Faculty members in the College of Education, College of Arts and Sciences and at the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory have been awarded nearly $1 million in grant funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to recruit and support women STEM faculty.
The funding aims to support the development of a project known as FSU-INCREASE, which stands for Institutionalizing Normative Changes for Recruitment, Empowerment, Advancement and Systematic Equity for STEM Faculty.
Lara Perez-Felkner, associate professor of higher education and sociology and principal investigator of this grant, said the FSU-INCREASE project continues several years of FSU initiatives and innovation to retain, recruit and develop talented STEM faculty.
“I’m thrilled for us to have the opportunity to lean in purposefully and get these teams together,” Perez-Felkner said. “FSU is at a really exciting moment to be doing this work, in part because of the internal momentum over the last several years with initiatives like APLU ASPIRE I-Change and other national consortia on best practices for inclusive excellence. We aim to become a model of how to achieve sustainable change in STEM.”
This new grant focuses on women STEM faculty of all backgrounds and will help scale existing initiatives to effect change for STEM faculty across campus while also implementing national and institutional best practices.
Co-principal investigators include Roxanne Hughes (National High Magnetic Field Laboratory), Sara Hart (Psychology) and Tamara Bertrand Jones (Educational Leadership and Policy Studies). Each have been a part of one or more STEM or diversity-related initiatives over the years.
Perez-Felkner believes their experience will help INCREASE continue this work.
Through FSU-INCREASE, these four faculty members hope to develop and implement equity-focused policy initiatives to address department- and field-specific challenges while connecting faculty to both mentorship networks and cohorts at FSU and beyond.
Mentored faculty will also gain access to resources for their work to help them achieve success through rigorous processes, like tenure, promotion and advancement, and help with grant writing to enhance their own and FSU’s research excellence.
INCREASE will also train faculty mentors to become more effective leaders in their fields and to usher in the next generation of scholars.
The FSU-INCREASE leadership team will report to the Offices of Faculty Development and Advancement, Office of Research and Office of Human Resources and an internal and external advisory council.
Eventually, the team hopes to join University of Florida and other prestigious research-intensive institutions in the American Association for the Advancement of Science SEA Change initiative.
FSU-INCREASE is a part of the FSU ADVANCE Adaptation program, funded by NSF to adapt national, evidence-based best practices to promoting women faculty’s equity and success at their institutions and fields and to generate new knowledge and scholarship about what works at FSU.