About the Research

This UCF faculty-led research project examines how UCF STEM faculty perceive their departmental culture and organizational climate, alongside their “fit” within their department and broader institution. The goal of this research is to improve the work experiences of STEM faculty across UCF, particularly women and people of color, who have been historically marginalized in STEM fields. To do this, we will extend our research findings to develop actionable items that foster transparency, support, and equity, and will submit these recommendations to departments and the university for implementation.

In Fall 2021, we are conducting a survey that aims to understand the unique challenges and barriers that UCF STEM faculty face, and are beginning preliminary analysis of the survey data. In Spring 2022, we will conduct focus groups with STEM faculty in order to elaborate on the survey findings and develop a more comprehensive understanding of STEM faculty’s work experiences. Following the completion of data collection and analysis, we will develop a strategic plan for increasing equity among STEM faculty.

Please note that this project is different from, but complementary to the COACHE survey. The COACHE survey is a standardized job satisfaction survey designed for cross-institutional comparisons, whereas our survey is tailored to studying faculty experiences at UCF from an intersectional and equity-oriented perspective. We drew in part on UCF COACHE studies when developing our survey in order to dig deeper into the “why” behind the patterns revealed by prior COACHE findings.

We are also cognizant of the various diversity initiatives on campus, and hope to begin filling gaps among them. To that end, we are developing a master list of on-campus initiatives, which is available upon request.

This project is funded by the ADVANCE program at the National Science Foundation (Award Number 2031822). Read more about the grant here.


The NSF ADVANCE program aims to broaden the participation of women and other historically underrepresented groups in academic STEM fields by addressing systemic inequalities at the cultural and structural level.

The current project is funded by an ADVANCE-Catalyst grant. ADVANCE-Catalyst grants fund the initiation of assessment and development of tactics to address inequities in STEM fields at specific colleges and universities (in this case, UCF). We will use the momentum of this study to apply for an ADVANCE-Institutional Transformation grant, the largest grant offered by the NSF ADVANCE program. Receipt of an ADVANCE-Institutional Transformation grant would further fund efforts to transform UCF into a more just and equitable workplace for STEM faculty, helping us to better implement meaningful change.

Information about the outcomes of other ADVANCE grants awarded since the initiation of the ADVANCE program in 2001 is available under “Institutional Portfolios” on this website. Further information about the NSF ADVANCE program more generally is available here.

Contact Us

If you have any questions about the study, please contact the research team at advance@ucf.edu.