While many studies focus on specific interventions, our aim is to investigate the normative structures that surround interventions. Institution-wide contexts determine whether an intervention can be successful in increasing productivity of STEM degrees, and faculty are central to the process at every stage of broadening participation and facilitating student movement through disciplinary networks. The project involves a mixed method approach using large scale data in a quantitative phase with an embedded qualitative design that help explain how institutions increase capacity for STEM production and also explain the faculty experience in working with students and STEM interventions. Data sources include existing federal datasets on institutions'production of STEM bachelor's degrees and eventual STEM Ph.D. recipients;a national survey of STEM faculty;a 10-year follow-up survey of students who entered college in 2004 with intentions to major in a STEM discipline;case studies of institutions with a specific focus on institutional structures, interventions, and faculy roles in facilitating students'progress toward research careers in the sciences;and a network analysis that maps the academic networks successful students use to advance along their STEM pathways. This project seeks to improve understanding regarding institutional efficiency in STEM production and the faculty role in increasing STEM degree attainment at the undergraduate and graduate levels, while also remaining attentive to the myriad individual level factors that affect students'choices for STEM careers in the post- baccalaureate phase. This project aims to provide empirical data regarding how to best support interventions and expand practices so that institutions and their faculty improve the likelihood for students'access and success in STEM research careers.

Public Health Relevance

Despite best intentions in practice and recent innovations, the sciences continue to experience high attrition rates, as high numbers of talented aspiring scientists, particularly from underrepresented backgrounds, leave the sciences at key transition points along their educational and career pathways. The goal of this project is to expand our understanding of the normative structures that surround interventions on campus, with a specific focus on institution- wide support, the faculty role in preparing students for STEM research careers, and the academic networks essential for student mobility along STEM pathways.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS)
Research Project (R01)
Project #
Application #
Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (ZGM1-TWD-7 (IN))
Program Officer
Sesma, Michael A
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
Fiscal Year
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
University of California Los Angeles
Schools of Education
Los Angeles
United States
Zip Code
Auchincloss, Lisa Corwin; Laursen, Sandra L; Branchaw, Janet L et al. (2014) Assessment of course-based undergraduate research experiences: a meeting report. CBE Life Sci Educ 13:29-40