Significant time, money, and effort have been dedicated to achieving equity in representation in STEM training and research careers, yet the indicators of success have been mixed. Attendees of the 2007 Understanding Interventions That Encourage Minorities to Pursue Research Careers Workshop pointed out the tasks that must be accomplished to advance research-based interventions and thus the diversification of individuals in STEM careers: on-going review of interventions research;development of appropriate research questions;technical assistance for effective intervention research methodologies;encouragement of a community of intervention researchers. Building on their prior organization of three Understanding Interventions conferences, Long Island University and the American Association for the Advancement of Science, propose a five-year (7/1/2012- 6/30/2017) Understanding Interventions Project. The long-term goal is to increase the number of underrepresented minorities in STEM research careers;the objectives are to provide venues and platforms to promote the work needed to accomplish the tasks delineated in 2007. The project is significant because it will advance the "identification of contributing factors and practices" that determine interventions'effectiveness in increasing underrepresented minorities in STEM research careers. An annual conference will provide: A) a venue for dissemination of interventions research;B) opportunities for researchers/practitioners to interact and collaborate; C) a mechanism for discourse on research-based interventions'implementation across modalities, stages and venues. An enhanced and interactive Understanding Interventions website will provide additional linkage of the understanding interventions (UI) community as well as an accessible and searchable internet-based annotated database of Interventions research articles and resources;both will expand the dissemination of broadening participation research. A quarterly online/email-based newsletter that distills and disseminates research findings, development opportunities, and general announcements will provide an additional platform for dissemination of interventions research. Social/behavioral sciences and student affairs professional societies and organizations such as the American Association of University Professors, American Association of State Colleges and Universities, and American Association of Universities that influence higher education will be added to the annual conference list and they will receive the newsletter. Achieving the objectives will significantly increase the research based interventions community, its linkages, and its sphere of influence and thereby assist in achieving the goal of increasing the number of underrepresented minorities in STEM research careers.
The proposed Understanding Interventions project will organize annual conferences, enhance the existing understandinginterventions.org website, and issue a quarterly online newsletter to promote the translation of interventions scholarship to practice and foster interaction between communities of research and practice.