Collaboration Cosmopolitanism and Scientific and Technical Human Capital: Implications for Women and Underrepresented Minorities

Project: Research project

Project Details


The proposed study assesses how collaboration cosmopolitanism develops and subsequently leads to specific career outcomes among science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) personnel. Collaboration cosmopolitanism is a measure of the geographic and social distance between STEM personnel in work-related collaborations. Particular attention is given to gender and racial differentials in collaboration and associated career outcomes. Unlike prior research on collaboration cosmopolitanism, this study will incorporate not only STEM doctoral academic researchers, but also STEM degree holders in government or industry jobs. The study will use data from the National Science Foundations (NSF) National Survey of College Graduates for the years 2006 and 2010. Preliminary analysis of the publicly available data suggest a relatively large sample of over 2,000 respondents who participated in both surveys and responded to questions relevant to the variables of interest. Thus, we aim to assess collaboration and career outcomes in the short and long term. Previous research suggests collaboration cosmopolitanism emerges from a confluence of human capital, organizational, work task and communication variables. Such variables will be operationalized using the available survey questions. Research will use regression techniques to assess the relationships among race, gender, collaboration cosmopolitanism and career outcome indicators, such as satisfaction, salary, rates and nature of promotion, and productivity in publishing, research, product development, patenting and grant development. In addition to providing empirical analysis, the study will result in recommended collaboration questions that the NSF can use on subsequent surveys. Thus, this research has the potential to both enhance future quality of collected STEM data and subsequent science indicators. This can provide insight that can facilitate practical and intellectual social exchanges that can inform STEM diversity and capacity building policies and practices. Additionally, by looking at a larger sample of individuals across sectors, this research can better assess collaboration cosmopolitanism patterns and their impact in academic and non-academic contexts-especially innovation and career trajectories. Moreover, understanding the individual and interaction effect of gender and minority status, which has not been sufficiently examined in the context of STEM collaboration, can enhance the understanding of key dimension of career development among historically marginalized groups.
Effective start/end date9/1/158/31/18


  • National Science Foundation (NSF): $249,811.00

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