Skip navigation links


ADVANCE is initiative of the National Science Foundation. The program contributes to the NSF’s goal of promoting a diverse and capable science and engineering workforce within higher education. The funding acquired supports equity and inclusion of women in STEM and mitigates the systemic factors that create inequities in academic workplaces.


Between 2008-2014, Michigan State University administered a $4 million National Science Foundation (NSF) grant that funded the ADVANCE: Advancing Diversity Through Alignment of Policies and Practices (ADAPP) project to reduce the institutional barriers to increase the diversity of women in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM)

As a result of ADVANCE ADAPP, MSU facilitated broad impact through the creation of a set appointments and resources to support the recruitment, retention and success of women faculty at various stages of their academic careers.

ADVANCE: Advancing Diversity Through Alignment of Policies and Practices (ADAPP)

ADVANCE ADAPP established the mechanisms for implementing transformational change by creating five robust toolkits to facilitate the efforts to increase the diversity of STEM. Another significant outcome of the project was the creation of Faculty Excellence Advocates, or FEAs, embedded in each college who, in addition to other equity practices, ensure the institution-wide distribution of the toolkits.

Through these efforts, ADAPP established the expectation that all members support these efforts as a shared educational responsibility.

Faculty Excellence Advocates (FEAs)

ADAPP is administered in partnership with the Faculty and Academic Staff Affairs and Faculty and Academic Staff Development through the appointments of Faculty Excellence Advocates (FEAs) in each college across the university with key leadership, education and advocacy duties.

FEAs play vital roles in the hiring, development and support of faculty and academic staff. In addition, they are uniquely positioned to influence the type of support and development opportunities that help academic careers flourish.

Five Toolkits

ADAPP created a comprehensive toolkit series for faculty and administrator related searches. The toolkit consisted of five widely available pdf resources to remove barriers and increase the diversity of faculty hires. These include:
Faculty search toolkit
Faculty guide for reappointment, promotion, and tenure review
Faculty Mentoring toolkit
Guidelines for graduate student mentoring and advising
Annual performance review toolkit

Beyond ADAPP

Building upon the foundations of ADAPP, MSU now seeks funding to create inclusive work cultures that ensure intersectional equity.

Read MSUToday Article

STEM Intersectional Equity in Departments (SIEDS) NSF ADVANCE Project

What is the STEM Intersectional Equity in Departments (SIEDS) project?

The STEM Intersectional Equity in Departments (SIEDS) project is a collaboration between Michigan State University, Wayne State University, and the Ohio State University to create a toolkit that academic leaders can use to advance more inclusive and equitable cultures in their unit. The SIEDS Toolkit provides guidance on implementing more inclusive faculty assessments, creating more equitable faculty workloads and supporting faculty across different work and life stages, and creating supports for more diverse leadership development. By bringing these three approaches together, the SIEDS Toolkit offers an array of evidence-based strategies to address the challenges of creating inclusive and supportive department cultures that both foster greater productivity and increase retention of underrepresented faculty. Focusing on localized cultural change, the SIEDS Toolkit provides a structured but flexible approach that can be used in a variety of disciplines and at different stages of DEI implementation.

The total grant is $1.24 million, with about $470,000 as MSU’s portion. It is a five year grant, running from October 2023 – September 2028.

Teresa Mastin, Principal Investigator
Vice Provost and Associate Vice President for Faculty and Academic Staff Affairs
Michigan State University

Krista Brumley, Principal Investigator
Associate Professor, Department of Sociology

Wendy Smooth, Principal Investigator
Senior Vice Provost for Inclusive Excellence
Ohio State University

Stephanie Nawyn, Co-Principal Investigator
Director, Center for Gender in Global Context, International Studies & Programs
Associate Professor, Department of Sociology, College of Social Science
Michigan State University 

Angela T. Hall, Co-Principal Investigator
Associate Professor, School of Human Resources and Labor Relations, College of Social Science
Faculty Excellence Advocate, College of Social Science
Michigan State University 

Laura Bix, Co-Principal Investigator
Assistant Dean for Teaching, Learning and Academic Analytics, College of Agriculture & Natural Resources
Professor and Associate Director, School of Packaging
Michigan State University

Kirsten Tollefson, Co-Principal Investigator
Associate Dean in the Graduate School and Professor, Department of Physics and Astronomy
Michigan State University

Matthew M. Piszczek, Co-Principal Investigator
Assistant Professor of Management, Mike Ilitch School of Business
Wayne State University 

Sharon Frances Lean, Co-Principal Investigator
Associate Professor, Department of Political Science
Director of Graduate Programs
Wayne State University 

Nicole Nieto, Key personnel
Assistant Vice Provost,  Office of Outreach & Engagement
The Ohio State University

Andrea Williams, Co-Principal Investigator
Associate Professor, Department of English and Director, The Women’s Place
The Ohio State University

For more information email Stephanie Nawyn at