Project Overview

Funded through a National Science Foundation ADVANCE Institutional Transformation grant (NSF 1209115), with additional support provided by the university, the AdvanceRIT project is a long-term, multi-faceted project designed to increase the representation and enhance career advancement of women faculty at RIT in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines which include social and behavioral science (SBS). The project team examines the unique challenges experienced by women faculty of color and deaf and hard-of-hearing faculty, and adapts interventions to address the needs of these key sub-populations. Members of this large project team combine research with programming and policy/practice enhancements to drive long-term changes that will transform RIT’s culture, promote inclusion, and expand the representation of women on our faculty and among our campus leadership.

The AdvanceRIT project goal is to increase the representation, retention, and career advancement of women faculty in STEM and SBS fields with a focus on women faculty of color and deaf and hard-of hearing faculty. Project objectives in support of this goal include:


Refine and strengthen targeted institutional structures, and install practices promoting representation and advancement of women faculty.

Human Resources

Improve the quality of women faculty work life, professional development, and incentive/reward structures.


Align institutional, administrative, and informal systems of power and resources to support and sustain progress by shaping the political frameworks that impact representation and advancement of women.


Enhance the working environment and support career development for women faculty using symbolic measures which emphasize issues of meaning within the organization.

We have created a comprehensive array of programs and initiatives to support our achievement of the project objectives and project goal. Activities are led by members of the grant’s leadership team and are divided into three broad categories including cultural change, career navigation, and research.

Cultural Change

Career Navigation

  • Connectivity Series
  • Connect Grants Program
  • Resource Allocation Committee (RAC)
  • Promotion Package Preparation (P³) Groups
  • AdvanceRIT Team Leadership Development
  • Dual Career Program
  • Faculty Evaluation Policy/Practice


  • Data Sources (COACHE, NSF Indicators, Faculty Exit Survey, Great Places to Work)
  • WoC and DHH Lived Experiences