CASEC Programs & Projects

AAAS-Lemelson Invention Ambassadors Program

Like the Lemelson Foundation, AAAS believes in the importance of cultivating a new and diverse generation of inventors and increasing global understanding of the role of invention, inventors and invention education in building economies and fostering innovation.  The Ambassadors Program is proposed as a unique collaboration between the two organizations, building on the experience and reach of AAAS and the Lemelson Foundation to: 1) generate compelling, evidence-based messaging about the role of invention in creating jobs and strengthening the economy; 2) build of a cadre of inventor “Ambassadors” dedicated to disseminating this message among key audiences; and 3) plug these Ambassadors in to dialogue with policymakers, other key stakeholders, and the general public in strategic and visible ways to demonstrate the importance of invention to advancing world economies and improving quality of life for all.

To learn more, please visit program website.

Mentoring Women in International Research Collaborations in STEM (MWIRC)

AAAS implemented the MWIRC program, with support and funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF), with the goal to foster participation of U.S. female scientists and engineers in international science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) research and education collaborations, particularly female STEM faculty from underrepresented minority groups and with physical disabilities. 

The project is a follow-up to the AAAS Women’s International Scientific Cooperation (WISC) Project conducted by the AAAS from 2001-2003 and was designed based on findings from the evaluation of WISC project. The program increased the knowledge and understanding of female STEM faculty and their mentees in regards to developing, implementing, and planning international research and education collaborations. The outcomes this project were impactful on faculty career advancement, student retention in STEM fields, as well as institutional changes and behaviors towards international collaborations.

To learn more, please visit program website.

International Travel Awards to Gender Summits

Findings from the MWIRC program informed on the lack of opportunities for U.S. female STEM researchers, affiliated with Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs), for international collaborations. As STEM research seeks to solve global problems, it becomes crucial to reflect on creating possibilities for female researchers from MSIs, to encourage new collaborations as well as potential partnerships and exchange programs among institutions in U.S. and abroad.

The National Science Foundation provided support to the center for releasing travel awards to U.S. female faculty researchers in STEM, to attend the gender summits held in four countries, in 2015 and 2016. The summits provide ideal opportunities for women at Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs) to meet potential research partners. The large number of gender summits’ attendees includes STEM stakeholders, who are interested in making gender equality a norm in science and embedding gender as a primary dimension of research and innovation quality.

To learn more about the travel awards, please visit here.

AAAS Marion Milligan Mason Awards for Women in the Chemical Sciences

The Marion Milligan Mason Awards, funded by the Marion Miligan Mason fund, are designed to support Women in the Chemical Sciences to kickstart the research career of promising future senior investigators in the chemical sciences. The Marion Milligan Mason Fund provides four grants of $50,000 every other year to women researchers engaged in basic research in the chemical sciences. Awards are for women who are starting their academic research careers. In addition to research funding, the program provides leadership development and mentoring opportunities. 

In accordance with her will, a bequest from Mason's estate will support research by early-career professional women in the chemical sciences over 20 years. This fund was created to honor of the memory of all the men and women of the Tuttle and Milligan families who believed in higher education for women and encouraged them in their pursuit of professional and business careers.

To learn more about the program, please visit the website.

Broadening Participation in Computing (BPC) Program

The Broadening Participation in Computing (BPC) program, funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF), aims to significantly increase the number of students who are U.S. citizens and permanent residents receiving post secondary degrees in the computing disciplines. Initially, its emphasis will be on students from communities with longstanding underrepresentation in computing: women, persons with disabilities, and minorities. Included minorities are African Americans, Hispanics, American Indians, Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders. The BPC program seeks to engage the computing community in developing and implementing innovative methods to improve recruitment and retention of these students at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Because the lack of role models in the professoriate can be a barrier to participation, the BPC program also aims to develop effective strategies for identifying and supporting members of the targeted groups who want to pursue academic careers in computing. While these efforts focus on underrepresented groups, it is expected that the resulting types of interventions will improve research and education opportunities for all students in computing.

The AAAS Center for Advancing Science & Engineering Capacity ( is conducting a 3-year portfolio assessment of the Alliance component of the NSF-BPC program.  The Alliances formed through BPC projects extend organizational commitments to education, train, and utilize STEM professionals in various communities.  The portfolio assessment offers data-collection, analysis, and technical assistance that would build on, while standardizing wherever possible, the project-specific formative and summative evaluation data.

Law & Diversity

Through the Center for Advancing Science & Engineering Capacity and with the support of an Alfred P. Sloan Foundation officer's grant awarded in February 2005, AAAS has offered STEM human resource development consulting (on a cost-sharing basis). We have addressed key umbrella organizations and visited institutions of higher education to engage faculty and administrators in ways of examining their programs, outcomes, and overall capacity to recruit, enroll, and support STEM students.

The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) is leading a law and diversity project, with participation by the Association of American Universities (AAU), which has been funded by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and the National Science Foundation. This project will provide in-depth legal resource materials for General Counsels in the AAU (and, we hope, eventually to universities across the country) on effective and legally sustainable approaches to build greater diversity in the faculty, as well as graduate and undergraduate student bodies.

Click here to learn more.