ADVANCE: Increasing the Participation and Advancement of Women in Academic Science and Engineering Careers: Partnership

National Science Foundation (NSF)

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Grant amount: Up to US $1,000,000

Next deadline: Dec 9, 2020 (Letter of inquiry)

Later deadlines: Jan 13, 2021 (Full proposal)

Applicant type: College / University

Funding uses: Training / Capacity Building

Location of project: Anywhere in the world

Location of residency: United States

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The ADVANCE program is designed to address gender equity through the identification and elimination of organizational barriers that impede the full participation and advancement of women in academic institutions. Proposals should identify key barriers to gender equity, recognizing that these may exist in multiple forms (e.g., in policy, practice, culture, and climate) and design or adapt strategies to address these barriers. Because the experiences of women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) academic careers may be influenced by many characteristics in addition to gender, all ADVANCE proposals are expected to take this into account in proposal design, research, evaluation, and data (see additional review criteria). These characteristics might include race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, disability status, foreign-born and foreign-trained status, and faculty appointment type, and/or other characteristics relevant to the systemic gender equity issues to be addressed in the ADVANCE proposal.

ADVANCE projects require multidisciplinary teams with a range of expertise to conceptualize, implement, and evaluate the project. The team of principal investigators is expected to be representative of the theoretical, methodological and contextual expertise necessary based on the proposed project activities, research, and evaluation.

ADVANCE proposals may include financial support for students and postdoctoral scholars who are doing work on the ADVANCE project implementation or on the ADVANCE research. However, ADVANCE proposals cannot include programming or financial support for STEM students or postdoctoral scholars not directly working to implement the ADVANCE project. 


Three to five-year projects involving two or more non-profit academic institutions and/or STEM organizations to undertake systemic change projects to enhance gender equity in STEM academics.


Partnering STEM organizations can include any entity eligible for NSF support. Partners should be strategically selected to meet the goals of the project and may include professional societies, industry, non-profit organizations, publishers, policy and research entities, state systems of higher education, higher education organizations, as well as academic institutions.

Project Scope

Partnership projects can focus on all STEM disciplines, several STEM disciplines, or only one STEM discipline. Projects should have national or regional impact and result in systemic change. Partnership projects are expected to build on prior ADVANCE work and the gender equity and organizational change research literature to broaden the adaptation of organizational change strategies to enhance gender equity in STEM academics. A wide range of activities can be undertaken as part of a Partnership project. 

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