Join the IChange Network

Institutions of higher education interested in participating in the IChange Network are asked to complete an application that provides Aspire with information about the institution's readiness to change in the areas of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) including their awareness, commitment to DEI, resources, and their preparedness for network learning, as well as their connections to the goals and activities of Aspire. Calls for applications to the IChange Network are made on an annual basis.

Aspire believes it is more important than ever to retain a focus on creating university cultures that deeply value and pursue diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). We believe the current health crisis can provide a productive pause, allowing institutions to examine their current infrastructure, policy, and practice to advance institutional cultures that better support URG STEM faculty. We know that on many campuses, inequities tied to gender, race, economic status, and other backgrounds have been more prominently exposed as leaders have rapidly made decisions designed to protect the health and safety of their communities. Our process is designed to help institutions center DEI in the way these and other decisions are made and to shape how policies and practices are implemented to develop inclusive campus communities.

If you’d like to receive updates and reminders about the IChange Application process, please sign up for notifications here:

The application period for Cohort 3 is closed.

Timeline for Cohort 3 Application Process

Application Reminders

      • Chief Academic Officers (or their representative) should complete the application.

      • Chief Academic Officers should identify a small team to work on the application that includes institutional leaders with knowledge of institutional faculty recruitment, hiring, and retention; STEM faculty practices and culture; and, diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts.

      • Within the application, there are page limits for each major section (with a total application limit of 9 pages in Times New Roman 11 pt font). Institutions have flexibility within those page limits regarding the length of answers to questions in each section. We highly recommend that institutions provide a response to all questions, as failure to answer may harm the strength of the application.

      • Please adhere to the page limits and do not include any additional attachments, refer to external reports or documents, or embed hyperlinks within the application, as these materials will not be reviewed.

      • The first task of institutions participating in the IChange Network is to complete the APLU INCLUDES/Aspire IChange Institutional Self-Assessment for Inclusive Faculty Recruitment, Hiring, & Retention. Learn more with our Guidebook.

      • Have other questions? Check out our FAQ page.

Strong applications will:

      • Express clearly how participation in the IChange Network could help the institution achieve its goals and what the institution might be able to contribute to the Network.

      • Articulate the challenges facing the institution at this point in their process of developing a more inclusive and diverse faculty, including any local, state, or national context issues, and make clear how the IChange Network could help meet those challenges.

      • Demonstrate how participation in the IChange Network would be leveraged across campus and coordinated centrally.

      • Provide coherent and succinct narratives that helped reviewers see and understand the connections across different activities at the institution within the application.

      • Share institutional learning from previous change efforts and investments, including challenges, failures, or ongoing obstacles.

      • Present and contextualize data about the institution, including demographic data and climate and/or satisfaction surveys.

      • Document the resources available to support DEI change efforts.

      • Outline how current initiatives (i.e., ADVANCE, AGEP, faculty professional development initiatives) would be strengthened, enhanced, expanded and/or connected to change efforts associated with the IChange Network.

      • Avoid using hyperlinks to information on external websites, as it is hard for reviewers to assess and unfair to other applicants.

Review and Selection Process

The third IChange Network cohort will have up to 25 institutional members. Institutions that are invited to participate will be asked to sign a Memorandum of Understanding as part of acceptance to the Network.

The application review criteria and rubric can be found in the IChange Network's Submission Guidelines. Institutions will be evaluated on their articulation of readiness for change as well as their degree of alignment with Aspire’s goals and activities. Additionally, the final determination of composition of the cohort will consider the diversity of institutional characteristics as well the possibility of substantive peer learning within the Network.

The review committee is comprised of team members from across Aspire. An iterative review process, based on reviewers’ rubric ratings and cohort features, will be engaged to identify the invited institutions.