Incoming and current students in School of Education at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill are invited to apply for a graduate assistantship position to contribute to a multi-year study focused on increasing the participation of Women of Color in STEM by examining the impact of a multigenerational mentorship environment [I CAN PERSIST (ICP) STEM Initiative] designed to support STEM persistence among undergraduate and graduate Women of Color in STEM. The ICP STEM Initiative is focused on supporting well-being and thriving among women who identify as Black, Latinx, Indigenous, Asian, and/or Multiracial. The goals of this project are to: 1) evaluate the effectiveness of the ICP counterspace on STEM persistence; 2) extend the application of this counterspace to a minority-serving institution (MSI) and compare its effectiveness to Women of Color enrolled at a predominantly white institution (PWI); 3) understand the ways in which an intentional and explicit focus on psychosocial wellbeing affects STEM persistence among Women of Color; and 4) examine the long-term impact of engagement in the counterspace on Women of Color STEM persistence, including on degree completion and entry into the STEM workforce. The overall research project is a collaboration between multiple partners at the University of Massachusetts Boston, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and Rice University. A short description of this NSF project can be found at:

Terms of Employment

  • The period of Employment is a 9 month initial appointment beginning in August 2021
  • Possibility of extension for an additional two (2) years depending on continued interest, performance, and available funding.

Time Commitment

  • Research Assistants are expected to work twenty (20) hours per week on average.


  • $15,700/9-month contract
  • Tuition remission for both the Fall and Spring
  • Graduate student health insurance.
  • Eligibility for coverage of tuition and fees are outlined by theUNC-CH Graduate School.
  • Leave time to be discussed and planned with supervisor

Responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

  • Complete orientation of the overall project goals and on the ICP approach for supporting graduate and undergraduate Women of Color in STEM
  • Contribute to the development, refinement and implementation of ICP activities and overall project approach
  • Participate in project research including instrument development and validation, qualitative and quantitative data collection and analysis, and overall project management
  • Facilitate ICP activities designed to support undergraduate and graduate Women of Color in STEM
  • Provide support in the maintenance of project databases across institutions
  • Participate in professional presentations and workshops at state, regional, and national conferences of relevant professional organizations focused on a wide variety of foundational research and development issues related to developing sustainable approaches to supporting Women of Color in STEM
  • Contribute to the authorship of conference proposals and manuscripts based on the project’s research and development work and findings

Experience and Skills:

Completion of a Bachelors degree. Enrolled in a program in the School of Education or an incoming student to one the programs. Strong background in education in one or more of the STEM disciplines, higher education and student affairs, psychology OR counseling psychology. Commitment to issues of equity and social justice specifically related to Women of Color. Experience in K-12 schools is preferred.

To apply:

To be considered for this Research Assistantship students must submit:

  • A completed application to a program in the School of Education filed with the Graduate School at UNC
  • Resume
  • Two letters of reference, one of which should be from a university faculty member familiar with the applicant’s academic work
  • A personal statement discussing the student’s academic and professional goals and commitment to issues of commitment to issues of equity and social justice specifically related to Women of Color.

Deadline: January 30, 2021

Application materials should be submitted to Pavneet Kaur Bharaj In your submission, please include the title of the position in the subject field. For questions about this assistantship, please contact Dionne Cross Francis,

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is an Equal Opportunity Employer regardless of age, color, creed, disability, gender, gender expression, gender identity, genetic information, national origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation or veteran status.