Translate to multiple languages

Subscribe to my Email updates
Enjoy what you've read, make sure you subscribe to my Email Updates

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Minority Ph.D. students in STEM fare better with clear expectations, acceptance | Social Sciences - Phys.Org

Women and underrepresented minorities in STEM fields are more likely to advance professionally, publish more research and secure postdoctoral and faculty positions if their institutional culture is welcoming and sets clear expectations, according to a study of hundreds of Ph.D. students at four top-tier California research universities, inform Yasmin Anwar, Media Relations Representative at UC Berkeley. 

Photo: CC0 Public Domain

Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, UCLA, Stanford and the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) sought to understand how gender, race and ethnicity impact graduate students' success in math, , computer sciences and engineering as measured by publication rates in .

The findings, published today in the journal PLOS ONE, suggest that doctoral scholars in STEM fields are more likely to publish if enrolled in well-structured graduate programs that lay out clear, unbiased expectations for assessing students and supporting their careers.

"Our study strongly indicates that the onus should not fall on minority students to make changes to succeed in STEM settings," said study lead author Aaron Fisher, an assistant professor of psychology at UC Berkeley. "Institutional changes that make students feel welcome and provide clear guidelines and standards for performance are optimal ways to ensure the success of all students."...

Colette Patt, assistant dean for diversity, equity and inclusion in UC Berkeley's Mathematical & Physical Sciences Division, director of the California Alliance and a co-lead author of the study, said the results represent a trend seen at universities across the nation.

"African Americans are severely underrepresented in almost every discipline in academia, and at every level," Patt said. "What is totally new in this study is that it points to specific reasons and offers a direction for institutional action."
Read more... 

Additional resources
Aaron J. Fisher et al. Structure and belonging: Pathways to success for underrepresented minority and women PhD students in STEM fields, PLOS ONE (2019).  
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0209279 

Source: Phys.Org