Despite significant increases in the proportion of women pursuing science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) doctoral degrees, women are significantly underrepresented as faculty, particularly in upper ranks, and in academic administrative positions, in almost all STEM fields. The problems of recruitment, retention, and advancement that are the causes of this underrepresentation vary by discipline and across groups of women faculty (e.g., by race/ethnicity, disability status, sexual orientation, foreign-born and foreign-trained status, and faculty appointment type). The ADVANCE program is designed to foster gender equity through a focus on the identification and elimination of organizational barriers that impede the full participation and advancement of all women faculty in academic institutions. Organizational barriers that inhibit equity may exist in areas such as policy, practice, culture, and organizational climate. For example, practices in academic departments that result in the inequitable allocation of service or teaching assignments may impede research productivity, delay advancement and create a culture of differential treatment and rewards. Policies and procedures that do not mitigate implicit bias in hiring, tenure, and promotion decisions could mean that women and underrepresented minorities are evaluated less favorably, perpetuating their underrepresentation and contributing to a climate that is not inclusive.

The goals of the ADVANCE program are (1) to develop systemic approaches to increase the representation and advancement of women in academic STEM [1] careers; (2) to develop innovative and sustainable ways to promote gender equity that involve both men and women in the STEM academic workforce; and (3) to contribute to the research knowledge base on gender equity and the intersection of gender and other identities in STEM academic careers. The ADVANCE program contributes to the development of a more diverse science and engineering workforce because of the focus on equity for STEM academic faculty who are educating, training, and mentoring undergraduate and graduate students and postdoctoral scholars.

There are three program tracks. All projects are expected to build on prior ADVANCE work and gender equity research and literature to broaden the implementation of organizational and systemic strategies to foster gender equity in STEM academic careers. All ADVANCE proposals are expected to recognize that gender does not exist in isolation from other characteristics, such as race/ethnicity, disability status, sexual orientation, foreign-born and foreign-trained status, faculty appointment type, etc., and should offer strategies to promote gender equity for all faculty:

The Institutional Transformation (IT) track supports the development of innovative organizational change strategies to produce comprehensive change within one non-profit two-year or four-year academic institution across all STEM disciplines. IT projects are also expected to contribute new research on gender equity in STEM academics. Projects that do not propose innovative strategies may be more appropriate for the Adaptation track. This internal CWRU solicitation is for this track only.

The Adaptation track supports the adaptation and implementation of evidence-based organizational change strategies, ideally from among those developed and implemented by ADVANCE projects. Adaptation awards may support the adaptation and implementation of proven organizational change strategies within a non-profit two-year or four-year academic institution that has not had an ADVANCE IT award. Adaptation awards may also be made to a STEM organization to implement systemic change strategies focused across all STEM disciplines, several STEM disciplines, or within one STEM discipline. This track does not have a deadline until August 2017. Please do not apply now.

The Partnership track will support partnerships of two or more non-profit academic institutions and/or STEM organizations to increase gender equity in STEM academics. Projects should have national or regional impact and result in systemic change within one STEM discipline, several STEM disciplines, or all STEM disciplines. Partnering STEM organizations can include any entity eligible for NSF support. Partners may include professional societies, industry, non-profit organizations, publishers, policy and research entities, state systems of higher education, higher education organizations, as well as institutions of higher education. Partnership proposals must include a final year focused on sustainability and/or scale-up, communication, and evaluation. This track is not a limited submission, and all are welcome to apply directly to the NSF. NSF requires letters of intent for this track which are due on December 14, 2016.

Number of Applications
Amount of Funding

Anticipated funding amount: $22,200,000 - Pending availability of funds. The total number of awards to be made under this solicitation is estimated to be between 18 and 26 over two fiscal years. NSF expects to make: approximately five Institutional Transformation five-year awards up to $3,000,000 for five years; approximately six Adaptation awards up to $1,000,000 for three years; and approximately six Partnership awards up to $1,000,000 for three to five years. In addition, one ADVANCE Resource and Coordination Network award may be made for $1M per year for five years, and up to four ADVANCE Longitudinal Evaluation awards may be made each year of this solicitation.


Number of applications allowed: 1 per institution total spanning the IT-Preliminary, IT, and Adaptation categories. There is no limit for Partnership, Resource and Coordination Network, or Longitudinal Evaluation. Adaptation and IT tracks are staggered with every other year deadlines. This solicitation is for the IT-Preliminary and IT tracks.

Submission Process

Step 1

Internal deadline for internal submission is no later than 5:00 p.m. on December 22, 2016. Please attach the following materials in a single PDF document:

Please submit the following as a single pdf packet:

  1. Cover letter indicating which track you are applying for, Name, department and school or college of the PI, listing of the project team.
  2. NSF-style biosketch for the PI.
  3. One page description of intellectual merit and broader impact of the project.

Materials should be submitted to Stephanie Endy at stephanie.endy@case.edu.

Step 2

Final nominees will be notified of their selection by January 9, 2017.

Step 3

Final preliminary proposal due in the Office of Research Administration by April 5, 2017.

Step 4

Funding agency deadline is April 12, 2017 for IT track preliminary proposals.


Abstract or LOI to ORA Chosen Proposal Announced ORA Final Proposal Due Date Sponsor Submission Deadline Days Until Due
12/22/2016 01/09/2017 04/05/2017 04/12/2017 CLOSED