What factors encourage STEM faculty to move into leadership?
What challenges do STEM leaders face in pursuing leadership opportunities?
How do opportunities and challenges differ by higher education context, region and location, or leader demographics?

Joya Misra, sociology and public policy, and Jessica Pearlman, Institute of Social Science Research (ISSR), have received a $1.04 million grant from the National Science Foundation’s EDU Core Research (ECR) program to research these questions. The research team will survey approximately 5,000 STEM leaders at department and college levels, as well as university leaders with backgrounds in STEM fields, in order to discern which organizational strategies that are most effective for recruiting and retaining effective STEM leaders.

Data will be analyzed using multilevel models exploring how leaders’ experiences vary depending on characteristics including institutional factors, their geographic region, and when they earned their terminal degrees. The project team will also focus a sample of interviews on leaders in particularly challenging settings, as well as those with experiences of smooth leadership transitions. This strategy intends to reveal insights into structural barriers to and opportunities for STEM leadership positions.

Joya Misra, Principal Investigator, is Provost Professor and the Roy J. Zuckerberg Endowed Leadership Chair, as well as a Professor in both Sociology and the School of Public Policy. She is currently President of the American Sociological Association. Misra’s research considers how policies may work to both reinforce and lessen inequalities; her aim is to create more equitable societies and workplaces.

Jessica Pearlman, Co-Principal Investigator, joined ISSR in September 2016 and serves as Director of Research Methods Programs. Her methodological training is multidisciplinary and includes survey design and sampling, ethnographic methods, and statistical coursework from the departments of Economics, Biostatistics, Psychology, Statistics and Sociology.

Article posted in Research for Faculty and Staff