H. R. 889
To provide for fulfilling the potential of women in academic science
and engineering, and for other purposes.
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
March 2, 2011
Ms. EDDIE BERNICE JOHNSON of Texas (for herself, Mr. STARK, Mr. REYES, Mr.
MARKEY, Ms. EDWARDS, Ms. FUDGE, Mr. HONDA, Mr. HINOJOSA, Mr. TONKO, Mr. HOLT,
Mr. WU, Mr. DAVIS of Illinois, Ms. WASSERMAN SCHULTZ, Ms. WOOLSEY, Ms. WILSON
of Florida, Mr. GRIJALVA, and Ms. NORTON) introduced the following bill; which
was referred to the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology
To provide for fulfilling the potential of women in academic science
and engineering, and for other purposes.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United
States of America in Congress assembled,
SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.
This Act may be cited as the `Fulfilling the Potential of Women in Academic
Science and Engineering Act of 2011'.
SEC. 2. FINDINGS.
The Congress finds the following:
(1) Many reports over the past decade have found that it is critical to
our Nation's economic leadership and global competitiveness that we educate
and train more scientists and engineers.
(2) In its 2007 report entitled `Beyond Bias and Barriers', the National
Academies stated that, in order to maintain its scientific and engineering
leadership amid increasing economic and educational globalization, the United
States must aggressively pursue the innovative capacity of all of its people--women
(3) Research shows that the number of women who are interested in science,
technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) careers is reduced at every
educational transition, from high school on through full professorships.
(4) According to data compiled by National Science Foundation in 2006, women
now earn about half of all science and engineering bachelor's degrees, but
major variations persist among fields. For example, women still receive
only 20 percent of all bachelor's degrees awarded in engineering and physics.
(5) Even in science and engineering fields with a higher representation
of women, such as the social and behavioral sciences, women remain underrepresented
among university faculty. According to data compiled by the National Science
Foundation, for over 30 years women have made up over 30 percent of the
doctorates in social sciences and behavioral sciences and over 20 percent
in the life sciences. Yet, at the top research institutions, only 15.4 percent
of the full professors in the social and behavioral sciences and 14.8 percent
in the life sciences are women.
(6) Across fields, women remain a small portion of the science and engineering
faculty members at major research universities, and they typically receive
fewer institutional resources for their research activities than their male
(7) Studies have not found any significant biological differences between
men and women in performing science and mathematics that can account for
the lower representation of women in academic faculty and scientific leadership
positions in these fields.
(8) A substantial body of evidence establishes that most people hold implicit
biases. Decades of cognitive psychology research reveals that most people
carry prejudices of which they are unaware but that nonetheless play a large
role in evaluations of people and their work. Unintentional biases and outmoded
institutional structures are hindering the access for women to, and advancement
of women in, science and engineering.
(9) Workshops held to educate faculty about unintentional biases have demonstrated
success in raising awareness of such biases.
(10) The Federal Government provides over 60 percent of research funding
at institutions of higher education, and through its grant making policies
has had significant influence on institution of higher education policies,
including policies related to institutional culture and structure.
SEC. 3. FULFILLING THE POTENTIAL OF WOMEN IN ACADEMIC SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING.
(a) Definitions- In this section--
(1) the term `Federal science agency' means any Federal agency that is responsible
for at least 2 percent of total Federal research and development funding
to institutions of higher education, according to the most recent data available
from the National Science Foundation;
(2) the term `institution of higher education' has the meaning given such
term in section 101(a) of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1001(a));
(3) the term `STEM' means science, technology, engineering, and mathematics;
(4) the term `United States' means the several States, the District of Columbia,
the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa,
the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and any other territory
or possession of the United States.
(b) Workshops To Enhance Gender Equity in Academic Science and Engineering-
(1) IN GENERAL- Not later than 6 months after the date of enactment of this
Act, the Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy shall develop
a uniform policy for all Federal science agencies to carry out a program
of workshops that educate program officers, members of grant review panels,
institution of higher education STEM department chairs, and other federally
funded researchers about methods that minimize the effects of gender bias
in evaluation of Federal research grants and in the related academic advancement
of actual and potential recipients of these grants, including hiring, tenure,
promotion, and selection for any honor based in part on the recipient's
(2) INTERAGENCY COORDINATION- The Director of the Office of Science and
Technology Policy shall ensure that programs of workshops across the Federal
science agencies are coordinated and supported jointly as appropriate. As
part of this process, the Director of the Office of Science and Technology
Policy shall ensure that at least 1 workshop is supported every 2 years
among the Federal science agencies in each of the major science and engineering
disciplines supported by those agencies.
(3) ORGANIZATIONS ELIGIBLE TO CARRY OUT WORKSHOPS- Federal science agencies
may carry out the program of workshops under this subsection by making grants
to eligible organizations. In addition to any other organizations made eligible
by the Federal science agencies, the following organizations are eligible
for grants under this subsection:
(A) Nonprofit scientific and professional societies and organizations
that represent one or more STEM disciplines.
(B) Nonprofit organizations that have the primary mission of advancing
the participation of women in STEM.
(4) CHARACTERISTICS OF WORKSHOPS- The workshops shall have the following
(A) Invitees to workshops shall include at least--
(i) the chairs of departments in the relevant discipline from at least
the top 50 institutions of higher education, as determined by the amount
of Federal research and development funds obligated to each institution
of higher education in the prior year based on data available from the
National Science Foundation;
(ii) members of any standing research grant review panel appointed by
the Federal science agencies in the relevant discipline;
(iii) in the case of science and engineering disciplines supported by
the Department of Energy, the individuals from each of the Department
of Energy National Laboratories with personnel management responsibilities
comparable to those of an institution of higher education department
(iv) Federal science agency program officers in the relevant discipline,
other than program officers that participate in comparable workshops
organized and run specifically for that agency's program officers.
(B) Activities at the workshops shall include research presentations and
interactive discussions or other activities that increase the awareness
of the existence of gender bias in the grant-making process and the development
of the academic record necessary to qualify as a grant recipient, including
recruitment, hiring, tenure review, promotion, and other forms of formal
recognition of individual achievement, and provide strategies to overcome
(C) Research presentations and other workshop programs, as appropriate,
shall include a discussion of the unique challenges faced by women who
are members of historically underrepresented groups.
(D) Workshop programs shall include information on best practices and
the value of mentoring undergraduate and graduate women students as well
as outreach to girls earlier in their STEM education.
(A) IN GENERAL- Not later than 5 years after the date of enactment of
this Act, the Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy
shall transmit to the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology of the
House of Representatives and the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation
of the Senate a report evaluating the effectiveness of the program carried
out under this subsection to reduce gender bias towards women engaged
in research funded by the Federal Government. The Director of the Office
of Science and Technology Policy shall include in this report any recommendations
for improving the evaluation process described in subparagraph (B).
(B) MINIMUM CRITERIA FOR EVALUATION- In determining the effectiveness
of the program, the Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy
shall consider, at a minimum--
(i) the rates of participation by invitees in the workshops authorized
under this subsection;
(ii) the results of attitudinal surveys conducted on workshop participants
before and after the workshops;
(iii) any relevant institutional policy or practice changes reported
by participants; and
(iv) for individuals described in paragraph (4)(A) (i) or (iii) who
participated in at least 1 workshop 3 or more years prior to the due
date for the report, trends in the data for the department represented
by the chair or employee including faculty data related to gender as
described in section 4.
(C) INSTITUTIONAL ATTENDANCE AT WORKSHOPS- As part of the report under
subparagraph (A), the Director of the Office of Science and Technology
Policy shall include a list of institutions of higher education science
and engineering departments whose representatives attended the workshops
required under this subsection.
(6) MINIMIZING COSTS- To the extent practicable, workshops shall be held
in conjunction with national or regional disciplinary meetings to minimize
costs associated with participant travel.
(c) Extended Research Grant Support and Interim Technical Support for Caregivers-
(1) POLICIES FOR CAREGIVERS- Not later than 6 months after the date of enactment
of this Act, the Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy
shall develop a uniform policy to--
(A) extend the period of grant support for federally funded researchers
who have caregiving responsibilities; and
(B) provide funding for interim technical staff support for federally
funded researchers who take a leave of absence for caregiving responsibilities.
(2) REPORT- Upon developing the policy required under paragraph (1), the
Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy shall transmit a
copy of the policy to the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology of
the House of Representatives and to the Committee on Commerce, Science,
and Transportation of the Senate.
(d) Collection of Data on Federal Research Grants-
(1) IN GENERAL- Each Federal science agency shall collect standardized annual
composite information on demographics, field, award type and budget request,
review score, and funding outcome for all applications for research and
development grants to institutions of higher education supported by that
(A) The Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy shall
establish a policy to ensure uniformity and standardization of data collection
required under paragraph (1).
(B) Not later than 2 years after the date of enactment of this Act, and
annually thereafter, each Federal science agency shall submit data collected
under paragraph (1) to the National Science Foundation.
(C) The National Science Foundation shall be responsible for storing and
publishing all of the grant data submitted under subparagraph (B), disaggregated
and cross-tabulated by race, ethnicity, and gender, in conjunction with
the biennial report required under section 37 of the Science and Engineering
Equal Opportunities Act (42 U.S.C. 1885d).
(e) Publication of List of Institutional Participation in Workshops To Enhance
Gender Equity in Academic Science and Engineering- The Director of the Office
of Science and Technology Policy, on the basis of data reported by the Federal
science agencies, shall publish annually a list of institutions of higher
education science and engineering departments represented by individuals who
attend the workshops described in this section. The list shall be publicly
available through the Web site of the Office of Science and Technology Policy.
Any institution of higher education science and engineering department that
is publicized on the list may publicize its receipt of such recognition on
its Web site, in printed materials, or through other means.
SEC. 4. COLLECTION OF DATA ON DEMOGRAPHICS OF FACULTY.
(a) Collection of Data- The Director of the National Science Foundation shall
report, in conjunction with the biennial report required under section 37
of the Science and Engineering Equal Opportunities Act (42 U.S.C. 1885d),
statistical summary data on the demographics of STEM discipline faculty at
institutions of higher education in the United States, disaggregated and cross-tabulated
by race, ethnicity, and gender. At a minimum, the Director shall consider--
(1) the number and percent of faculty by gender, race, and age;
(2) the number and percent of faculty at each rank, by gender, race, and
(3) the number and percent of faculty who are in nontenure-track positions,
including teaching and research, by gender, race, and age;
(4) the number of faculty who are reviewed for promotion, including tenure,
and the percentage of that number who are promoted, by gender, race, and
(5) faculty years in rank by gender, race, and age;
(6) faculty attrition by gender, race, and age;
(7) the number and percent of faculty hired by rank, gender, race, and age;
(8) the number and percent of faculty in leadership positions, including
endowed or named chairs, serving on promotion and tenure committees, by
gender, race, and age.
(b) Recommendations- The Director of the National Science Foundation shall
solicit input and recommendations from relevant stakeholders, including representatives
from institutions of higher education and nonprofit organizations, on the
collection of data required under subsection (a), including the development
of standard definitions on the terms and categories to be used in the collection
of such data.
(c) Report to Congress- Not later than 2 years after the date of enactment
of this Act, the Director of the National Science Foundation shall submit
a report to Congress on how the National Science Foundation will gather the
demographic data on STEM faculty, including--
(1) a description of the data to be reported and the sources of those data;
(2) justification for the exclusion of any data described in paragraph (1);
(3) a list of the definitions for the terms and categories, such as `faculty'
and `leadership positions', to be applied in the reporting of all data described
in paragraph (1).