AWARDS & Recognition
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AWARDS & Recognition

Awards are external markers of achievement and recognition, and are important for job satisfaction and career advancement in academic professions. However, marked gender disparities in awards and recognition have resulted in a climate that hinders advancement of women and impairs their retention as STEM leaders. In most societies, the proportion of female scholarly award winners is smaller than the proportion of female PhDs awarded 20-40 years ago, female full professors in the field, and female award-winners for service to a society. Furthermore, they are overly represented as winners of awards for society service and mentoring relative to the available pool. The Advancing Ways of Awarding Recognition in Disciplinary Societies (AWARDS) Project is funded by an ADVANCE grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) and is designed to investigate and improve the process of granting awards and prizes for scholarly achievement in academic disciplines.

Advancing Ways of Awarding Recognition in Disciplinary Societies (AWARDS) Partnerships

In 2010 AWIS partnered with seven "pioneer" disciplinary societies across all sectors of STEM and hosted a workshop to bring members together to develop a plan for the society based on their current practices and what they learned. In 2012 a follow up work shop was hosted with the "pioneer" societies as well as eleven "new" society partners.

Society Partners and Outcomes

Best Practices

There are a wide range of steps societies can take to improve the transparency and equity of their awards process. Many of these principles carry over to other types of committee and group dynamics as well.

Recommended Ways to Improve Transparency and Equity of Recognition and Promotion Processes

AWARDS Webcasts

We have developed a series of webcasts that is designed to educate disciplinary society members (specifically awards selection committees) about the importance of awards and the effects of implicit bias on the process of selecting scholarly award winners.

AWARDS Project Webcasts

AWARDS Publications

AWIS engages in broad dissemination of our work, including through peer reviewed literature, book chapter contributions, and society newsletters.

Suggested Reading on AWARDS Project

Representation of Women Elected to the National Academy of Sciences By Year

For many years women were underrepresented relative to the available pool of PhD holders worthy of consideration for membership into the NAS.  Bringing attention to the fact that women continued to be excluded has helped make the NAS more aware of the importance of transparency and equity in this process.

Data on the Representation of Women in the National Academy of Sciences (NAS)

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