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Current Research Projects

The ADVANCE Team is currently working on the three research projects described below.

Covid-19 Project

The COVID-19 pandemic necessitated a rapid transformation of work conditions and work-life balance for university faculty, post-doctoral fellows, and graduate students. Within a week, university instructors transitioned to working from home and teaching remotely, and university researchers experienced significant disruptions to research plans. Additionally, the psychological well-being of faculty and future faculty has been affected by looming uncertainty regarding the economic stability of the university. To what extent have existing inequalities and feelings of insecurity within the academy been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic?  To what extent has the university response to COVID-19, including policy initiatives and communication messages, helped mitigate the differential impacts on already vulnerable groups on the Texas A&M University campus? 

Our mixed-methods, interdisciplinary project will address these questions in an effort to understand the differential impacts of COVID-19 on work conditions and work-life balance, and to develop best practices going forward. This project focuses on three intersecting levels of vulnerability - gender, race/ethnicity, and appointment type.  We are especially interested in understanding the experiences of three particularly vulnerable groups: tenure-track faculty, academic professional track (APT) faculty, and “future” faculty (i.e. “ABD” graduate students and post-doctoral fellows). The research design includes longitudinal surveys, qualitative interviews, and web scraping of social media posts about the impacts of COVID-19 on university life.


Climate and Faculty Retention Project

Recruiting faculty from underrepresented groups is the first step.  Retaining them is equally important. This research project looks at the role that departments, colleges and the university as a whole play in the retention of faculty from underrepresented groups (especially women and faculty of color). The study will start by looking at retention data to see whether faculty from underrepresented groups are leaving Texas A&M at disproportionate rates compared to other faculty.  Then, the study will use a variety of approaches to look at how individual faculty experiences vary, and the extent to which climate influnces decisions to stay (or leave).


Impact of STRIDE Workshops on Faculty Hiring Outcomes

STRIDE workshops are designed to provide participants with strategies to maximize the likelihood that well-qualified candidates from underrepresented groups will be identified and recruited for faculty positions at Texas A&M University.  The purpose of this study is to look at the extent to which the recommendations from the workshops are employed in individual faculty searches, and to see how the outcomes vary based on the extent to which recommendations are applied.