Impact of Federal Agencies on the Professional Development of Early-Career Underrepresented Minority Faculty in the Geosciences

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In April 2012, the American Geosciences Institute (AGI) and the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) held a 2.5-day workshop for underrepresented minorities pursuing faculty and academic geoscience careers. All participants were either in their final years of pursuing a PhD, in a post-doc position or recently hired faculty members. Attendees at the workshop completed a total of 6 surveys: one before the workshop, one immediately after the workshop, and again at 3, 6, 10, and 13 months following the workshop. In all 6 surveys, attendees were asked to rate themselves on 5 characteristics related to the workshop sessions, estimate how frequently they do certain activities, and rate their confidence in doing those same activities. Below are results from survey questions related to federal agencies.

Overall, the workshop appears to have had a positive effect on attendees in the short and long term. In general, confidence in meeting with federal agencies, submitting proposals, serving on panels and attending sponsored events increased. The percent of respondents who had never performed the listed activities related to federal agencies decreased after the workshop and remained lower than the percent of respondents who had never done them prior to the workshop. Aside from "receiving funding", a larger percentage of respondents had done the related behaviors at least once in the 13 months following the workshop than had prior to the workshop.

Attendees’ familiarity with federal agencies and confidence in submitting grant proposals increased after the workshop and remained elevated in the 13 months following. Additionally, participants found value in meeting with federal agency representatives and receiving advice from NSF program officers for submitting successful proposals.

For more information about the workshop and highlights of the sessions, visit:, click "Sort by Network" and choose "AGI Diverse Professoriate".