Iowa State University, Boston University, Cornell University, Howard University, Michigan State University, Northwestern University, University of Buffalo, University of Georgia, University of Maryland College Park, and University of Texas at Arlington are  building a “Networked Improvement Community” (NIC) focused on improving dissertator experiences with the goal of creating a more inclusive environment for graduate students. In an environment that is welcoming and where differences are valued, graduate students can do their best work and use their different perspectives to help solve today’s largest challenges.

Our hypothesis is that if we improve the climate in graduate education we will increase the number of UR graduate students and postdocs interested in and prepared for faculty careers.

Grant:  AGEP (Alliances for Graduate Education and the Professoriate)
Granting Agency: National Science Foundation

Project Overview

The National Science Foundation funds the Alliances for Graduate Education and the Professoriate (AGEP)program. The AGEP program goal is to increase the number of historically underrepresented minority faculty, in specific STEM disciplines and STEM education research fields, by advancing knowledge about pathways to career success. The program objectives include: To support the development, implementation and study of innovative models of doctoral education, postdoctoral training, and faculty advancement for historically underrepresented minorities in specific STEM disciplines and/or STEM education research fields; and to advance knowledge about the underlying issues, policies and practices that have an impact on the participation, transitions and advancement of historically underrepresented minorities in the STEM academy.

What is an inclusive climate?

An inclusive research environment in one where all graduate students and postdocs feel they belong and are recognized for their contributions.

This aligns powerfully with the missions of our universities, namely to ensure all our students can succeed and produce quality scholarship on our society’s most challenging problems.

Achieving an inclusive climate requires changes at the individual (e.g., faculty), the group level (department and graduate peers), and it must entail organizational learning, so that the improvements are not isolated and disconnected.