Colleges Look for New Ways to Help Women in Science

After federal grants end, programs for female professors get creative

After Federal Grants End, College Experiment With Ways to Support Female Scientists 1

Daniel Sheehan for The Chronicle

Eve Riskin (second from right), who directs the U. of Washington's efforts to support female scientists and engineers, with colleagues from the university's Center for Institutional Change

When Linsey C. Marr was pregnant, she worried that temporarily scaling back her workload once her baby arrived could be perceived badly.

"I didn't want it to seem as if I was asking for a special favor from the department," says Ms. Marr, an associate professor of civil and environmental engineering at Virginia Tech, who gave birth to a boy, Jasper, in 2007.

But a new "modified duties" policy let Ms. Marr take a break from the classroom for the spring 2008 semester and still