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AIBS Faculty Leadership Development Study

The Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) has provided funding to AIBS to support a study designed to identify programmatic elements for STEM Faculty Leadership Development. AIBS is exploring questions related to programmatic elements that are important for the development of departmental leadership capacity among STEM faculty.

The project is an extension of the work that the AIBS Education Committee began in 2012 with its survey of leaders within undergraduate life sciences departments. The results of that fall 2012 survey revealed that faculty at a range of institutions would like to build their own capacity to lead change and implement the principles in the 2011 report published by AAAS: Vision and Change in Undergraduate Biology Education: A Call to Action. The new study will allow AIBS to investigate questions related to faculty leadership for change, the academic leadership skills faculty need and want, existing general higher education leadership programs, and how AIBS might develop a program to support individuals leading institutional change.

In 2013, AIBS conducted interviews and a second survey to increase our knowledge of the landscape of leadership development programs and needs. In 2014, we will be convening a meeting that will bring together a diverse group of individuals with expert knowledge and experience about undergraduate life science education leadership and implementation of leadership development programs. As a result, we will describe our shared conceptual understanding about leadership development for change in life science education and identify mechanisms and/or questions that need to be answered in order to increase the capacity for leadership development in undergraduate life sciences education.

The outcomes from AIBS's work will be shared so that the undergraduate STEM education community is aware of existing research about faculty change, leadership, and evidence about key elements of lasting change in leadership development. Ultimately, the project will allow AIBS to determine how to develop a leadership program for building capacity for change leadership.

If you would like to learn more about the study as our work progresses, please contact Susan Musante, AIBS Education Programs Manager, at

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