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help. Increased data collection, of course, is also necessary. Specific recommendations for institutions and professional societies are delineated in Chapter 6.


This study raises many unanswered questions about the status of women in academia. As noted at the onset of this report, the surveys did not capture the experiences of Ph.D.s who have never applied for academic positions, nor of female faculty who have left at various points in their academic careers. We also recognize that there are important, nonacademic issues affecting men and women differentially that impact career choices at critical junctures. Fuller examination of these issues (for example, topics relating to family, children, home life, care of elderly parents) will shed greater light on career choices by women and men and should yield suggestions on the types of support needed to encourage retention of women in academic careers. Below are suggestions for future research:

A Deeper Understanding of Career Paths
  1. Using longitudinal data, what are the academic career paths of women in different science and engineering disciplines from receipt of their Ph.D. to retirement?

  2. Why are women underrepresented in the applicant pools and among those who are considered for tenure?

  3. Why aren’t more women in fields such as biology and chemistry applying to Research I tenure-track positions, as discussed in Finding 3-3?

  4. Why do female faculty, compared to their male counterparts, appear to continue to experience some sense of isolation in more subtle and intangible areas?

  5. What is the impact of stop-the-tenure-clock policies on faculty careers?

  6. What are the causes for the attrition of women and men prior to tenure decisions, if indeed attrition does take place?

  7. To what extent are women faculty rewarded beyond promotion to full professor?

  8. What important, nonacademic issues affect men and women differentially that impact their career choices at critical junctures?

Expanding the Scope
  1. How important are differences among fields?

  2. What are the experiences of faculty at Research II institutions?

  3. What are the experiences of part-time and nontenure track faculty?

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