February 2011 Issue • Volume 39 • Issue 2

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Next Generation Work and Family Research Network Awarded Sloan Foundation Grant

The Work and Family Researchers Network, a social and virtual connector for interdisciplinary work-family researchers based at the University of Pennsylvania, has been awarded a $990,000 grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. The new Network builds on the well-established Alfred P. Sloan Work and Family Research Network that has operated at Boston College since 1997. Sloan Foundation support will enable the current Network to transition from a foundation-funded project to a sustainable organization enhancing future work-family scholarship.

University of Pennsylvania Sociology Professor Jerry A. Jacobs, a leading work-family scholar, will be the principal investigator and executive officer of the new Network. "The challenges of combining work and family confront a large and growing segment of American society," said Jerry Jacobs, who has conducted research on this topic for 15 years. "This grant provides an exciting opportunity to bring together scholars and researchers from diverse disciplines, to communicate more effectively, to share ideas, and to advance the ability of America’s institutions to address the needs of our nation’s families."

"This represents an exciting new stage for the Work and Family Research Network," said Kathleen E. Christensen, Program Director at Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.

By relocating to the University of Pennsylvania, the new Network will be able to draw upon the skills and resources of Penn’s renowned Population Studies Center, the Wharton School, and more than 20 interdisciplinary work-family scholars located in eight different schools across the university.

The Work and Family Researchers Network will be comprised of an online community, a membership organization, biennial conferences and two new cohorts of the successful Early Career Scholars Program. An innovative open access web platform will be built with similar benefits to the current Network but at significantly lower costs. Capitalizing on the latest technological advancements, the website will include an open access repository of academic work-family literature including journal articles, reports and working papers, a "news tagging" system for updates in the field, a Who’s Who database, as well as a document download center archiving much of the current Network content.

The integration between open access and membership components of the Work and Family Researchers Network will offer an exciting new organizational model for 21st century work-family research and scholarship. logosmall

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