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On-Ramps into Academia

Program Overview

The On-Ramps into Academia program offered two-day workshops for women scientists and engineers who had earned their Ph.D. degree and were interested in transitioning to academic faculty positions from their current positions in industry, consulting, or national/research labs. Attendees heard from speakers, most of whom are women, who have made this transition. Sample Panel Topics included:

  • the job application
  • the interview process
  • startup negotiations
  • funding the first years in academia

Attendees also had opportunities to network with speakers and each other to form a supportive community. To date, fifteen of our participants have entered tenure-track positions!

The program, which concluded in 2013, was funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation's ADVANCE Program, which strives to increase the participation and advancement of women faculty in science and engineering.

Additional lessons learned from the program can be found in our December 2015 Journal of Technology Transfer Paper “On-ramping: following women scientists and engineers through their transition from nonacademic to faculty careers.


Resources from past On-Ramps into Academia workshops, such as panel slide decks and handouts, can be found here:

Additional resources can be found in the ADVANCE Resource Library.


Past participants and panelists include:

Cecilia Aragon

University of Washington

Debra Wallace


Fei Liu

University of Central Florida

Jingrui He

Arizona State University

Lekelia Jenkins

Arizona State University

Marie Meteer


Maryam Khanbagi

Santa Clara University

Tina Eliassi-Rad

Northeastern University

Tina Ng

UC San Diego


For a list of additional On-Rampers, click here

About Us

These workshops were part of the work of the ADVANCE Center for Institutional Change (CIC) at the University of Washington. The Principal Investigator (PI) was Dr. Eve A. Riskin. The Co-PIs were Dr. Joyce Yen, Dr. Ana Mari Cauce, Dr. Matthew O'Donnell, and Dr. Suzanne G. Brainard.

Workshops were developed with direction from an advisory board which was made up of female faculty who have made the career transition into academia after having worked in industry or national laboratories upon receiving their Ph.D. degree. In addition to providing advice on the design and development of the program, the Advisory Board offered recommendations and advice on workshop topics, workshop speakers, workshop design, program management, recruitment of participants, website development, and future sustainability. Advisory board members included:

Contact Us

Please feel free to contact us with your suggestions and/or questions at: