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Advance GrantThe Alabama ADVANCE Partnership for Gender Equity, funded in fall 2019 as part of the National Science Foundation’s ADVANCE Program, is aimed at increasing the participation and advancement of women in science technology, engineering and Mathematics (STEM). The goals of the partnership are:

1. To implement institutional changes in practices and policies that inhibit gender equity and inclusion in STEM at partner institutions.  By gender we mean gender in terms of social identity, and

 2. To increase the representation and visibility of women, racial, ethnic minorities and other social identities in STEM departments by improving recruitment, retention and promotion practices and policies.

Partnership Activities

  • Establish an ADVANCE Office,
  • Conduct department chair and search committee training,
  • Conduct seminars on unconscious bias, career development, and spouse/partner relocation,
  • Host annual statewide ADVANCE conference,
  • Collaborate with the Auburn University INCLUDES project, and
  • Prepare annual evaluation.


  • University of Alabama at Birmingham
    University of Alabama at Birmingham

    University of Alabama at Birmingham

    The University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) is a comprehensive public research university and hosts a world class Medical Center. Located in Birmingham, Alabama, UAB is one of three institutions in the University of Alabama System and the only R1 research institution in the state. UAB offers opportunities in 140 programs of study in 12 academic divisions leading to bachelor's, master's, doctoral, professional degrees in the social & behavioral sciences, liberal arts, business, education, engineering and health-related fields such as medicine, dentistry, optometry, nursing, and public health. 

    The Lead ADVANCE Institution Principal Investigator:

    • Is responsible for all actions required to manage and complete the scientific and programmatic aspects of the ADVANCE project,
    • Ensures the quality, timeliness, and programmatic performance of partners,
    • Ensures the completion, accuracy and timeliness of programmatic reports,
    • Takes responsibility for understanding and compliance with all institutional and sponsor policies, practices, and procedures,
    • Responsible for financial accountability,
    • Initiates programmatic changes to the project and seeks approval from NSF when required, and
    • Prepares the final programmatic narrative report, to include contributions by partner institutions.
  • Alabama A&M University
    Alabama A&M University

    Alabama A&M University

    Alabama Agricultural and Mechanical University (AAMU) is a Historically Black, research intensive, land grant institution, located in Huntsville, Alabama, home of NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center and the Army’s Redstone Arsenal.  AAMU’s academic programs have been recognized by U.S. News and World Report, Diverse Issues in Higher Education and the Washington Monthly. The University offers 41 BS degree programs, 23 MS degree programs, one education specialist degree and four doctoral degree programs, three of which are in the sciences. More than 6,100 students from various ethnic backgrounds are enrolled.

    Leadership Team: Dr. Jeanette Jones, PI, Distinguished Professor of Biology and Faculty Trustee, AAMU Board of Trustees; Dr. Tonya Perry, Co-PI, Professor and Chair, Dept. of Social Work; Dr. Padmaja Guggilla, Co-PI, Professor of Physics; Dr. Malinda Gilmore, Co-PI, Special Assistant to the President and Associate Professor of Chemistry and Dr. Martha Verghese, Co-PI,  Chair, Dept. of Food Science.

    Partnership Activities

    • Establish an ADVANCE Office,
    • Sponsor department chair and search committee training,
    • Conduct seminars on unconscientious bias, career development and spouse/partner relocation,
    • Host annual statewide ADVANCE Conference,
    • Collaborate with the Auburn University INCLUDES project.
    • Submit an annual evaluation.
  • Miles College
    Miles College

    Miles College

    Miles College, founded in 1898, is a premier four-year institution designated as a member of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU).  Miles College is a science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) higher learning institution.  The College is one of only 39 HBCUs to have the designation of a United Negro College Fund (UNCF) institution.  Miles offers 28 Bachelor Degree programs in six academic divisions to an enrollment of approximately 1,700 students.   Faculty members not only teach students inside of the classroom but, are part of their external classroom lives as well.   Miles College has 135 faculty members who are visibly committed to higher learning and professional development.  Faculty members are diverse and bring professional and personal experiences from over twenty countries.

    Partnership Activities


    • Establish an ADVANCE Office to assist women faculty with advancement,
    • Activities to address gender equity and unconscientious bias,
    • Department chair training,
    • Recruitment activities,
    • Search committee training,
    • Faculty development /retention activities,
    • Professional development for STEM faculty,
    • Faculty awards,
    • Travel to a local conference,
    • Support students to work with ADVANCE


    • Training /mentoring female students in STEM


    • Identify freshmen/sophomore students to work with ADVANCE activities.
  • Oakwood University
    Oakwood University

    Oakwood University

    Oakwood University, founded in 1896, is a Historically Black, Seventh - day Adventist, four-year private, liberal arts institution located in Huntsville, Alabama.  Its mission embodies access to educational opportunity, academic excellence, and spiritual development for persons reflecting demographic, economic, cultural and  educational diversity. The University is regionally accredited by the Southern Accrediting Association of Colleges   and Schools and the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists Department of Education. It offers a liberal arts curriculum in a Christ-centered atmosphere.

    Partnership Activities

    • Establish an ADVANCE Office in the Provost’s Office staffed by a Co-PI with part-time staff. The Office will be the center of ADVANCE activities on Oakwood campus.
    • Have search committee and promotion committee training.
    • Review, and update spouse relocation policies with the provost and the Human Resources office.
    • Develop and implement a Career Development /Mentoring Program for women and ethnic minorities in STEM seeking promotion to higher ranks.
    • Participate in annual ADVANCE statewide conference on gender equity.
  • University of Alabama in Huntsville
    University of Alabama in Huntsville

    University of Alabama in Huntsville

    The University of Alabama in Huntsville is a public Tier 1 national university located in Huntsville, Alabama. Its students hail from almost all 50 U.S. states and more than 80 countries. The University’s 505-acre campus, which includes 16 high-tech research centers and labs responsible for close to $97 million in research expenditures, serves the anchor tenant for the second-largest research park in the nation and the fifth-largest research park in the world. UAH maintains strong partnerships with federal agencies and commercial organizations that include the Hudson-Alpha Institute for Biotechnology, NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center, the Missile Defense Agency, the DIA Missile and Space Intelligence Center, and the U.S. Army Material Command. UAH offers nearly 90 degree programs of study at the undergraduate and graduate level.

    Partnership Activities

    • ADVANCE Office established in the Provost's Office at UAH.

    • Review of spouse/partner relocation policies with Human Resource Office.

    • Establish a Mentoring/Career Development Program for STEM faculty.

    • Hold periodic Lunch and Learn meetings with STEM faculty.

    • Participate in the annual ADVANCE statewide conference on gender equity.

  • Auburn University
    Auburn University

    Auburn University

    Auburn University, Alabama State University, Tuskegee University and Vanderbilt University lead this Design and Development Launch Pilot to form the Southeast Alliance for Persons with Disabilities in STEM (SEAPD-STEM), eventually creating a network of 21 universities and colleges, as well as additional community colleges and high schools, in the southeastern U.S. and Washington, DC. The INCLUDES program is a comprehensive national initiative designed to enhance U.S. leadership in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) discoveries and innovations focused on NSF's commitment to diversity, inclusion, and broadening participation in these fields. The INCLUDES Design and Development Launch Pilots represent bold, innovative ways for solving a broadening participation challenge in STEM.


    INCLUDES at Auburn has as its primary goal to increase the quantity of persons with disabilities completing associate, undergraduate, and graduate degrees in STEM disciplines.  ADVANCE STEM postdocs and faculty will mentor students with disabilities at participating campuses. Furthermore, ADVANCE faculty will attend INCLUDES workshops and conferences where faculty get professional development sessions on how to motivate students with disabilities to major in STEM disciplines and to network with other STEM faculty that work with SWD.  In turn, INCLUDES will provide mentors for ADVANCE faculty and post-docs with disabilities.  In conjunction with the INCLUDES PI, Dr. Overtoun Jenda, ADVANCE will support the use of intersectionality experts as speakers for INCLUDES.

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