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Best Web Home Page Ever

I know my life is totally crazy right now. And I know I owe you a blog post about Lise Elliot's new book "Pink Brain Blue Brain" and I know that I really have to tell you about our new totally cool NIH grant (well on that one at least I can give you the abstract below--BTW I know it's researchie; I'm researchie); I also know that that stuff is going to have to wait for a bit (no not a long bit; just a bit).

However there are some things that just can't wait and chief among them is getting you to check out Alison Bechdel's new home page. I know I am biased. I loved her book, "Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic", but even if I didn't I would love her home page. It is probably the most creative, interesting yet simple one I've seen.

PS Am driving to NYC later this week. My goal is to finish reading Pink Brain Blue Brain during that drive and get that darn post up.

Pivotal Career Decisions Guiding Potential Women Science Faculty
Where do I go from here?

Since the 1970s, many programs and interventions have been implemented to encourage more women to enter science careers. While parity with men has been achieved in the early stages of training for some fields, progress has been very uneven, with the least progress being made in the professorate. Although many factors have been proposed as likely contributors to this slow progress, most focus on barriers preventing professional advancement. Another possible explanation is that a steadily rising number of young women, including those from underrepresented groups, see themselves as perfectly capable of succeeding in an academic career, but are choosing not to pursue it. In order to design interventions to support and promote the rise of women in academic science careers, it is essential that the relative contributions of persistent barriers and active career decision-making be determined.

In this study, interview-based qualitative research methods will be use to reveal the career decision-making of young women by accomplishing the following:
• Determine the processes and criteria young women are using to make career decisions in the biomedical sciences, especially related to academic careers, as they progress from undergraduate into PhD training, comparing students with different ethnicities in women's colleges, colleges and universities with strong Women in Science (WIS) programs, Historically Black Colleges and Universities, and other colleges and universities;
• Compare the career decision-making processes of these women with a broad and diverse sample of men in these schools, and women and men in NIGMS-sponsored programs;
• Compare how activities of programs for women (WIS) and those for underrepresented minorities (MARC, RISE, IMSD and PREP) influence students’ perceptions of and interest in academic careers;
• Determine the degree to which refinement of career decisions can be explained by Social Cognitive Career Theory, with a focus on how sex role socialization processes affect beliefs, attitudes and self concepts which in turn affect motivation, choices and behaviors especially for women.

The research is studying the career decision making of students in the biological/biomedical sciences in the early phases of their training. Approximately 250 students at participating institutions, who voluntarily agree to be part of the study, will be interviewed in-person at the beginning of the junior year and the end of their senior year, and by phone 1 and 2 years later. Interviews will be designed to reveal how their thinking and perceptions about potential career options evolve over time, particularly academic careers. Interviews will all start with the same set of questions but then follow what students reveal about their thinking to understand the basis for their views. Transcripts of the interviews will be analyzed through detailed qualitative analysis in parallel with a tandem study of students from underrepresented racial and ethnic minority groups.