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Gender Parity in NSF Astronomy Research Programs

24 Dec 2014, 12:00 UTC
Gender Parity in NSF Astronomy Research Programs
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During my first year as a Program Officer in NSF’s Astronomy Division, I was able to compile data on the success rates of different opportunities in the Individual Investigator Programs. As chair of CSWA, one of my top priorities was to look for gender differences. The results* for Astronomy are summarized in the table. The top line is for the Astronomy and Astrophysics Research Grants (AAG), our main grant program. PIs are mainly (but not exclusively) senior and mid-career scientists. There is both good news and bad news here. The good news is that the percentage of female awards (19 +/- 2%) is equal to the percentage of females in the pool (19 +/- 1%). The bad news is that the percentage of women in astronomy at the senior and mid-career levels is still so low. The next line in the table is for Faculty Early Career Development, the CAREER program, which generally makes less than 10 awards per year. The following line is for the NSF Astronomy and Astrophysics Postdoctoral Fellowships (AAPF), which currently makes 9 awards per year. Although the numbers are smaller and the uncertainties are larger, the results for both of these programs agree with those ...

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