BOX 5-6

The Alfred P. Sloan Awards for Faculty Career Flexibilitya

The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, in partnership with the American Council on Education and the Families and Work Institute, has created the Alfred P. Sloan Awards for Faculty Career Flexibility to promote institutional efforts in research universities toward broader implementation of flexible career policies, critical for recruiting and retaining talented women scientists and engineers. The awards, initiated in 2006, will provide five research institutions each a $250,000 grant to recognize leadership and accomplishments in implementing ground-breaking policies for tenured and tenure-track faculty. In addition, two $25,000 awards will be given to universities that have shown innovative practices in career flexibility. The Sloan awards reward those institutions that have career-flexible policies and incentives to programs seeking to develop policies and programs.

Institutions will be judged according to their use of the following models:

  • Career on-ramps and off-ramps

  • Extended time to tenure (tenure clock adjustment).

  • Shortened time to tenure, with prorated standard of productivity.

  • Active service and modified duties (full-time service, with selected reduced duties).

  • Part-time appointments (allowing mobility between full-time and part-time work).

  • Phased retirement (partial appointments for finite periods).

  • Delayed entry or re-entry opportunities (including practices that foster later-than-usual career starts).

An expert review panel will use a two-part process to select awardees. In the first round, applicants fill out a survey about the career flexibility offered to tenured and tenure-track faculty. The score that the university receives on the questionnaire determines whether it can advance to the next stage. In the second round, the selected institutions will complete a survey of tenured and tenure-track faculty regarding perceptions of, access to, and use of flexible career policies and practices. Universities will also be asked to devise a university-wide plan for accelerating the development and use of career flexibility among faculty to achieve institutional goals. Applicants will be asked to develop this plan while administering the survey to the faculty. Each university that participates in the second round will receive information about their ratings on the institutional survey and an anonymous comparison to the average ratings of other award applicants.


aMore information about the Sloan awards program can be found at

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