The University of California-San Diego is a premier research university with a focus on the STEM disciplines. In the current proposed project, the institution seeks to implement a multi-pronged approach toward a longitudinal social science study that will identify and analyze mechanism of cumulative disadvantage for women, minorities and LGBT faculty in the STEM fields. The two primary research questions include a focus on the disproportionate cumulative disadvantage of special populations of STEM faculty and on means by which disadvantages at the discipline, department and individual levels lead to disparities in career outcomes. Specific methodological tools that will be used to facilitate this project are longitudinal panel surveys, longitudinal salary analyses, salary and productivity analyses and interviews with various faculty from underrepresented groups.

Intellectual Merit The proposed project will study the specific mechanisms of cumulative disadvantage for women, URM, and LGBT faculty across a four-year period with the goal of identifying individual, departmental, and disciplinary factors that influence a host of outcome variables (e.g., pay, productivity, advancement). The concept of cumulative disadvantage has been studied with computer simulations and qualitatively, but this proposed project represents the first, primarily quantitative investigation of an issue central to understanding the circumstances of various faculty groups.

Broader Impact The University of California-San Diego project proposes to examine the impact of cumulative disadvantage for women, underrepresented minorities and LGBT faculty in the academic STEM disciplines that results in disparities in career outcomes. As such, the project will have a broad impact on special populations of women faculty who have been largely underserved by the ADVANCE community. This study represents the first of its kind and, if successful will contribute tremendously to advancing current knowledge regarding the underrepresentation of women faculty from a broad range of perspectives.

National Science Foundation (NSF)
Division of Human Resource Development (HRD)
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Beth Mitchneck
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University of California San Diego
La Jolla
United States
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