UVa CHARGE Program


The goal of the National Science Foundation (NSF) ADVANCE Program is to increase the representation and advancement of women in academic science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) and social, behavioral and economic (SBE) science careers. The ADVANCE program encourages men and women faculty, department chairs, and institutional leaders to engage each other in the transformational work of identifying and ameliorating the structural and cultural barriers to women’s full participation in academic STEM and SBE careers. Institutional Transformation quote

Through ADVANCE awards, NSF seeks to support new approaches to improving the climate for women in U.S. academic institutions and to facilitate women's advancement to the highest ranks of academic leadership.

Institutional Transformation (IT) grants are designed to systemically transform institutional practices and climate at universities and colleges in order to recruit, retain and promote women in academic science and engineering careers. This work seeks to engage all stakeholders, within an institution and beyond, in the achievement of these goals.

The University of Virginia joins a distinguished cadre of institutions that have received ADVANCE IT grants in the past, including Cornell, University of Michigan, Virginia Tech, University of Washington, Case Western Reserve, Purdue and University of Wisconsin.


UVA CHARGE aimed to foster an empowered collaborative and participatory form of community that draws on the collective capacity of women faculty, The grant is designed...their male colleagues and administrative leadership allies to identify and ameliorate the structural and cultural barriers to women’s full participation in academic STEM and SBE careers.

UVA CHARGE implemented an ambitious set of initiatives to help meet the institutional transformation goals over the next five years of the formal grant program, 2012 - 2017. These initiatives were designed to increase the number of women, including African American, Latina and Asian American women, on the faculty in the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences and in the science and social science departments in the School of Arts and Sciences.

This program was built on the premise that ensuring the full participation of STEM and SBE women faculty at all levels of the University of Virginia—in leadership roles, in interdisciplinary and global research and teaching ventures, and visibly, in the built and symbolic spaces that define us as an institution—will enhance the overall research and educational mission of the entire University.

It is acknowledged that this work is neither simple nor easy. It requires vision, pragmatic and effective programs and activities, attention to both quantitative data and qualitative experiences, and strategically distributed resources. It needs to encourage creative problem-solving and address multifaceted cultural issues and competing priorities, for which there are no quick solutions. Ultimately, long-term solutions will require our entire community to commit to open dialogue about how UVA can become a model of new educational strategies and a source of visionary, public-spirited leaders, both female and male, for the twenty-first century.

Related Links

NSF Advance Info

NSF Advance Award Recipients


An Investment in Our Future

At the University of Virginia, we endeavor to provide an excellent education, create new knowledge, encourage innovation and promote a culture of integrity and equity. UVA CHARGE, the programs that came out of it, and the current work towards institutionalization of those programs, are an investment in our future. They provide opportunity and means for all members of our community to participate in realigning our current culture and demographics with our most deeply held ideals and values. With women’s increased Ph.D. attainment in STEM-SBE fields, hiring the highest quality faculty requires that we broaden our networks to attract the best. Both our fundamental commitment to fairness and equity, as well as academic rigor, require that we develop and retain our increasingly diverse faculty. We can only be at our best through the creative problem solving that comes with diverse groups of thinkers. Broadening the participation of women in STEM-SBE fields strengthens the University’s ability to compete in the increasingly global environment of higher education. UVA CHARGE better enables us to achieve our aspirations as an inclusive institution, to ensure that all individuals, regardless of their gender, have the opportunity to excel.

© Copyright 2012-2017 by the Rector and Visitors of the University of Virginia

If you would like more information about UVA CHARGE, please send an email to the team at uvacharge@virginia.edu. Feedback and suggestions are also welcome.

UVA CHARGE Program | Cobb Hall 2005 | P.O. Box 400239 | Charlottesville, VA 22904