About Us

postersThe University of Maryland ADVANCE program aims to lead AAU/Big 10 research universities in women’s representation, retention, satisfaction, professional growth, and positive work environment. We do this by creating strategic networks across disciplines, facilitating opportunities for learning and leadership, enhancing agency through knowledge and planning for career advancement, and by recognizing faculty contributions and accomplishments. We use data to increase awareness of equity issues and support local and campus-wide efforts to design better work environments.

Project Overview

The NSF-supported UM ADVANCE program is focused on improving work environments, retention, and advancement of tenured and tenure-track women faculty in ways that improve the culture for all faculty. The UM ADVANCE project has been recognized for being particularly successful in:

  • Providing high quality, campus-wide peer networks that invest in faculty professional growth at every career stage (assistant, associate, full/mentor, and advancement into leadership);
  • Using data to increase awareness of equity issues, mentor, and improve work environments (career, salary, service workload dashboards, faculty work environment survey and action projects, work-life awareness);
  • Advocating for and helping to craft policy change in areas that specifically affect women (parental leave, interdisciplinary research, promotion and tenure policy)
  • Assigning a woman leader to each college to help create and sustain peer networks of support and recognition, and to provide feedback and advice to the dean on work environment challenges.

Leadership for the ADVANCE program includes Senior Vice President and Provost Mary Ann Rankin (Principle Investigator), Dean of Engineering, Darryll Pines (Co-PI), Professor KerryAnn O’Meara (Director and Co-PI), and Associate Provost Betsy Beise (Co-PI), and Kristen Corrigan who provides administrative leadership from our ADVANCE Office, located at 1402 Marie Mount Hall.

Project Activities

ADVANCE Professors

At the center of our efforts are ADVANCE Professors, full professor women faculty who act as role models and catalysts within their colleges for improving work environments. ADVANCE professors mentor one on one, and in small groups. They meet as a group to support each other’s efforts, identify needed structural and cultural change, and design solutions. 

Interdisciplinary and Engaged Research Seed Grants and Seeding Success

Each year the ADVANCE program provides fifteen $20,000 seed grants to small groups of researchers (led by a woman PI) involved in interdisciplinary and engaged research. The seed grants are awarded through a competitive peer review process. The last confirmed round of seed grant applications are due October 20, 2014.


Information is power. We provide each faculty member college specific information on faculty demographics, time to advancement, and salary ranges. We are also developing a dashboard on average faculty service and mentoring workloads to assist faculty in making workload decisions. To log-in to the ADVANCE Dashboard click on “DASHBOARD” in the main menu of the ADVANCE website.

Keeping Our Faculties (KOF)

KOF is a peer network designed for pre-tenure women faculty. Led by ADVANCE Fellow and Dean of School of Public Health, Professor Jane Clark this program aims to create strategic professional relationships between women faculty that aid in advancement, increase job satisfaction, and productivity.

Flyer for Call for Participants (pdf)

Advancing Together

Advancing Together is a two day intensive workshop for women associate professors led by Faculty Ombuds and Professor Emeritus Ellin Scholnick. The workshop aims to connect women associate professors who are planning to go up for promotion to full professor sometime in the next 5 years and provide knowledge and skills that help them to advance.

Flyer for Call for Participants  (Coming Soon)

Advancing Faculty Diversity (AFD)

This year long career development program facilitated by Dr. Carol Espy-Wilson (ENGR) and Dr. Stephen Thomas (SPHL) creates a strategic network of faculty of color (assistant and associate professors) to enhance the agency participants feel about career advancement and the development of their careers at UMD, as well as advise the Office of Diversity and Office of Faculty Affairs on ways to recruit, retain and support UM faculty of color.

Flyer for Call for Participants (pdf)

Advancing Professional Track Faculty

UMD ADVANCE and the Office of Faculty Affairs offer a new, year-long peer network for professional-track faculty, designed to provide opportunities for professional growth. The peer network aims to expand on-campus professional networks and community; offer knowledge, concrete examples and models; and enhance the sense of agency faculty feel towards their work and career advancement at UMD.

Flyer for Call for Participants (pdf)

Life-Work Integration

The ADVANCE program assisted the campus in developing our Parental Leave policy, and conducts workshops with department chairs and faculty on the full range of UM work-life integration policies. We developed a FAQ document on existing and newly implemented work-life policies. Our ADVANCE professors encourage faculty to access these policies and ADVANCE monitors their use.

Leadership Fellows Program

This in-house leadership development program engages mid-career and senior faculty in monthly seminars with current UMD leaders to discuss issues critical to leadership in research universities in the 21st century, such as diversity and inclusion, budgeting, external relations, use of data to improve decision-making and support of faculty and students.

Distinguished Women Scholars Seminar Series

Each college brings in one distinguished woman scholar per year to present her work and interact with the women faculty in the college.

STEM Women’s Council

A group of eight well-connected and high-profile women in STEM disciplines serve as part of a strategic external network and connect with STEM women faculty at UMD.

ADVANCE Research and Evaluation Team

The ADVANCE Research and Evaluation team engages in social science research to understand the influence of organizational environments on faculty agency and professional growth, retention, satisfaction and productivity (see the research page). We conduct exit interviews with faculty leaving the institution, present each college findings from a survey of faculty work environment experiences (implemented in 2011, 2013, 2015), and study factors influencing faculty retention and departure.

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