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Partnerships for Enhanced Engagement in Research (PEER) Women In Science Mentoring Program, 2018
Closing date: 16 March 2018
A persistent problem in higher education and academia is the “leaky pipeline”, a term that refers to the disproportionate fraction of qualified women who leave science as they move up the educational and career ladder. Women earn 41 percent of PhDs in STEM fields, but make up just 28 percent of tenure-track faculty. The worldwide loss of women in STEM, specifically from the transition from postdoctoral and junior faculty to senior faculty, has been explained by various reasons including: work/life balance conflicts, a hostile environment from co-workers, gender discrimination, few professional development opportunities, and a lack of role models and mentors.
Without mentors or role models, women receive limited advice about career and personal development. A mentor does not direct, but rather guides, and becomes a colleague that a mentee can depend on and trust. Mentoring helps address the feelings of isolation and marginalization that women in academic settings often report. In a 2017 study, women in engineering assigned a female mentor experienced more belonging, motivation and confidence, better retention in science, and greater career aspirations than women assigned either a male mentor, or no mentor at all. When more junior level professionals are more motivated and confident and have positive mentors and role models, they are also more likely to successfully win awards for research funding, aiding their movement up the professional career ladder.
The PEER Women in Science Mentoring Program has been created to help retain women in science, build self-confidence, and teach early career scientists to write successful international research awards. This new mentoring program, which is inviting applications from now through March 16, 2018, will allow time and space for cohorts of mentees (postdocs and junior faculty) and mentors (senior faculty) to build personal and professional development in topics such as work-life balance, networking, research proposal writing, and publishing research papers. Following the mentoring program, the participating mentees (junior faculty and postdocs) will be eligible to apply for competitively reviewed awards that will provide funds for them to conduct a pilot research project.
For the full call text please visit the PEER webpage.