ADVANCE Team Receives NSF Grant Funding

Adrienne Minerick
Patty Sotirin
Sonia Goltz

The ADVANCE team at Michigan Tech has received a three-year $170,000 research and development grant from the National Science Foundation. This project is part of the one million dollar grant, “ADVANCE Partnership: Joining Forces – A Midwestern Partnership for STEM Faculty Success,” led by Iowa State University in partnership with North Dakota State University, Western Michigan University, and Michigan Tech.

The overall aim of the ADVANCE program is increased retention and career advancement opportunities for underrepresented women and women with family responsibilities working in the STEM departments of midwestern universities. Target audiences for the ADVANCE programs include academic leadership, tenured faculty, and under-represented minorities.

“This partnership is a bold move to realize cross-institutional collaborations supporting faculty career success and equity,” said Dr. Patty Sotirin, interim chair for the Department of Humanities and professor of communication at Michigan Tech. “The grant takes a regional approach to make sure our programs engage with intersectional issues and share resources and ideas that impact Midwest campuses.”

The goal of the newly awarded grant is to create an integrated ADVANCE package of programs that can be implemented across universities in the midwest. This package, called an Integrated Equity Support (IES) system, will expand, integrate and coordinate programs developed with prior ADVANCE NSF funding.

 The IES will include cross-institutional components including mentoring communities, male advocates and allies, and department chair professional development. The project will be implemented in phases: year one will expand three existing ADVANCE programs to include a focus on minorities and faculty with families; year two involves integrating these programs and introducing the package to a university that has not previously implemented them (as a test case); year three involves the expansion of an IES Caucus to facilitate community building and introduce the project to additional Midwestern institutions.

“A long-term goal for Michigan Tech is to institutionalize changes and programs that increase and sustain faculty equity,” noted Dr. Andrew Storer, dean of the School of Forest Resources and Environmental Science (SFRES). “This new NSF award will ensure an enduring return on investment for both the ADVANCE project and the University’s investment in faculty development and retention.” 

Adrienne Minerick, dean of the College of Computing, is principal investigator of the project at Michigan Tech, co-PIs are Sotirin and  Sonia Goltz, professor of organizational behavior in the School of Business and Economics., 

A participant in the NSF ADVANCE program since 2006, Michigan Tech and the ADVANCE team—led by Minerick, Goltz, Sotirin, Storer, and Audrey Mayer, professor of ecology and environmental policy in SFRES—have launched a number of programs aimed at increasing faculty retention, success, and inclusion. They include Advanced Career Management (ACM), Academy for Responsive Leadership, Advocates and Allies, Diversity Literacy Workshops, Early Career Management (ECM), and AMP UP. The ADVANCE initiative also has a Resource Center in Room 102B of the Van Pelt/Opie Library.

Learn more about ADVANCE at Michigan Tech at Contact ADVANCE at