Sunday, 16 February 2014: 10:00 AM-11:30 AM
Columbus AB (Hyatt Regency Chicago)Creating a 21st century American scientific workforce able to ensure leadership in global innovation and long-term economic competitiveness is inextricably linked to diversifying the workforce. Ph.D. scientists, as leaders in academia, government, and industry, are a primary leverage point where increased diversity could have a multiplicative impact. Decades of framing the issue as a “pipeline problem” have focused attention on supply-side solutions such as increasing the numbers of Ph.D.s awarded to scientists from underrepresented minority (URM) backgrounds. While this approach has resulted in modest improvements in the overall number of underrepresented minority Ph.D.s, participation of underrepresented minority scientists in the research workforce and professoriate still do not reflect the pool of qualified, highly skilled scientists. These disparities highlight the need for new insights and approaches. This symposium draws on: New research comparing and contrasting the career development and choices of recent Ph.D. scientists from underrepresented minority and majority backgrounds; theory-driven interventions at the graduate level to offset the continuing challenges faced by highly underrepresented groups; and novel strategies to build and sustain inclusive research communities. This evidence-based session focuses on the individual, institutional, and systemic factors that influence the continuum of career development for Ph.D. scientists and discusses possible solutions for strengthening the workforce through diversity.
Kenneth Gibbs Jr., NSF