CEOSE is providing a series of
recommendations for addressing the challenges laid out in its biennial
report. Five of these are presented below.
1. NSF should create programs that encourage minorities,
women, and persons with disabilities to enter SMET fields and address
the barriers to their entry.
- Fund research on barriers to minority graduate degree attainment and
design programs to address the identified barriers.
- Assess the impact of discontinuing the Minority Graduate Fellowship
Program and pursue new strategies to provide support to minorities at
the graduate level.
- Increase funding of intervention programs for women, minorities, and
students with disabilities at the graduate and undergraduate levels.
- Fund incentives to provide supplemental support that allows individuals
with severe disabilities to participate in the workforce. These could
include training programs in workplace-based equipment such as voice
recognition systems, automated Braille printouts, robotic devices, and
the new information technologies that allow research to be carried out
virtually or through remote access.
2. NSF should raise the visibility of the need
for the minority, female and disabilities audiences to participate in
- Actively promote and sell SMET by defining and highlighting occupations,
developing economic data on availability of positions and professional
tracks, and developing salary structure information and comparisons.
- Collaborate extensively with the U.S. Department of Education and
other Federal agencies to further develop math and science enrichment
- Institute an award to recognize exemplary achievement of SMET workplace
diversity by employers in business, government and academia.
3. NSF should establish partnerships with elementary
and secondary schools and colleges and universities to improve the quality
of science and math
education at all levels.
- Increase funding and support to programs that improve the
skills and teaching capabilities of K-12 science and mathematics teachers
across the nation, particularly in urban schools.
- Adopt and implement at the state level comprehensive school standards
concerning mathematics and science curricula, mathematics and science
teacher qualifications, physical infrastructure, technological assets,
built environments, and assistive technologies.
- Fund aggressive, focused intervention efforts targeting women, underrepresented
minorities and students with disabilities at the high school level,
at the transition into post-secondary education, and at the transition
from community college into four-year degree programs.
4. NSF should become the model for a diversity-based
workforce in order to demonstrate what can be accomplished when barriers
- Seek equitable distribution of underrepresented minorities,
women and persons with disabilities at all staff levels throughout NSF.
- Collect demographic data on review panelists and Committees of Visitors
in an effort to maintain diversity of review panels and ad hoc reviewers.
- Target research funding to provide eligibility to nontenured-track
principal investigators to achieve a higher level of female and minority
- Continue the policy of embedding diversity at all levels and in all
programs throughout NSF, and delineate strategies for implementing this
policy and establishing measures of accountability.
5. NSF should create accountability and measurement systems
to measure progress in the various programs it supports.
- Require written comments on electronic proposal submissions that address
the intellectual merit and broader impacts of the proposed activity.
- Implement an annual NSF-wide quantitative assessment of the effectiveness
of proposal criteria implementation.
- Establish clear lines of responsibility and define effective accountability
mechanisms for each program in the diversity continuum.
Americas exceptional SMET workforce is at the core
of the economic prosperity of the last decade and of U.S. technological
leadership. Sustaining the quality, productivity and creativity of this
critical human resource in the years ahead will require new ways of thinking
about meeting the need for SMET professionals. NSF recognizes as
outlined in the CEOSE Report that women, minorities and persons
with disabilities represent a huge source of underutilized talent that
can help meet this critical need.
Effective use of this resource base creates enormous challenges
for NSF and other leaders in business, government and education. A partnership
among all of the involved parties is of vital importance to moving this
process forward. NSF intends to take a leadership role in more effectively
bringing women, minorities, and persons with disabilities into the SMET
workforce and ensuring that America will retain its competitive edge in
the global economy of the 21st century.