Application FAQs

My institution applied to the IChange Network in fall 2018. Do we need to reapply?

If your institution already submitted an application, you may request that we use those materials for consideration to join subsequent cohorts. The application has been significantly revised, so we recommend that you review your submission against the current application, criteria, and rubric. If the Chief Academic Officer or designee needs a copy of the original submission, please contact Jessica Bennett at jbennett@aplu.org.

Will the content of the FAQ application webinars differ?

The presentations of the webinars will be identical. However, questions participants ask may vary. Any questions asked during the webinar will be added to this FAQ.

I missed the webinars. Will questions and answers from the webinars be posted anywhere?

This FAQ is updated regularly to reflect questions asked by participants in the webinars or via email/phone. In addition, recordings of each webinar session, as well as the slides presented, will be posted on the How To Apply section of the site.

Who typically leads the IChange application process at an institution?

The IChange Network believes that significant, transformational change in service of a more diverse and inclusive STEM faculty requires buy-in and investment from senior campus leadership. Therefore, we ask that Chief Academic Officers (CAO) be involved in the application process.

We have found that most submitters (and subsequent IChange Team Leads) serve as Assistant or Associate Provosts of Faculty Affairs/Excellence/Diversity or as an institution’s Chief Diversity Officer. We recommend input and contribution from a wide coalition, led by someone with an understanding of the strategic goals and investments of time and resources the institution is willing to make.

Will there be opportunities for feedback on applications in progress prior to the deadline?

We are happy to answer any questions you may have about the application process, application questions, criteria for evaluation, or rubric for reviewers. We do not have the capacity to review draft applications. Please contact Jessica Bennett at jbennett@aplu.org or 202-478-6080 with your questions.

Who will evaluate the applications?

Applications will be evaluated by representatives from across Aspire. Each application will be reviewed by two individuals, who have been vetted for conflicts of interest. In the case of widely divergent evaluations of an application, a third reviewer will evaluate the application. Decisions about selection into the cohort are made collaboratively among all reviewers.

How many institutions will be invited to join the Network in this cohort?

The first cohort of institutions, selected in Winter 2018-2019, is comprised of 15 members. Up to 25 institutions will be invited to join the Network for each subsequent cohort.

Network Participation FAQs

What is in the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), and when will institutions be able to review it?

The MOU contains detailed information about institutional commitment to participation in the IChange Network, as well as outlining reporting expectations to IChange. Once institutions are invited to join the network, the MOU will be shared. The signed execution of the MOU between an institution and the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (the organization housing the IChange Network) serves as the official acceptance of membership in the Network. IChange institutions will determine how IChange Team members engage with each other and the network.

Do IChange Network institutions receive any funding for participation?

Participating institutions receive a variety of support and resources in pursuit of creating a more diverse and inclusive faculty. While some funding opportunities exist through our “catalytic funding” of competitive grants to collaborative projects between IChange Network member institutions, the true value of the IChange Network is to work with IChange Coordinators and other IChange Teams in a community of practice and support to advance change.

Aside from being an active participant, could you provide any examples of how members contribute to the IChange network?

We envision the institutional participation in the IChange Network to be a collaborative, co-constructed process. Each cohort will communicate and share learning with peers within their cohort, as well as across the broader network. Institutions will engage by participating in virtual meetings, in-person meetings, and an online collaboration space (Microsoft Teams). In addition, individuals from institutions may choose to engage in communities of learning and practice to tackle the largest challenges to creating a diverse and inclusive STEM faculty; the IAspire Leadership Academy for rising underrepresented group STEM leaders; or leading working groups on collaboratively defined cross-cohort Network projects.

My institution has already done significant data analysis on our faculty and created a diversity strategic plan. What is different about this process?

The Aspire Institutional Self-Assessment for Inclusive Faculty Recruitment, Hiring, & Retention has been developed through a rigorous literature review process and piloted with many campuses. Institutional leaders who have completed the self-assessment process have expressed learning things they never realized about their faculty.

While a portion of the self-assessment is data-focused, the remainder is a narrative evaluation of the policies and practices in place at the institution. In addition, the IChange Network provides an opportunity to learn about on-the-ground, emergent practices from other institutions. This learning, along with coaching from the IChange Coordinators in creating a detailed, and realistic, action plan, complement any current campus strategic planning processes. In addition, due to intentional and strategic alignment with the AAAS SEA Change initiative, IChange institutions who complete our process will be well-positioned to apply for SEA Change Bronze Designation.