Office of Research

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

The goals of the ADVANCE program are (1) to develop systemic approaches to increase the representation and advancement of women in academic STEM careers; (2) to develop innovative and sustainable ways to promote gender equity in the STEM academic workforce; and (3) to contribute to the development of a more diverse science and engineering workforce. ADVANCE also has as its goal to contribute to and inform the general knowledge base on gender equity in the academic STEM disciplines. There are three tracks with distinct purposes. The Institutional Transformation (IT) track is meant to produce large-scale comprehensive change and serve as a locus for research on gender equity and institutional transformation for academic STEM. The Institutional Transformation Catalyst (IT Catalyst) track is meant either to conduct self-assessment or to implement unique strategies – either adapted from those found effective in the IT track or ones designed to be responsive to the unique environments of eligible institutions – and evaluate their effectiveness. The Partnerships for Learning and Adaptation Networks (PLAN) track is meant to provide a larger scale environment for adapting, implementing and creating knowledge about the effectiveness of a particular strategy for change within a context of networked adaptation and learning. PLAN is focused on adaptation/implementation and learning either in particular STEM disciplines (PLAN D) or across institutions of higher education (PLAN IHE).


ADVANCE projects support institutional transformation in STEM. STEM includes but is not limited to Arctic and Antarctic sciences, biological sciences, computer and information sciences, engineering, geosciences, mathematics, physical sciences, the learning sciences, and social, behavioral and economic sciences. Institutional Transformation and IT Catalyst awards are expected to include all STEM disciplines at the institution submitting the proposal. PLAN awards may include all of STEM or a subset or one discipline.


The following types of institutions are strongly encouraged to apply to the ADVANCE program:

For All Project Types: Community colleges, primarily undergraduate institutions, minority-serving institutions (e.g. Tribal Colleges and Universities, Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Hispanic-Serving Institutions, Native Hawaiian Serving Institutions, Alaska Native Institutions, Predominantly Black Institutions and Non-tribal, Native American Serving Institutions), women's colleges, and institutions primarily serving persons with disabilities are encouraged to apply. It is anticipated that there may be significant differences in the issues facing faculty in these institutions, compared to faculty in other types of institutions, which will warrant development of unique strategies and/or adaptation of proven strategies in a unique way to achieve ADVANCE Program goals.


ADVANCE projects are viewed as team research and, as such, the team of principal investigators is expected to be multidisciplinary and representative of the theoretical, methodological and contextual expertise necessary to conceptualize, implement, and evaluate a successful project.

ADVANCE does not support activities to increase or retain the number of women entering into or persisting in STEM undergraduate or doctoral degree programs; rather the program focuses on ensuring that women faculty consider academia as a viable and attractive career option. As such, no student training initiatives/activities should be proposed.


ADVANCE funds, in general, cannot be used to support dependent care costs. However, costs incurred by the awardee organization under employee morale and welfare for dependent-care expenses (daycare facilities or other child/elder care arrangements) may be allowed, provided these types of expenses are charged through the application of fringe benefits or indirect costs (also known as Facilities & Administrative Costs). Any such charges must be made in accordance with established awardee institutional policy as approved by the cognizant agency and consistently applied to both Federal and non-Federal sponsors. For more information on the allowability of dependent care costs, visit the following NSF website:


Special populations of women, for the purposes of the ADVANCE Program, includes women of diverse characteristics and backgrounds including, but not limited to: race, ethnicity, disability status and sexual orientation.

Application Instructions

Please submit:

  1. a two-page letter of intent with a list of all anticipated investigators, description of proposed aims and approach
  2. Biosketch or CV of the PI
  3. a letter of support from the Dean or Chair

to by 5:00 PM Thursday, July 17 2014. An LOI is required, and like the full proposals has a varying deadline depending on the program for which one is applying.

Opportunity Details

Program web page

Program Announcement No.

NSF 14-573

07/17/2014 UW Internal Deadline Closed
10/27/2015 OSP Deadline
10/05/2014 Sponsor Deadline

National Science Foundation (NSF)

Funding amount


Maximum Number of Applications

1 (1 each for Institutional Transformation and Institutional Transformation Catalyst Awards. No limit for PLAN IHE and PLAN D proposals)

Eligible groups
  • All campus

Inquiries and Contact Information

Investigators who identify a grant, award or fellowship program that restricts the number of applications that can be submitted from an Institution should immediately contact their Chairperson, Associate Dean for Research (or Dean, if no ADR) and the Office of Research (see below) if they intend to prepare a response. Failure to do so, or to meet the deadlines for submission of pre-proposal, will preclude submission of the application through the Office of Sponsored Programs.

For general inquiries, or to request a listing of a limited submission opportunity that should be but is not already listed, please email us at