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APPLICATIONS ARE NOW CLOSED.

Who Should Apply?

The Spark

The Spark should be an early-career URM faculty member that has a desire to reshape their department to value the positive benefits of broadening participation. This program strives to support the development of the Spark's career by highlighting that broadening participation efforts are a departmental, rather than individual, responsibility. The Spark will gain skills in adaptive leadership and improve their capacity to make changes in the face of unknown outcomes. Sparks will contribute to change by being innovative and experimental in engaging their departments in the value of broadening participation. It is the Spark's responsibility to identify a Partner who can attend the institution with you and is committed to supporting your career and broadening participation efforts. More information on choosing your partner can be found here.

The Partner

The Partner will be later-career departmental chair or long-tenured professor in the same department as the Spark. They will collaborate with the Spark to change departmental culture and attitudes toward broadening participation. The Partner's desire for collaborating in innovative change-making will mean gaining skills in transformational leadership that allows them to make immediate headway in changing institutional structures. Explicitly guiding transformation in departments will be vital. Partners will contribute to change by being highly effective and active leaders who clear pathways for the Spark's initiatives. 

The Sponsor

The Sponsor will be a broadening participation expert external to the department of the Spark and Partner. You do not need to identify a sponsor. Sponsors will be identified by the Sparks for Change leadership team and matched with your triad in advance of the program. The sponsor will serve as a collaborator to the departmental team, providing insight and experience on broadening participation efforts and providing accountability for enacting plans developed by the triad. The sponsor's desire to broaden participation across the geosciences and support others in working toward this effort will be focused through solidarity leadership.

Program Activities and Time Commitments

Sparks and partners can expect short quarterly check-ins with the Sparks for Change team, with longer activities at the end of each year. During the institute, the spark and partner will work on an action plan focused on change they wish to implement in their own department. The time allotted for action plan implementation will be decided by the spark and partner, relative to their current time commitments. A tentative schedule for your participation is listed below (time frames may change due to specific schedules):

Time commitment graphic

Application Information

The application (hosted by San Diego State University) should be completed by the Spark, but requires input from the Partner that should be collected prior beginning the application.

Application components:

Questions for the Spark (all in 250 words or less):

  • Describe how this program would be valuable to you and your career progress, and what you hope to get out of participating?
  • What expertise do you bring that is relevant to realizing the goal of developing leadership within the geosciences community for increasing diversity?
  • Please describe your personal experience with working in teams. What strengths do you bring to a team effort? What kinds of experience do you have managing conflict on teams?

Questions for the Partner (all in 250 words or less):

  • Describe how you will support your co-applicant in their career and broadening participation goals, and how your participation in the program will enable you to stimulate change at your home institution.
  • What expertise do you bring that is relevant to realizing the goal of developing leadership within the geosciences community for increasing diversity?
  • Please describe your personal experience with working in teams. What strengths do you bring to a team effort? What kinds of experience do you have managing conflict on teams?

We will also ask that the Partner submit a confidential letter of support that describes how the Spark may be in a competitive position to effect change in the department. Topics of this letter may include observations regarding the Spark's collegiality, observed or inferred leadership traits, and/or personal experiences that might position the Spark to be a leader in the field.

Both the Spark and the Partner will be required to submit an NSF-style CV including: (A) Professional Preparation, (B) Appointments, (C) Products, (D) Synergistic Activities

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