Featured Resource

As the NSF Eddie Bernice Johnson INCLUDES Aspire Alliance nears the end of its initial funding, the project has produced four outcome reports reflecting on the alliance and its contributions to cultivating diversity and inclusivity for STEM faculty through the four overarching project goals (Inclusivity, Diversity, Culture, and Collaboration). These products reflect the Regional Change, National Change, Institutional Change, and Research Team initiatives, as well as data visualizations provided by the Evaluation Team, and their contributions to these goals over time.

SEER's Institute Inclusive Professional Framework Resources

It is critical to provide STEM faculty with the professional development to support their complex roles and to base this development on evidence derived from research. This edited handbook provides STEM stakeholders with an opportunity to share studies and/or experiences that explore STEM faculty development (FD) in higher education settings. The Aspire National Change team and collaborators authored the chapter "The Aspire Alliance inclusive professional framework for faculty—Implementing inclusive and holistic professional development that transcends multiple faculty roles." This chapter describes the Aspire Alliance’s inclusive professional framework for faculty (IPF:Faculty), a tool for focusing on transferable, inclusive skills and practices when creating new and modifying existing professional development programming for faculty, future faculty, and staff. The IPF:Faculty provides a holistic approach to professional development that prioritizes a cultural shift in the creation and sustainability of institution-wide equitable environments for all participants in higher education.

Academic chairs play a critical role in establishing and promoting a positive department culture (character and personality) and climate (perceived atmosphere and ambiance). This article briefly explores Aspire's Inclusive Professional Framework for Faculty (IPF: Faculty) through two lenses. First, an inward-focused lens examines how the framework can help academic chairs to navigate effectively and equitably the responsibilities of their own role. Second, the outward-focused lens supports academic chairs to leverage the IPF: Faculty to foster a more equitable department culture and climate by promoting professional development for their faculty, staff, and students.

This quick-start guide is designed for new STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) faculty interested in inclusively advising students from all backgrounds, especially students from backgrounds historically underrepresented in higher education in the U.S. and in STEM in particular (e.g., first-generation in college, and LGBTQIA+ students). We recognize that new faculty face numerous challenges in their various student-focused campus roles (e.g., teachers, researcher mentors, and advisors), as well as their peer-focused roles (e.g., colleagues and leaders). This guide is intended to provide support to you in becoming aware of the skills and knowledge that you will need to begin your journey as a more inclusive faculty member.

Faculty who have advising responsibilities play a critical role in a student's progression through their undergraduate education. This is especially important for students from underrepresented minorities (URMs) such as first generation students or students from low socio-economic backgrounds (LSEBs).  A Guide to Academic Advising for STEM Faculty is a beginner's guide for new and future faculty that identifies key competencies for faculty with advising roles. The Guide provides an overview of advising, the core competencies to address the academic needs of students, and tools to help faculty be effective advisors for a diverse population of students. The tools and resources include an advising checklist for new faculty, faculty advising framework, exercises to help identify social identity, and more.

Faculty are key to promoting academic success for undergraduate students from groups traditionally underrepresented in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. This article presents Aspire's Inclusive Professional Framework for Faculty (IPF: Faculty), a research-grounded framework that identifies three conceptual domains that are foundational to faculty being equitable and inclusive.  The framework’s three domains of identity, intercultural awareness, and relational each provides its own set of awareness, knowledge, and skills, and is transferable across multiple faculty roles.  In the article, an example narrative of a day in the life of "Dr. Smith" is used to illustrate what the IPF: Faculty can look like in practice. The IPF: Faculty can provide campuses an opportunity to integrate existing diversity, equity, and inclusion professional development programming into a framework that can be iteratively explored and practiced and in turn build local institutional capacity to promote change.

Aspire EiA Self-Reflection Guide.pdf

Aspire has developed the “Equity in Action” Series Self-Reflection Guide as a resource that can be used whether or not you attended this series. It presents an overview of the Inclusive Professional Framework for Faculty (IPF: Faculty), key takeaways from each of the six series sessions, and IPF: Faculty-based prompts to help you in self-reflection and action around diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice topics. Additionally, you might consider using this guide as part of a professional development event for a group, either as it’s currently presented or reorganizing it into worksheets, activities, or other formats as best matches your context.

STEM professional societies (ProS) are uniquely positioned to foster national-level diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) reform. ProS serve broad memberships, define disciplinary norms and culture, and inform accrediting bodies. The Inclusive Professional Framework for Societies (IPF:Societies) can help ProS change leaders (i.e., “boundary spanners’”) and organizations identify and address mental models hindering DEI reform. IPF:Societies uses four “I’s”—Identity awareness and Intercultural mindfulness (i.e., equity mindset) on which Inclusive relationships and Influential DEI actions are scaffolded. In this paper. we discuss how IPF:Societies complements existing DEI tools. We explain how IPF:Societies can be applied to existing ProS policy and practice associated with common ProS functions (e.g., leadership, membership, conferences, awards, and professional development). Next steps are to pilot IPF:Societies with a cohort of STEM ProS. Ultimately, IPF:Societies has potential to promote more efficient, effective, and lasting DEI organizational transformation, and contribute to inclusive STEM disciplinary excellence. 

IChange Resources

Funded by NSF, Envisioning & Enacting an Inclusive & Diverse STEM Professoriate (#2041007) was a series of collaborative think tanks for APLU leaders, STEM faculty, social science and diversity scholars, funders and other non-profits. Each think tank tackled a systemic gatekeeping function in the careers of STEM faculty that may be preventing institutions and the nation from realizing their goal of a more diverse and inclusive STEM faculty. The series planning committee has made available the base facilitation guides and digital collaboration tools (hosted by MURAL) that formed the foundation of the EEIDSP conference series.  Institutions, departments, and other organizations can use these materials to begin robust conversations to advance equity in the STEM professoriate. 

The EEIDSP Framing the Dialogue for Systemic Equity Reform in STEM Faculty Careers report advances three big ideas we believe are essential for a national dialogue on systemic reform for equity in STEM faculty careers: 1) Tracing, Addressing, and Dismantling Systemic Inequities in STEM Faculty Careers; 2) Tracking in STEM Faculty Careers; and, 3) Broadening the Bar: Redefining What Counts in Hiring and Evaluation. 

Cover for A Guidebook for a Campus Self-Assessment of Successes and Challenges in STEM Faculty Diversity and Inclusion (2020) with a link to the document.

This Guidebook is an outgrowth of the work under APLU’s INCLUDES grant, which among other achievements, led to the development of the Institutional Model for Increasing Faculty Diversity (referred to throughout this document as “the Model”). The Model offers a framework to promote a broader understanding of what is required for effectively hiring, retaining, and promoting the success of underrepresented STEM faculty. Included in the Guidebook are the following tools: 

Cover for Strengthening the Pathways to Faculty Careers in STEM: Recommendations for Systemic Change to Support Underrepresented Groups linked to the document.

As part of a national initiative to recruit, hire, and retain STEM faculty from underrepresented groups, the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) INCLUDES project, funded by the National Science Foundation, examined university efforts supporting access to, retention in, and progress to the professoriate for URG STEM faculty aspirants. In addition to convening academic experts and institutional leaders, APLU surveyed member institutions about their practices to promote diversity in these areas.

APLU’s Modernizing Scholarship for the Public Good Action Framework (2023) offers guidance to public research universities on ways that they can support scholars to advance public impact research, Cooperative Extension, civic science, community-engaged research, and other forms of public engagement, with particular attention to the ways that diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice are integral to this work. The Modernizing Scholarship for the Public Good initiative was led by Elyse Aurbach, the APLU Civic Science Fellow, and supported by the Rita Allen Foundation, the Kavli Foundation, the Burroughs Wellcome Fund, APLU’s FANR, and the University of Michigan.

Cover of IChange Leveraging Promising Practices Report linked to the document.

This report offers suggestions and guidance for institutions, including the importance of conducting a thorough self-assessment, the danger of reaching for promising practices before identifying the root problems, and a framework for developing a holistic, comprehensive and systemic approach to institutional change for inclusion that addresses the systemic, structural, values and cultural dimensions simultaneously.

Regional Change Resources

This report provides guidance for 2 and 4 year institutions that want to begin graduate mentoring programs. It provides recommendations on who might lead this work within a regional collaborative; who might participate in these programs; and examples of regional change initiatives in action. 

Resources from Aspire's Researchers

​STEM professional societies serve a central role in defining and reinforcing national STEM professional cultures. Within these societies, there are key individuals focused on diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) who play a crucial part in connecting ideas, resources, and stakeholders within and between professional societies to influence and enact change. These “boundary spanners” engage in finding, translating, diffusing, gaining support, and social “weaving” behaviors to advance DEI in these societies. DEI boundary spanners who oversee the engagement of multiple societies (i.e., multi-society DEI boundary spanners) may be especially important and underutilized agents of change. The NSF INCLUDES Aspire Alliance postulates that synchronizing DEI training and the efforts of these boundary spanners could facilitate multi-society awareness and adoption of evidence-based DEI policies and practices within and between these societies. If successful, this would accelerate DEI culture-change in STEM professional societies, and ultimately result in more diverse, equitable, and inclusive national STEM professional cultures.

Cover for Supporting Faculty During & After COVID-19: Don't let go of equity linked to the document.

COVID-19 has upended life across the globe including U.S. institutions of higher education. This resource highlights ways institutions are responding to faculty concerns, outlines distinct challenges to supporting faculty equitably, and provides thoughtful suggestions with focus on equitable practices.

Leslie D. Gonzalez, Ed.D. & Kimberly A. Griffin, Ph.D. - Research Co-Leads

This brief is the first in a two-part series in which the NSF Eddie Bernice Johnson INCLUDES Aspire Alliance draws on recent research studies and various news sources to explore the ongoing toll and impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on college and university campuses. In this brief, Stephanie M. Breen and Leslie D. Gonzales describe the impact of COVID-19 on Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) graduate students and present a consolidated set of resources that faculty, advisors, and institutions may find helpful as they work with and support BIPOC graduate students. The next brief will discuss how colleges and universities managed DEI commitments in the context of COVID-19. 

“Institutions should evaluate their campus climates to ensure safe and welcoming environments for all URG faculty including LGBT+ faculty.”

Little research has been conducted in the retention of LGBT+ faculty in the STEM disciplines. Aspire Graduate Fellow, Alyssa Ryan, compiled recommendations on what institutional leaders can do to support faculty members from LGBT+ communities.

Alyssa M. Ryan, Aspire Graduate Fellow, University of Maryland

This resource guide provides recommendations on what institutions can do to support and accommodate current and prospective faculty members with disabilities.

Alyssa M. Ryan, Aspire Graduate Fellow, University of Maryland

This guide provides suggestions for actionable strategies that institutional leaders and policymakers can take to provide a welcoming and supportive environment for Black faculty and colleagues.

Kimberly A. Griffin, Ph.D. (Research Co-Lead) & Antoinette Newsome, M.A.

How can institutions ensure that diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) are central to actions made during times of crisis?

Alyssa M. Neuner, Aspire Graduate Fellow, University of Maryland

This is a living, research-based, inclusive guide for selecting demographics. This document was created and designed by Aspire's Research Team.

A common understanding of terms and definitions is a useful place to begin a shared understanding across different disciplines. Aspire's Research Team in collaboration with the broader membership of Aspire has begun to curate a Glossary of Terms. These terms have been collectively sourced with definitions rooted in the social science literature.

Video resources