In 2008, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln won a $3.8 million ADVANCE program grant from the National Science Foundation. The goal of ADVANCE-NE is to create an environment at UNL where all Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) faculty thrive. The grant supports best practices to increase recruitment and retention of women STEM faculty and efforts to study what practices best support their academic success

Ellen Weissinger, Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Professor of Educational Psychology, is principal investigator for the project. Co-PIs are Timothy Wei, Dean, College of Engineering; Mary Anne Holmes, Associate Professor of Practice in Geosciences, and ADVANCE-Nebraska Program Director; David Manderscheid, Dean, College of Arts and Sciences and Professor of Mathematics; and Julia McQuillan, Professor and Chair of the Department of Sociology.

Cultivating a world-class and broadly inclusive science and engineering workforce for the nation is one of National Science Foundation's goals. Since its inception in 2001, ADVANCE program grants have been successful at 30 major universities in the United States.