Taking the long view: Investigating the role of biology interest and far-sighted career goals on student persistence in STEM career pathways

Despite having the most diverse undergraduate population among STEM fields, biology professionals in fields like medicine and research remain resoundingly white and from affluent backgrounds. Although efforts to diversify biology are occurring at the graduate and career stages, it may be that factors at the undergraduate level are limiting who is even present in the applicant pool. This proposal lays groundwork for effectively addressing two factors that may limit the participation of historically underrepresented groups in biology careers. It identifies (a) the influence of career goals and disciplinary interest on students' persistence to the next stage in their biology career pathways and (b) how early students need to develop these goals and interests to become competitive for these pathways during college. These findings will inform the design and deployment of effective interventions addressing these issues. These interventions are predicted to disproportionately assist students from historically underrepresented groups to finish college competitive and to transition to biology careers.

  • Focus: Undergraduates
  • Funder: National Science Foundation
  • Team: Sarah L. Eddy (PI-FIU), Lisa Corwin (PI - UC Boulder)
  • Award Amount: $299,661
  • Contact:Sarah L. Eddy