WVU Advance

Increasing the Participation and Advancement of Women in Academic Science and Engineering

About Us


WVU, like many of our peer universities, struggles to retain and advance excellent female faculty in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines. Fortunately, we have recently secured an ADVANCE grant from the National Science Foundation. This grant is special because, unlike other NSF grants which focus on advancing the research agenda of a particular faculty member or group of faculty, it focuses on transforming the institutional culture to be more supportive and nurturing of these faculty to ensure that they reach their full potential. The approach to such transformation involves building greater understanding at the administrative level and at the departmental level, providing a climate that provides optimal work-life conditions for all members of the faculty within and outside of the STEM fields. Ultimately, success in this endeavor will lead to greater success of the faculty in research, teaching, and service that will in turn gain greater recognition for WVU, including recognition as a Carnegie very high research institution.

Eventually, the ADVANCE project will improve our understanding of barriers to large-scale organizational transformation. The model organization utilized is a large University and the transformational goal is the development of an institutional culture committed to diversity and equality in employee recruitment, development, retention, and promotion to leadership. That knowledge will be translated into more effective, systemic approaches to such change that can be applied in a variety of large-scale organizations be they in the academic, public, or private sector.

Quote from Dr. Michele Wheatly, former ADVANCE Grant PI:

provost “This ADVANCE proposal was conceived in the Eberly College of Arts and Sciences and was developed in partnership with the College of Engineering and Mineral Resources. However the intent is to improve the recruitment, retention and advancement of STEM women wherever they reside in the academy and so we expect the initiative to affect women in Davis, Business and Economics and also in the basic sciences in the Health Science Center. The bottom line is that this grant heralds an institution-wide impetus to become a more diverse academic community, a prerequisite for any world class research university.”

Email us at
Call us at (304) 293-0270
Fax us at (304) 293-0281
Visit us at 287 Chemistry Research Lab
Send us mail at PO Box 6691
Email us to join our Listserv
Partial support for this work was provided by the National Science Foundation’s ADVANCE IT Program under Award HRD-1007978. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

National Science Foundation Logo