The Michigan AGEP Alliance (MAA) is a partnership of University of Michigan, Michigan State University, Wayne State University, and Western Michigan University. Over the past six years, the MAA has created a sustainable community that supports the academic success of students from underrepresented minority (URM) groups who are earning doctoral degrees in engineering, physical science, life science, mathematics, social and behavioral sciences, and encourages and prepares them to pursue careers in academia. Based on their experience thus far, and informed by research on factors that promote degree completion and transition to faculty careers, they have identified promising strategies to leverage the value of the investments that NSF and our universities have made in the MAA. They request support to enrich the intellectual and programmatic foundations of their alliance. Intellectual Merit: The new directions they will explore include: 1) Adding a fifth partner institution: Michigan Technological University?a small, rural STEM-dominant institution closely located to a large Native American population; 2) Expanding their focus on the postdoctoral experience by engaging URM postdoctoral fellows in programming designed to meet their professional needs, and linking them with URM Ph.D. students so that both groups may benefit from a realistic appraisal of the opportunities available to them in postdoctoral training and the pathways to faculty positions; 3) Finding the synergy that comes from integrating students and faculty from NSF-supported social, behavioral and economic sciences (SBE) with faculty and students who participate in AGEP programming in STEM; and 4) Adapting technology to increase opportunities for interaction and collaboration across the MAA partner and with other AGEP institutions, and for delivery of selected professional development programs. This grant will underwrite planning to accelerate the capacity of the alliance to carry forward the mission of increased diversity in our STEM community. Broader Impact: By strengthening the ability of the alliance to support the academic success of URM graduate students, and by creating mechanisms to support the success of URM postdoctoral scholars, they will increase the representation of minority scientists in the professoriate.

Project Report

The Michigan AGEP Alliance (MAA) is a partnership of University of Michigan, Michigan State University, Wayne State University, Western Michigan University, and Michigan Technological University. MAA has created a community that supports the academic success of students from underrepresented minority (URM) groups who are earning doctoral degrees in engineering, physical science, life science, mathematics, social and behavioral sciences, and prepares them to pursue careers in academia. The major goal of this project is to strengthen the intellectual and programmatic foundations of our alliance by: (1) adding a fifth partner institution: Michigan Technological University (MTU); (2) expanding our focus to include the postdoctoral experience; (3) finding the synergy that comes from integrating students and faculty from NSF-supported social, behavioral and economic sciences (SBE) with faculty and students in STEM; and (4) adapting technology to increase opportunities for interaction and collaboration across the MAA partners and with other AGEP institutions. The outcomes of this project were the successful incorporation of MTU into the MAA and the successful expansion of the MAA to include URM postdoctoral fellows in STEM fields, including SBE. Specifically, MTU adopted MAA practices for monitoring data about AGEP participants, including outcomes in doctoral programs, thereby enabling the consistent evaluation of interventions across the five partnering institutions going forward. MTU learned from and worked with the MAA to offer programming for AGEP participants that increases their sense of academic identity by improving faculty mentoring and by fostering multidisciplinary learning communities. The capability to offer this programming was furthermore institutionalized by MTU. In addition, the MAA developed and offered programming that increased the professional skills of AGEP postdoctoral fellows, identified skills AGEP participants can use to transition from the role of doctoral student to the role of postdoctoral fellow, and linked AGEP postdoctoral fellows with AGEP doctoral students so that both may learn from each other. The enlargement of the MAA to include both Michigan Technological University and URM postdoctoral fellows in STEM fields, including SBE, enriches the Alliance and thereby strengthens its capability to improve the academic identity and completion outcomes for AGEP participants at its five partnering institutions.

Agency
National Science Foundation (NSF)
Institute
Division of Human Resource Development (HRD)
Type
Standard Grant (Standard)
Application #
1110556
Program Officer
Mark H. Leddy
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
2011-06-01
Budget End
2013-05-31
Support Year
Fiscal Year
2011
Total Cost
$149,593
Indirect Cost
Name
University of Michigan Ann Arbor
Department
Type
DUNS #
City
Ann Arbor
State
MI
Country
United States
Zip Code
48109