Rackham Joins Multi-University Alliance to Increase Diversity in STEM Fields
The group of nine universities will address the lack of underrepresented minorities serving as faculty and postdoctoral fellows in STEM.
Published Date: DEC 4, 2020
In October, the University of Michigan joined a new Alliance for Graduate Education and the Professoriate (AGEP) aimed at improving the numbers of underrepresented minority faculty and postdoctoral researchers working in the STEM fields—specifically in mathematics, physical sciences, environmental sciences, and engineering.
Despite making up 30 percent of the U.S. population, underrepresented minorities comprise less than five percent of faculty, six percent of postdoctoral fellows, and 10 percent of graduate students in STEM fields throughout the country. Research has shown that structural obstacles may restrict the range of careers pursued by underrepresented scholars, and may make it difficult for them to pursue competitive faculty and research opportunities. The AGEP group, called the Research University Alliance, will work to correct this problem by developing interventions to help scholars from these groups pursue competitive faculty positions.
Supported by a $2.3 million grant from the National Science Foundation, the Research University Alliance unites U-M with the University of California-Berkeley, Stanford University, the University of California-Los Angeles, the California Institute of Technology, Harvard University, the Georgia Institute of Technology, the University of Texas-Austin, and the University of Washington. This represents a continuation and expansion of the work of the California Alliance, an AGEP group founded in 2014 to help Ph.D. students and postdoctoral fellows from underrepresented minorities forge careers at universities, national laboratories, and scientific think tanks.