National Science Foundation
Sponsorship for Success: Women in Science and Engineering
State: New York

The Gender Equity Project's (GEP's) Sponsorship Program has as its goal, the professional development of women engaged in basic science at Hunter College.  Recognizing that women scientists typically have fewer resources and opportunities than do men, the Sponsorship Program is open to Hunter College women scientists of any age and at any point in their career. Each GEP associate receives the benefits of working with a sponsor who is a senior and successful member in the associate's field. GEP associates commit themselves via contract to a set of goals and activities, including but not limited to submission of grant proposals and journal articles, attendance at colloquia and workshops, and development of skills. Each associate receives modest amounts of research funds.

GEP sponsors serve as intellectual sounding boards for the associates, meet bi-weekly with them to review their progress, discuss the intellectual content of their work, help set and modify goal deadlines, help strategize about professional development, and make specific and concrete proposals for the associates' next steps. Sponsors sign a contract committing themselves to a set of activities and receive modest compensation, to be used for research.

The colloquia and workshops cover a broad range of topics. They are designed to provide a research-based framework for the particular topics under discussion. The aim is to clarify what leads to success in professional development, how institutions may differentially foster development, and what social cognitive phenomena and principles advantage men more than women.

Early evaluation findings report an increase in paper and grant submissions from GEP cohorts. The associates in cohorts 1 and 2 submitted significantly more papers and grants (internal and external) during their first year in the program than they did during the year before entering the program.  These results suggest that attention to the professional development of junior faculty captures significant returns with respect to research and publication.

  Web Policies and Important Links | Privacy | FOIA | Help | Contact NSF | Contact Web Master | SiteMap