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University of Nebraska-Lincoln STEM Family-Friendly Writing Retreat

The University of Nebraska-Lincoln has found a new way to support faculty in Science, Math, Engineering, and Technology (STEM) fields. They used funding from the Elsevier Foundation’s New Scholars program to hold a STEM Family-Friendly Writing Retreat. While writing is a vital part of any academic career, and writing retreats are common in the arts and humanities, there had never been a multi-disciplinary, multi-institution retreat for STEM scholars of all career stages. This six day retreat coupled large blocks of unstructured writing time with additional activities, such as professional writing coaching, feedback from peers, and networking opportunities. While their main goal was to boost productivity by providing dedicated writing time for scholars, organizers also wanted to fight the stereotype that a successful academic career conflicts with the demands of parenthood. Participating scholars were encouraged to bring families, and child care was available for children of all ages. School-age children were invited to attend a science-focused day camp, organized by the Lincoln Children’s Museum, while younger children were accommodated individually. Twenty-one scholars from diverse STEM fields attended the first retreat, including 12 who brought their children. The organizers are keeping track of the manuscripts, book chapters, and grants that result from the retreat in order to measure productivity. They plan to offer the retreat again in the future, and are also hoping to publish their guidelines to order to encourage other universities to follow their lead.

STEM Family-Friendly Writing Retreat Aims To Boost Productivity

Big Ten STEM Writing Retreat


This page last updated: December 18, 2014

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