Sloan Foundation Announces $1.3 Million Effort to Support Faculty Career Flexibility

The American Council on Education, in partnership with the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, has announced the fourth round of Sloan Awards for Faculty Career Flexibility, which this year will recognize medical schools that demonstrate policies and practices that provide unbiased opportunities for a work/life balance.

ACE previously explored the need for research on faculty career/life flexibility with a pilot group of eight medical schools and focus groups comprised of faculty and administrators. Those site visits and feedback from ACE's project advisory committee helped identify challenges medical schools face in making changes within a complex structure with multiple sources of funding. The advisory committee included staff from the Association of American Medical Colleges and senior administrators from a diverse group of medical schools.

In September, ACE will open the year-long competition to all medical schools and allow them to survey their faculty regardless of whether they advance to the second stage of the competition. The following September, the foundation will award five grants of $250,000 as well as two grants of $25,000 for innovative programs, promising practices, and models that are replicable by a large number of medical schools.

"Medical schools are facing tough challenges in recruiting and retaining a new, increasingly diverse generation of faculty," said Claire Van Ummersen, senior advisor and project director in ACE's Office of Institutional Initiatives. "These institutions are searching for best practices in career/life flexibility that take into account their unique funding needs and complicated structures."