Assistant professor Chaoqun Ni is part of a new, multi-institutional National Science Foundation grant that will study the mobility and retention of faculty at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). “We hope that the research will help facilitate a transparent dialogue around the challenges of Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs) and underrepresented faculty, and help to build a diverse, dynamic and competitive scientific workforce,” Dr. Ni said of the project. The research will use massive, heterogeneous, and longitudinal data from a variety of sources to better understand potential brain drain from HBCUs and illuminate features about the scientific workforce in higher education.
To make methods and results available to a broader audience, project details will be shared on open access platforms. The research team will also design an interactive, web-based visual dashboard to show HBCU faculty mobility and communicate project outputs. Funding agencies, university leaders (especially those of HBCUs), and researchers in the science of science may find the dashboard especially useful. In addition to UW-Madison, Drexel University and the University of Tennessee are collaborating on the study.
This project fits well into Dr. Ni’s overall research goal. “I aim to identify variables that impede and facilitate the creation of a competitive scientific workforce and thus provide implications for policies and practices on effective resource allocation, strategy development, and infrastructure building based on massive and heterogeneous data.”