Connecting nuances of foreign status, professional networks, and higher education outcomes in STEM disciplines over time

PI: Eric Welch (ASU)
Co-PIs: Julia Melkers
and Kate Mamiseishvili (UA)

This project builds on the suite of NETWISE projects, to incorporate issues of the globalization of science in the study of scientific careers. In an era of global competition for academic STEM talent, and despite the high representation of foreign STEM faculty in US post-secondary institutions, significant research and data gaps have limited our understanding of how multiple dimensions of foreign background and experience, professional and collaborative networks, and key faculty outcomes are related. The project is a collaboration of the ROCS lab and ASU C-STEPS. 

This study advances research on foreign faculty by conceptualizing a broader notion of foreign status that goes beyond nationality of birth and education to include cultural characteristics, family composition and location, local community engagement, and international professional experience. A major purpose of the project was to make use of extant data to further examine relationships among a) dimension of foreign status; b) professional network structure, cultural composition and resources; and c) work history, satisfaction, mobility, mentoring, and productivity, among others. Study findings will be relevant for the design of interventions to improve the integration, satisfaction, retention, and productivity of foreign faculty for the long term competitiveness of the nation. 

Click here to go to the NSF site project summary. 

Publications and Presentations

Gaughan, Monica, Julia Melkers, and Eric Welch. “Differential social network effects on scholarly productivity: An intersectional analysis.” Science, Technology, & Human Values 43, no. 3 (2018): 570-599. 

Mamiseishvili, Ketevan, and Donghun Lee. “International faculty perceptions of departmental climate and workplace satisfaction.” Innovative Higher Education 43, no. 5 (2018): 323-338.

Melkers, Julia E., and Nicolas Robinson-Garcia. “Foreign Born Scientists and Non-Academic Collaboration in the United States.” Available at SSRN 3260681 (2018).

Van Holm, Eric Joseph. “Urban predictors of foreign-born PhD clusters.” Journal of Urban Affairs (2020): 1-18.

Van Holm, Eric Joseph, Yonghong Wu, and Eric W. Welch. “Comparing the collaboration networks and productivity of China-born and US-born academic scientists.” Science and Public Policy 46, no. 2 (2019): 310-320. 

Welch, Eric W., Eric Joseph van Holm, Heyjie Jung, Julia Melkers, Nicolas Robinson-Garcia, Ketevan Mamiseishvili, and Diogo Pinheiro. “The Global Scientific Workforce (GTEC) Framework.” In STI 2018 Conference Proceedings, pp. 868-871. Centre for Science and Technology Studies (CWTS), 2018.