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Journal of Women and Minorities in Science and Engineering
SJR: 0.468 SNIP: 0.671 CiteScore™: 1.65

ISSN Print: 1072-8325
ISSN Online: 1940-431X

Journal of Women and Minorities in Science and Engineering

DOI: 10.1615/JWomenMinorScienEng.v8.i3-4.50
20 pages

A HISTORY OF FUNDING FOR WOMEN’S PROGRAMS AT THE NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION: FROM INDIVIDUAL POWRE APPROACHES TO THE ADVANCE OF INSTITUTIONAL APPROACHES

Sue V. Rosser
San Francisco State University
Also Professor of Sociology and Women and Gender Studies
Eliesh O'Neil Lane
Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA 30332

ABSTRACT

The biennial reports on women, minorities, and persons with disabilities produced by the National Science Foundation (NSF) because of congressional mandate laid the statistical foundation for NSF initiatives to redress the underrepresentation of these groups. Programs established in the 1980s such as Research Opportunities for Women, Visiting Professorships for Women, Graduate Fellowships for Women, and Career Advancement Awards provided support to individual women for their research. In the 1990s, the NSF also began to focus on systemic initiatives, creating the Program for Women and Girls, although it continued to address the problem through support of individual researchers in the newly created Professional Opportunities for Women in Research and Education (POWRE) initiative. The responses from more than 400 awardees during the 4 years of POWRE provide insights into the current issues these women perceive surrounding their grants, funding, and interactions with NSF bureaucracy and staff members. The results of the POWRE survey support the institutional, systemic thrust of the NSF’s new ADVANCE initiative to attempt to solve problems such as balancing career and family that cannot be addressed solely by supporting research projects of individual female scientists and engineers.


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