANCE program is designed to foster gender equity through a focus on the identification and elimination of organizational barriers that impede the full participation and advancement of all women faculty in academic institutions. Organizational barriers that inhibit equity may exist in areas such as policy, practice, culture, and organizational climate. For example, practices in academic departments that result in the inequitable allocation of service or teaching assignments may impede research productivity, delay advancement and create a culture of differential treatment and rewards. Policies and procedures that do not mitigate implicit bias in hiring, tenure, and promotion decisions could mean that women and underrepresented minorities are evaluated less favorably, perpetuating their underrepresentation and contributing to a climate that is not inclusive.
The goals of the ADVANCE program are (1) to develop systemic approaches to increase the representation and advancement of women in academic STEM  careers; (2) to develop innovative and sustainable ways to promote gender equity that involve both men and women in the STEM academic workforce; and (3) to contribute to the research knowledge base on gender equity and the intersection of gender and other identities in STEM academic careers. The ADVANCE program contributes to the development of a more diverse science and engineering workforce because of the focus on equity for STEM academic faculty who are educating, training, and mentoring undergraduate and graduate students and postdoctoral scholars.
There are three program tracks. All projects are expected to build on prior ADVANCE work and gender equity research and literature to broaden the implementation of organizational and systemic strategies to foster gender equity in STEM academic careers. All ADVANCE proposals are expected to recognize that gender does not exist in isolation from other characteristics, such as race/ethnicity, disability status, sexual orientation, foreign-born and foreign-trained status, faculty appointment type, etc., and should offer strategies to promote gender equity for all faculty:
- The Adaptation track supports the adaptation and implementation of evidence-based organizational change strategies, ideally from among those developed and implemented by ADVANCE projects. Adaptation awards may support the adaptation and implementation of proven organizational change strategies within a non-profit two-year or four-year academic institution that has not had an ADVANCE IT award. Adaptation awards may also be made to a STEM organization to implement systemic change strategies focused across all STEM disciplines, several STEM disciplines, or within one STEM discipline.
For all proposals, ADVANCE is interested in supporting a range of non-profit academic institution types including: community colleges, primarily undergraduate institutions, minority-serving institutions (e.g. Tribal Colleges and Universities, Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Hispanic-Serving Institutions, Native Hawaiian Serving Institutions, Alaska Native Institutions, Predominantly Black Institutions and Non-tribal, Native American Serving Institutions), women's colleges, institutions primarily serving persons with disabilities, and master’s and doctoral level institutions.
ADVANCE does not provide fellowships, research grants, or travel grants to individual students, postdocs, or faculty. Undergraduate STEM opportunities can be found at stemundergrads.science.gov and graduate STEM opportunities at stemgradstudents.science.gov.
Limit on Number of Proposals per Organization: 1
One for IT-Preliminary, Institutional Transformation (IT), or Adaptation. IT and Adaptation: Non-profit academic institutions are allowed to submit one proposal in the competition to either the IT (if invited after the preliminary proposal stage) or the Adaptation track but not both.
One for IT-Preliminary, Institutional Transformation (IT), or Adaptation; no limit for Partnership, ADVANCE Resource and Coordination Network, and ADVANCE Longitudinal Evaluation (Partnership, ADVANCE Resource and Coordination Network, and ADVANCE Longitudinal Evaluation are open call therefore not requiring for limited submission):
- IT-Preliminary: Non-profit academic institutions are allowed to submit one preliminary proposal in the competition.
- IT and Adaptation: Non-profit academic institutions are allowed to submit one proposal in the competition to either the IT (if invited after the preliminary proposal stage) or the Adaptation track but not both.
- Non-profit, non-academic organizations are allowed to submit one Adaptation proposal in the competition and may also be a partner on Partnership and/or ADVANCE Resource and Coordination Network proposals.
Limit on Number of Proposals per PI or Co-PI: There are no restrictions or limits.
General Award Information: Anticipated Type of Award: Standard Grant or Continuing Grant or Cooperative Agreement
Estimated Number of Awards: 18 to 26
The total number of awards to be made under this solicitation is estimated to be between 18 and 26 over two fiscal years. NSF expects to make: approximately five Institutional Transformation five-year awards up to $3,000,000 for five years; approximately six Adaptation awards up to $1,000,000 for three years; and approximately six Partnership awards up to $1,000,000 for three to five years. In addition, one ADVANCE Resource and Coordination Network award may be made for $1M per year for five years, and up to four ADVANCE Longitudinal Evaluation awards may be made each year of this solicitation.
Anticipated Funding Amount: $22,200,000
Pending availability of funds, NSF anticipates having up to $22,200,000 available over a period of two fiscal years (FY 2017-FY2018) for support of the ADVANCE portfolio. Up to $12,100,000 will be available for the FY2017 competition and approximately $10,100,000 will be available for proposals due under the FY2018 competition.
Cost Sharing: Inclusion of voluntary committed cost sharing is prohibited.
Indirect Costs: Not Applicable