EAST LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — Michigan State University has been awarded a partnership grant from the National Science Foundation’s ADVANCE program.

The grant will work to build equitable and inclusive work cultures for women in STEM by focusing on both women from racial minority groups and gender expansive/nonbinary faculty who are at higher risk of leaving academic STEM departments.

The five-year, $1.2 million research project, “STEM Intersectional Equity in Departments (SIEDS): A Partnership for Inclusive Work Cultures,” will be led by MSU’s Center for Gender in Global Context and conducted in partnership with Wayne State University and The Ohio State University.

Dr. Teresa K. Woodruff, interim president of MSU, says, “Michigan State University is thrilled to partner with Wayne State University and The Ohio State University to continue to advance equity for women in STEM.”

Woodruff says she is “passionate” about the project, and she believes it is important to continue to “shape a more diverse science and engineering workforce.”

Using an intersectional focus, the project will develop strategies to transform hostile and inequitable workplaces into those that are inclusive and use a holistic approach to assess faculty productivity, equalize workloads and support diversity in leadership development.

“Research demonstrates that women of color experience different barriers depending upon whether they are from the U.S. or countries around the world,” says Stephanie Nawyn, associate professor of sociology and the project’s co-principal investigator.

“In this project, we capitalize on MSU’s global expertise to address gender disparities in STEM disciplines that intersect with race, ethnicity and nationality,” Nawyn explains.

The project findings will create a toolkit that can be implemented at research universities across the Great Lakes region, and eventually across the country.