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NSF Launches New Partnership for Gender Diversity with The Kaleta A. Doolin Foundation


March 31, 2022

Today, the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) and The Kaleta A. Doolin Foundation (KADF) launched their new partnership to promote greater gender diversity within the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) research and education workforce. KADF will invest $400,000 in NSF programs that support postdoctoral fellowships and career-building activities for women in science.

“What better time to celebrate this new alliance and the advancement of women in STEM than during Women’s History Month,” said Sylvia Butterfield, acting Assistant Director for NSF’s Education and Human Resources (EHR) directorate. “This partnership will impact women of all ages and education levels and will amplify NSF’s pivotal work to increase diversity, equity and inclusion in the scientific disciplines.” 

KADF will commit $200,000 to EHR and $200,000 to NSF’s Directorate for Geosciences to support current and sustainable activities for women students, postdocs, and professionals in STEM education.

“By joining forces with The Kaleta A. Doolin Foundation, we can work for positive change and address some of the challenges facing women in STEM education,” said Karen Marrongelle, NSF’s chief operating officer. “Their gift will help these women attend workshops and conferences where they can present their research and participate in shaping new directions for the science.”

A key aspect of this partnership will support postdoctoral scholars conducting STEM education research on gender equity topics,an area that closely aligns with both organizations.

“We’re incredibly grateful to The Kaleta A. Doolin Foundation for making possible, through their generosity, our ability to support career and leadership building opportunities for early career women geoscientists and geoscience students,” said Alexandra Isern, Assistant Director for NSF’s Geosciences directorate. Although presently about 45% of geoscience graduates are women, less than 20% of geoscience faculty and those working in the field are women. 

To further promote women scientists, NSF and KADF will collaborate to highlight the many women who will benefit from the partnership through the engaging, innovative programs funded by NSF. In turn, the participants can help inspire others along the path. 

“The Kaleta A. Doolin Foundation is thrilled to be able to provide resources that help to overcome systemic challenges that have impeded the career advancement of women in STEM research and education,” said Breea Govenar, KADF’s Executive Director. “Our goal is to support women, as well as the STEM research and education that they lead. We hope that this can be a model for other partnerships between private foundations and NSF to continue to advance diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging in the STEM research and education workforce.”

During Women’s History Month, we reflect on the many important contributions of women to science and to all aspects of society. We also look to make a positive impact on the lives of women and girls for a better future.

The U.S. National Science Foundation propels the nation forward by advancing fundamental research in all fields of science and engineering. NSF supports research and people by providing facilities, instruments and funding to support their ingenuity and sustain the U.S. as a global leader in research and innovation. With a fiscal year 2022 budget of $8.8 billion, NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 colleges, universities and institutions. Each year, NSF receives more than 40,000 competitive proposals and makes about 11,000 new awards. Those awards include support for cooperative research with industry, Arctic and Antarctic research and operations, and U.S. participation in international scientific efforts.

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