Friday, January 29, 2010

AAS Women Newsletter 1/29/10

AAS Committee on the Status of Women
Issue of January 29, 2010
eds. Joan Schmelz, Caroline Simpson, & Michele Montgomery

This week's issues:

1. CSWA Sponsors Special Sssion at AAS 216th Meeting - First Announcement
2. AAS 216th Meeting CSWA Town Hall Meeting - First Announcement
3. Self-Doubt Plagues Female Astronomers
4. WIA Blogspot: Employment in Astronomy
5. Academy Honors Geller for Major Contributions to Science
6. How to Become a Grant Reviewer
7. Postdoctoral Position at the University of Manitoba
8. How to Submit, Subscribe, or Unsubscribe to AASWOMEN
9. Access to Past Issues of AASWOMEN





1. CSWA Sponsors Special Sssion at AAS 216th Meeting - First Announcement
From: Joan T Schmelz [jschmelz@memphis.edu]

The Committee on the Status of Women in Astronomy is sponsoring a special session at the 216th AAS meeting May 23-27 in Miami, FL on "Addressing Unconscious Bias."
We all have biases, and we are (for the most part) unaware of them. In general, men and women BOTH unconsciously devalue the contributions of women. This can have a detrimental effect on grant proposals, job applications, and performance reviews. Sociology is way ahead of astronomy in these studies. When evaluating identical application packages, male and female University psychology professors preferred 2:1 to hire "Brian" over "Karen" as an assistant professor. When evaluating a more experienced record (at the point of promotion to tenure), reservations were expressed four times more often when the name was female. This unconscious bias has a repeated negative effect on Karen's career. Ref: Steinpreis, Anders, & Ritzke (1999) Sex Roles, 41, 509.
In this session, we want to introduce the concept of unconscious bias and also give recommendations on how to address it using an example for a faculty search committee. The process of eliminating unconscious bias begins with awareness, then moves to policy and practice, and ends with accountability. We plan to use the information from the University of Michigan Advance STRIDE web site as a guideline
http://sitemaker.umich.edu/advance/stride .
The exact time, date, and room location will be in our second announcement.
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2. AAS 216th Meeting Town Hall Meeting - First Announcement
From: Joan T Schmelz [jschmelz_at_memphis.edu]

The Committee on the Status of Women in Astronomy is sponsoring a town hall meeting at the 216th AAS meeting May 23-27 in Miami, FL on "Designing a 21st Century Astronomy Career Track"
Is your Department/Organization/Institution "Female-Friendly?" It can't be all about numbers, but if the percentage of women at all levels is typical, is that good enough, or is it only the first step? If there are no senior women at the highest level, can a place really be female-friendly? How important are role models and mentoring?  Is your Department/Organization/Institution "Family-Friendly?" Is there a family leave policy and nearby affordable childcare? How important are e.g., flexible hours and the option to stop the tenure (or equivalent for non-academic positions) clock? The CSWA Town Hall at the Miami AAS meeting will take up the challenge of designing a 21st century astronomy career track. The Town Hall will include at least 30 minutes for discussion and answering questions from the audience.
The exact time, date, and room location will be in our second announcement.
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3. Self-Doubt Plagues Female Astronomers
From: Ann Hornschemeier [Ann.Hornschemeier_at_nasa.gov]

Although this [subject] has already been reported, I think the fact that it has just appeared in Nature is notable:
[Please see the article on the AIP longitudinal study that seeks insight into astronomer's career path.]
http://www.nature.com/naturejobs/2010/100128/full/nj7280-574a.html
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4. WIA Blogspot: Employment in Astronomy
From: Hannah_at_Women in Astronomy Blog, January 26, 2010

http://womeninastronomy.blogspot.com/2010/01/employment-in-astronomy.html
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5. Academy Honors Geller for Major Contributions to Science
From: WIPHYS January 25, 2010

The National Academy of Sciences (NAS) will honor 17 individuals with awards in recognition of extraordinary scientific achievements in the areas of biology, chemistry, geology, astronomy, and psychology.  Among the 2010 recipients is Margaret J. Geller, senior scientist at the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory and the recipient of the James Craig Watson Medal.  Geller is being honored for her role in critical discoveries concerning the large-scale structure of the universe, for her insightful analyses of galaxies in groups and clusters, and for her being a model in mentoring young scientists.  The award consisting of a medal, a $25,000 prize, and a gift of $25,000 to an institution of the recipient's choosing –recognizes contributions in astronomy.   An awards ceremony for the recipients will take place on April 25 during the Academy's annual meeting.    The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit honorific society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare.  Since 1863, the National Academy of Sciences has served to investigate, examine, experiment, and report upon any subject of science or art whenever called upon to do so by any department of the government.
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6. How to Become a Grant Reviewer
From: Michele M. Montgomery [montgomery_at_physics.ucf.edu]

One of the best ways to learn how a grant proposal is reviewed and to increase your chances of getting funded is to become a grant reviewer. There are two ways you can get your name in consideration for a grant review panel: Write the program officer of a particular grant that you have an interest in or submit a CV for consideration. For the former, include your resume in the letter, and express your interest in being considered to be a reviewer for the next grant cycle of their program. For the latter, submit your CV for consideration and express your interest in several specific grant programs.
NSF: To become an NSF reviewer, send an e-mail to the NSF program officer(s) of the program(s) that fits your expertise. Introduce yourself and identify your areas of expertise, and let them know that you are interested in becoming a peer reviewer. It is most helpful if you also attach a 2-page CV with current contact information. NSF welcomes qualified reviewers from the academic, industrial, and government sectors. For more information, go to
http://www.nsf.gov/bfa/dias/policy/meritreview/reviewer.jsp .
ED: The U.S. Department of Education (ED) seeks qualified individuals interested in reviewing applications for grant programs of the Office of Postsecondary Education (OPE). These reviewers (also called field readers or peer reviewers) will independently read and evaluate grant applications submitted to OPE. For more information on how to become a peer reviewer, go to
http://opeweb.ed.gov/frs/frsHome.cfm .
DOE: For more information on the merit review of grant applications as well as other Federal policies and procedures concerning the Department's grant process, visit:
http://www.sc.doe.gov/production/grants/grants.html#Merit%20Review .
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7. Postdoctoral Position at the University of Manitoba
From: Samar Safi-Harb [samar_at_physics.umanitoba.ca]

Applications are invited for a postdoctoral position in the department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg, Canada. The successful applicant will collaborate with Prof. Samar Safi-Harb and her group on supernova remnants (SNRs), pulsar wind nebulae (PWNe), and/or compact objects (see
http://www.physics.umanitoba.ca/~samar/
for more details). The position is available in 2010 (with a negotiable start date) and the initial appointment is for one year, renewable for up to 2 more years, subject to performance and funding. The funds for this position are made available through the Canada Research Chairs program. The successful applicant will have a PhD as of the start date of the appointment. Candidates with previous experience in observational studies or modeling of SNRs, PWNe, or neutron stars are encouraged to apply. Strong applicants with a theoretical background will be nominated for the CITA National Fellowship. The successful candidate will have access to a high-performance computing system funded by the Canada Foundation for Innovation.
Applications should include a CV (including a publication list and contact information for up to 3 referees), a description of research interests and plans. Applications should be sent by email to samar_at_physics.umanitoba.ca. Review of applications will begin March 15, 2010 and will continue until the position is filled.
The University of Manitoba is the province?s largest, research-intensive post-secondary education institution, located near the geographical centre of North America and at the confluence of Assiniboine and Red Rivers. As the capital city of Manitoba, Winnipeg is a mature city of some 700,000 people with rich recreational and cultural opportunities. It combines the amenities of urban life with easy access to the countryside and to northern lakes and forests.
The University exercises a Canadian-first policy; however, all those qualified are encouraged to apply.
Application materials, including letters of reference, will be handled in accordance with the protection of privacy provisions of The Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy (Manitoba). Please note that your curriculum vitae may be provided to participating members of the search process.
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8. How to Submit, Subscribe, or Unsubscribe to AASWOMEN

[Please remember to replace "_at_" in the below e-mail addresses.]
To submit to AASWOMEN: send email to aaswomen_at_aas.org All material sent to that address will be posted unless you tell us otherwise (including your email address).
To subscribe or unsubscribe to AASWOMEN go to
http://lists.aas.org/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/aaswomen
and fill out the form.
If you experience any problems, please email itdept_at_aas.org
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9. Access to Past Issues of AASWOMEN

Past issues of AASWOMEN are available at
http://www.aas.org/cswa/AASWOMEN.html
Each annual summary includes an index of topics covered.

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