$3.3 Million Grant Promotes Women in STEM Fields

New Center Will Focus on Attracting and Retaining a More Diverse Faculty

The University of Houston received a $3.3 million grant from the National Science Foundation to increase the number of women faculty in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields, as well as to ensure they have opportunities to move into leadership roles.

grant-stem-1The five-year grant is part of the NSF’s ADVANCE program, which is intended to increase the number of women in academic science and engineering careers. UH is establishing a Center for ADVANCING Faculty Success to oversee its goal of increasing female faculty recruitment in STEM fields, especially among women of color.

“It is so important that we ensure that women are given the opportunity to succeed as faculty members in all disciplines, not just for the University of Houston, but for the future,” said Renu Khator, president of UH and chancellor of the University System, who serves as principal investigator on the grant.

Twenty-one departments from five colleges constitute the ADVANCE STEM fields at UH. In fall 2012, when the grant application was prepared, 23 percent of tenured or tenure track STEM faculty at UH were women, many of those at the assistant professor level; 3 percent were women of color.

Paula Myrick Short, senior vice president for academic affairs and provost, serves as director of the new center.

Activities organized through the center will include workshops on inclusion and diversity, search committee training for department chairs and a work-life integration committee that will make recommendations on child-care and policies for hiring two-career couples.

The new center will be well-positioned to accelerate the recruitment, development and advancement of women STEM faculty, and the faculty team will lead activities to support gender equity across the campus. Another initiative will establish a fellowship allowing up to three women faculty members per year to work in senior administrative roles. 

To learn more about the UH Center for ADVANCING Faculty Success, visit:

Jeannie Kever, University Media Relations