Four Political Scientists Awarded $1 Million by National Science Foundation to Address Sexual Harassment in the Discipline
The National Science Foundation has awarded a prestigious ADVANCE Partnership grant to a team of political scientists to support their project, “#MeTooPoliSci: Leveraging A Professional Association to Address Sexual Harassment in Political Science.” The three-year, collaborative grant totals $1,000,794. The team will partner with the American Political Science Association (APSA). The project will develop research-driven interventions that model, facilitate, and incentivize change to the climate and culture around sexual harassment and gender discrimination in political science.
This collaborative grant was awarded to a team of four researchers:
- Nadia Brown, Purdue University. [HRD:193086]. $210,103.
- Rebecca Gill, University of Nevada Las Vegas. [HRD:1936045]. $340,010.
- Stella Rouse, University of Maryland College Park. [HRD:1936099]. $252,316.
- Elizabeth Sharrow, University of Massachusetts Amherst. [HRD: 1936113]. $198,365.
The grant activities were developed from the work of the Women’s Caucus for Political Science. The project builds upon insights from the 2018 APSA Annual Meeting Pre-conference, “#MeTooPoliSci,” which was funded by the Centennial Center’s Special Projects Fund in 2018. The efforts of the grant awardees will be supported by a team of social scientists and an Advisory Board of diverse leaders from both inside and outside the discipline.
“Like most other sectors of American life, political science needs to do more to insure that all our members can pursue their aspirations free of the damages of sexual harassment,” said Rogers Smith, President of the American Political Science Association. “The outstanding scholars engaged in the #MeTooPoliSci project have great potential to help our discipline make progress, and it is tremendously encouraging that the National Science Foundation’s ADVANCE program is supporting their work. We look forward to partnering with Brown, Gill, Rouse and Sharrow on this important initiative.”
Steven Rathgeb Smith, Executive Director of APSA, added: “This important and noteworthy ADVANCE grant to study sexual harassment in the discipline is great news for political science and higher education more broadly. This grant will be very valuable in informing policies and procedures addressing sexual harassment. This information can be used by associations and universities throughout the country and beyond and will benefit countless faculty and students in the coming years.”
The #MeTooPoliSci grant will support the development and adaptation of empirically-tested interventions to sexual harassment. The team plans to develop department climate studies, upstanding bystander training, department-level facilitated dialogues, and policy recommendations that aim to support an improved climate. These activities fulfill the nearly twenty-year mandate of the NSF ADVANCE program, which aims to “enhance the systemic factors that support equity and inclusion and to mitigate the systemic factors that create inequities in the academic profession and workplaces.”
The main output of this project will be a Climate Toolkit for use in political science departments. The team will adopt a consciously intersectional approach in the design and implementation of these tools. By acknowledging that gender, sexuality, race, and ethnicity are foundational to and constitutive of the dynamics in which harassment can thrive, the team will address the unique ways that inequities are experienced by members of various social groups. The collaborators aim to incentivize and empower departments to: (1) improve awareness and practices; (2) achieve significant, measurable improvements in the overall climate in academic departments; and (3) increase department-level attention to broader inclusion issues.
The partnership with the American Political Science Association gives this work the potential to reach across the entire discipline into the 125 PhD-granting departments and approximately 1,125 bachelor’s- and master’s-granting departments of political science. The resulting programming will be shared with other disciplines as a model for other professional organizations.
The team will also draw upon the expertise of Senior Personnel and an Advisory Board, whose members include:
- KerryAnn O’Meara, University of Maryland
- Sarah Gershon, Georgia State University
- Carrie L. Manning, Georgia State University
- Elizabeth Matby, University of Nevada, Las Vegas
- Melinda Gann Hall, Michigan State University
- Melissa Michelson, Menlo College
- Mariko Chang, Mariko Change Consulting, Inc
- Natasha Behl, Arizona State University
- Christina Bejarano, Texas Women’s University
- Camille D. Burge, Villanova University
- Niambi M. Carter, Howard University
- Alexandra Filindra, University of Illinois at Chicago
- Lorrie Frasure-Yokley, University of California Los Angeles
- Christina M. Greer, Fordham University
- Melissa Latimer, West Virginia University
- Erika Marin-Spiotta, University of Wisconsin Madison
- Yalidy M. Matos, Rutgers University New Brunswick
- Taneisha N. Means, Vassar College
- Jennifer Merolla, University of California Riverside
- Shayla C. Nunnally, University of Connecticut
- Patricia Stapleton, Worcester Polytechnic Institute and the RAND Corporation
- Patricia Strach, University at Albany, State University of New York
- Dara Strolovitch, Princeton University
- Vanessa Tyson, Scripps College
- Laurel Weldon, Simon Fraser University
- Tiffany Willoughby-Herard, University of California Irvine
- Janelle Wong, University of Maryland College Park
The NSF ADVANCE program is designed to foster gender equity through a focus on the identification and elimination of organizational barriers that impede the full participation and advancement of diverse faculty in academic institutions. Organizational barriers that inhibit equity may exist in policies, processes, practices and the organizational culture and climate. ADVANCE Partnership awards provide support to collaborations among STEM professional societies and academic and non-academic non-profit organizations designed to broaden the implementation of evidence-based equity strategies and have a national or regional reach.