Center for Evaluation & Research for STEM Equity

Projects for Faculty & Post Docs



We conduct evaluation of AdvanceRIT programs, which aim to improve the representation, retention, and career advancement of women faculty in STEM by removing barriers to important resources and providing new resources through strategic interventions. We evaluate AdvanceRIT programming, including the Connectivity Series Events and Connect Grants.


ASME Women in Mechanical Engineering

The American Society of Mechanical Engineering (ASME) promotes the art, science & practice of multidisciplinary engineering and allied sciences around the globe. ASME Women in Mechanical Engineering (WiME) aims to increase the diversity and competitiveness of the overall engineering workforce by hosting a national conference to discuss engineering education and culture as a key driver in increasing the number of women in mechanical engineering. CERSE is providing both formative and summative evaluation, observing monthly calls and the conference. Attendee and outcome surveys assess how well the conference helped build networks, collaborations, community, and knowledge.


Broadening the Representation of Academic Investigators in NeuroSciences (BRAINS)


Funded by the National Institutes of Health, BRAINS (Broadening the Representation of Academic Investigators in NeuroSciences) is a national program to accelerate and improve the career advancement of neuroscience postdoctoral researchers and assistant professors from underrepresented groups. The BRAINS program goal is to increase engagement and retention of academic early-career neuroscientists from underrepresented groups by reducing isolation; providing tips, tools, and skills development to prepare for tenure track success; and increasing career self-efficacy. This goal is being met via a variety of activities: A) a national symposia; B) webinars; C) peer-mentoring circles; and D) continuous career invention teams. CERSE serves as the evaluator of the BRAINS program. Evaluation data from the first two cohorts shows that BRAINS participants become more dedicated to their scientific careers, better able to direct their careers, and more likely to achieve success in academic neurosciences.

Selected Publications

See Research.


Council of Public Liberal Arts Colleges ADVANCE Partnering and Liaising Across the Nation (COPLAC ADVANCE PLAN)

Funded by an NSF ADVANCE Partnership grant, this project brings research research-based training in gender equity issues to administrators and provides networking opportunities for women faculty and faculty from underrepresented groups. The COPLAC ADVANCE PLAN is designed to create institutional change across COPLAC by training both administrators and department chairs to recognize bias, identify intersectional policies, and solve issues that contribute to gender inequities in STEM. The project also provides professional support and networking to women STEM faculty through interest-based affinity groups within COPLAC to foster community, empowerment, research collaboration, mentoring, and solutions to overcoming gender-based barriers to career advancement.


Dr. Sapna Cheryan’s NSF EHR Core Research (ECR)

CERSE is collaborating with Dr. Sapna Cheryan at the University of Washington to investigate whether cultural beliefs, and the stability of academic interest contributes to gender gaps in computer science. CERSE evaluates the research progress and focus, and collaboratively developed a high-level logic model that relates the proposed research studies to the intended outcomes. We also make yearly quantitative assessments of the intellectual merit and broader impacts of the research published from this grant.


Aspire INCLUDES Alliance 

The Aspire Alliance is developing inclusive and diverse STEM faculty across the nation. The Alliance works through three change teams (Institutional Change, National Change, and Regional Change) to achieve three goals: deepen the preparation of STEM faculty be inclusive and effective in their teaching, mentoring and advising, diversify the faculty, and foster institutional cultures that recognize and value inclusivity and diversity.  CERSE is helping to conduct formative evaluation with the IChange team, and is conducting the Alliance’s summative evaluation. 


LGBTQ+ Advocacy in STEM 

This project aims to increase the inclusion of LGBTQ+ students and professionals in engineering by providing support for new approaches to foster inclusion, through both a Virtual Community of Practice and the refinement and dissemination of Safe Zone Workshops. CERSE provides both formative and summative evaluation via annual surveys and participant observation.


Identifying Marginalization and Allying Tendencies to Transform Engineering Relationships (I-MATTER) 

The goal of the NSF-funded I-MATTER project at Purdue University is to develop a theoretically and empirically grounded framework and tool to help instructors of large classrooms identify teams engaging in marginalizing behaviors. Findings from this research will be incorporated into an observation tool for instructors of large classes, and into a modification of a web-hosted instrument called CATME which measures behaviors necessary for effective team functioning. CERSE is providing formative and summative evaluation through annual faculty interviews, annual logic model reviews, regular consultation, and bibliometric tracking.