UND School of Graduate Studies Blog

Happenings at The School of Graduate Studies at the University of North Dakota

New policy announced this week to help Women in Science

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Balancing career and family is not a new issue, nor is it unique to women scientists. It is not uncommon for female scholars to delay starting a family until they have tenure, or alternatively, choose to not enter academia at all. According to the recent White House announcement, there is a significant drop off rate from women who hold PhDs in STEM fields (41%) to those in tenure-track positions (28%).

On Monday, the White House and the National Science Foundation announced new policies designed to support early-career female scientists. The Chronicle of Higher Education report outlines a plan that will allow early-career scientists greater flexibility with grants to extend their awards enabling maternity leave as well as the ability to pay lab staff while that researcher is on leave. See here for a detailed look at the NSF Career-Life Balance Initiative.

Since The Graduate School is running a weekly Women in Science blog series, we would be very interested to get feedback from our science community on these new policies. How might it affect your lab? Do you believe this will be a positive change? Is the support coming at the right time?

It’s also a perfect place then, to advertise our upcoming Dean’s Lecture Series talk. Dr Krista Lynn Minnotte, Department of Sociology, will present Examining Conflict between Work and Family that looks at the work-family balance issues. Mark your calendars for Wednesday, October 26th at 12 noon in the East Asia Room at the Chester Fritz Library.

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Written by School of Graduate Studies

September 28, 2011 at 9:01 am

Posted in research, Women in Science

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  1. […] the NSF and the White House announced policy changes that would hopefully make it easier for women scientists to start a family. Could you comment on […]


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