There’s a dilemma in academic recruiting and hiring these days: More often than not, both partners in a couple are pursuing careers at the same time, often academic positions. For some institutions like the University of Virginia, finding jobs for both presents a challenge. Studies find that women in particular are more likely to decline a job offer if the hiring institution does not provide dual-career support.
Members of the National Science Foundation-funded U.Va. CHARGE program, which seeks to boost the numbers of women entering academic careers in science, technology, engineering, math and social science fields, recognize this as a significant barrier.
U.Va. CHARGE is holding a Tournament of Ideas competition to collect innovative ideas that would help tackle the problem. Anyone in the University community – faculty, staff, students, alumni, and spouses or partners thereof, working in teams or individually – can submit as many proposals as they want.
Winning proposals will be chosen based on their understanding of the problem, the quality of their idea and the viability of their solution.
Submissions will be accepted from Oct. 1 to Oct. 16. An information session will be held Sept. 29, from 5 to 7 p.m., at Open Grounds. Rules and guidelines are available here.
Up to four finalists will be announced Nov. 1 and invited to present their ideas on Nov. 18. The top two ideas, as judged by a panel, will receive $3,000 and $1,500, respectively.
The competition aims “to generate innovative solutions, policies or practices to address the challenges faced by dual-career couples in academia generally, and specifically at U.Va.,” said U.Va. CHARGE team member Archie Holmes, an electrical and computer engineering professor who is vice provost for educational innovation and interdisciplinary studies.