This conference was established to facilitate dissemination and exchange of hypothesis-based research on interventions and initiatives that broaden participation in science and engineering research careers. The conference is designed to create a dialogue among behavioral/social science and education researchers, evaluators, and faculty in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) fields who participate in intervention programs. Graduate students in these fields are strongly encouraged to attend. Workshops, sessions, and posters will communicate effective strategies from successful STEM intervention programs, present results from empirical research studies, and synthesize the translation of research findings into practice on STEM learning, undergraduate research, graduate education, and student retention.
Despite the introduction of intervention programs, persons of color and women remain underrepresented in the science workforce. To encourage members of underrepresented groups to pursue careers in science and engineering, programs targeted to pre-college, undergraduate, and graduate students continue to grow. However, understanding of why some succeed and many more fail eludes us. UI seeks to analyze systematically the key factors contributing to and inhibiting success. Such analysis requires research that is carefully designed and executed over more than 1-2 years’ time. It should not be confused with “program evaluation” that produces evidences of effectiveness. Research studies of interventions look across contexts and populations to inform generalizations about causes and effects.