NSF ADVANCE SPACES (Strategic Partnership for Alignment of Community Engagement in STEM) is a partnership among 14 colleagues from a11 academic institutions across the United States and four core professional societies in environmental engineering.
Its purpose is to advance women and underrepresented racial and ethnic minority women in academic science and engineering careers. NSF ADVANCE SPACES is a four-year, collaborative project funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) ADVANCE Program.
The SPACES project aims to identify, understand, and minimize the loss of women faculty through targeted activities and by leveraging the deep, interconnected leadership team and our core professional societies. The SPACES project team includes recent presidents of these societies, environmental engineering department or program leaders, department heads, engineering deans, and national leaders in community-engaged research and equity initiatives.
CONTACT US: If you have questions about the NSF ADVANCE Partnership SPACES program, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our first SPACES Community-Engaged Research (CER) Cohort kicked off in 2023, but there will be others!
The CER Cohort was designed to support underrepresented minority (URM) junior faculty in environmental engineering and sciences (as well as related fields) whose research involves direct engagement with the public and/or impacted communities. Given the historical challenges with merit, tenure, and promotion for engineering faculty in these “spaces,” the CER Cohort will receive collective and individual support in navigating professional milestones while carrying out research that reflects our core values. The NSF ADVANCE SPACES team will work toward establishing more effective institutional practices to better support URM faculty who conduct CER.
The SPACES CER Cohort protocol was approved by the Clarkson University Institutional Review Board (Approval No. 23-31).
What Is Community-Engaged Research?
Community-engaged researchers work together with people from a community to solve issues associated with the health and well-being of the community. These issues are often related to environmental exposures to pollutants and related health effects.
Community-engaged researchers repeatedly have the rigor of their scholarly activities questioned or discounted as service during annual review, tenure, and promotion evaluations. This systemic undervaluation of their research contributes to the attrition of many women who enter engineering motivated to address societally important problems. The personal and societal costs of their contributions and the associated innovative, effective engineering solutions for underserved communities are enormous.
Participating Institutions and Societies
Institutions participating in ADVANCE SPACES include: Clarkson University (lead), University of Arizona, University of California Berkeley, University of California Irvine, University of Colorado Boulder, University of Florida, University of South Florida, California State University Northridge, Michigan State University, San Jose State University, and Syracuse University.
The core participating professional societies include: the American Academy of Environmental Engineers and Scientists (AAEES), the American Association for Aerosol Research (AAAR), the Association of Environmental Engineering and Science Professors (AEESP), and the Water Environment Federation (WEF).