Women in Global Science
Advancing Academic Careers through International Collaboration
Kathrin Zippel



A World of Opportunity
Science, Gender, and Collaboration

Thelma, a prominent professor of biotechnology and a member of the National Academy of Sciences, has enjoyed a successful academic career.1 The collaborative research she has pursued for decades with colleagues in Spain and China has been crucial to that success. Leading these collaborations has been stimulating and fruitful even though language and cultural differences, funding and bureaucratic issues, and international travel have added a layer of challenge further complicated by her responsibilities in her family and laboratory life. In identifying potential collaborators, she has sought out experts in the United States and abroad whose work complements that of her research team. Her collaborators include former graduate students and postdocs who have returned to their home countries, as well as colleagues she has met over the years at international conferences or during her stays at international institutes. Although Thelma has found it increasingly difficult to obtain U.S. funding for these projects, she is part of a large European Union (EU) funded research collaboration that gives her access to resources her U.S. university cannot provide.

Thelma feels respected by her colleagues abroad and enjoys her interactions with them. Reflecting on her career path, she believes that extending her circles to include international collaborations has been crucial for her career. She describes how she has often felt more valued in her international collaborations than at home. Her international colleagues have provided opportunities to break out of an academic environment that was characterized by exclusionary networks and given her meaningful academic exchange as well as the recognition and encouragement that she needed to advance her career.2 Thelma sends her students abroad to exchange knowledge and gain experience in international scientific settings, which she believes are critical for preparing them to be global scientists.

In this book, I use science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields as a case to explore what such international research collaborations mean for U.S. faculty, how they are gendered, and how they are shaped by the global position of U.S. science.3 Experts concerned about challenges to U.S. scientific dominance consider Thelma a model and envision more U.S. academics following in her footsteps. Policy makers expect that elite academics will be engaged both at home and abroad to foster scientific progress and maintain U.S. economic and scientific leadership worldwide. Globalization of scientific and engineering knowledge has been rapidly evolving over the past decades in the broader political context of competition among national knowledge economies, and international collaboration is a key aspect of this process.4 Nation-states compete in higher education and research around the production of scientific knowledge. The United States increasingly finds both competitors and partners in other parts of the world, primarily Asia and Europe, leading some to ask whether U.S. science is in decline.5 Thus international collaborations have not only scientific and economic, but also political, importance, as the National Science Foundation (NSF) considers them crucial for the future of the United States.6

As U.S. universities compete to create a globally savvy, culturally literate workforce, much public attention and research on globalization and internationalization of higher education—as well as the efforts of many colleges and universities—focus on students. University internationalization strategies are directed at study-abroad programs, satellite campuses in other countries, and teaching collaborations across universities and countries, such as Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). International research cooperation and faculty mobility have received less attention, despite the fact that faculty play a crucial role in internationalization of universities.7 This oversight is startling to those engaged with the European Union ideology that explicitly equates international mobility with excellence in research. And it is surprising to those familiar with elite programs in Asia, Latin America, and Africa that seek to increase international connections by encouraging mobility among postdoctoral fellows and faculty as well as students.

Although scientists in the United States have been slower than their colleagues abroad to engage in international mobility and collaboration,8 international coauthorships among U.S. scientists have also been rising dramatically over the past decades. Academics increasingly need and are expected to engage in international scientific networks and collaborations. These new expectations create an ideal of the global scientist who is a cosmopolitan academic entrepreneur, an internationally mobile and hyperflexible jet-setter reflecting a neoliberal understanding of unattached individuals.9 The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) has also recognized the importance of “global scientific engagement,” dedicating its 2016 conference to this theme.10 Although this conference focused on collaborative activities across national borders, mobility refers to both research stays and jobs.

As internationalization has become a major concern in academia, so has gender equality.11 Women are seen as an important human resource in the worldwide battle for talent in STEM fields, academic areas that are highly valued in today’s knowledge economies.12 In 2013, President Barack Obama declared the increase of women and girls in STEM to be of national and international interest:

Increasing the representation of women and girls in scientific and technical fields is not only a national imperative, it’s a global one. As STEM skills become ever more important in an increasingly interconnected global economy, the potential for progress is enormous. However, the Administration can’t be satisfied when more than half the world’s population is not participating in this progress.13

This imperative suggests that when highly qualified women academics do not fulfill their potential, their failure is not personal but signals a missed opportunity for everyone. I argue that, if we seek to promote women effectively in academia, we need to understand international dimensions of academia more broadly as the new frontier for women. We must look at globalization of scientific knowledge, internationalization of academia, and promotion of gender equality together.

By “the globalization of academia,” I mean the dynamic process of acceleration of flows and exchange of knowledge and people across national borders over the past decades and the emergence of global norms and values in academic practices. More concretely, Richard Freeman’s definition is useful when he points out five key components in the globalization of scientific and engineering knowledge: the growth of higher education worldwide, the increasing numbers of international students, the flow of scientists and engineers (immigration), “non-immigration trips: academic visitors, conferences,” and rising international coauthorship and copatenting.14 I focus in this book on one core element of globalization of academia: international research collaborations. I refer to “internationalization” as an ongoing process in which institutions respond to globalization of scientific knowledge through adopting new or modifying existing policies and practices.15 These institutions include funding agencies, universities, and professional associations that act as gatekeepers because they can provide resources, policies, and practices to support international mobility and collaboration.

The United States serves as a fascinating case study for these intersections because of its position as a world leader in science and academia in general.16 I focus on STEM fields, including social science,17 because—as we will see—they have some of the highest rates of international collaborations18 but also some of the lowest representations of women. Women’s experiences with international collaborations in STEM fields provide broad insights into globalization of academia because these fields are increasingly used as models to restructure universities,19 with important implications for gender dynamics and inequalities in academic career paths in general.20

In the rapidly changing world of academia so far, we know little about what international collaborations mean for faculty members and their career paths and even less about the gendered implications of the challenges and opportunities in these paths. We do not even know whether there is a gender gap in international research activities among faculty in the United States (studies to date have been inconclusive).21 In this book, I ask: How does gender matter in international research collaborations? What are the obstacles and opportunities for faculty—especially women? More broadly, what does the globalization of academia mean for women in STEM fields, in which they have long been underrepresented? Is globalization helping or hindering the integration and advancement of women in these fields?

Good News, Bad News

The good news is that international engagement can provide opportunities for women (and men from underrepresented groups) to leverage their experiences, pursue their career goals, and gain footing toward more gender equality in U.S. academia. We might expect that the condition of being a woman and a foreigner would accumulate disadvantages; however, I find that being a woman scientist from the United States can create a crucial advantage because “academic nationality” is often more salient than gender. For U.S. academics, I call this the .edu bonus, on the basis of the .edu domain name, available only to institutionally accredited U.S. postsecondary institutions and visible to the world in academic email and website addresses. I propose that, although white heterosexual male academics benefit from the .edu bonus, those with lower status or who are marginalized at home benefit even more.22 The inequalities in international science create a positive situation for women of all racial/ethnic groups and men from underrepresented groups who are excluded from the U.S. scientific elite.

The less good—but also less surprising—news is that the globalization of scientific knowledge entails disadvantages for women and perpetuates gendered inequalities. Whereas international dimensions of academic work are challenging for many academics, women academics face gendered challenges as well when they attempt to cross national borders. I call these gendered challenges glass fences. Like glass ceilings for women managers, academics, and politicians who climb the hierarchal upward ladder in organizations, glass fences are invisible barriers embedded in the gendered organization and culture of academia, though they are horizontal and demarcate national borders. For example, individual women may believe that it is their individual problem that they have difficulty being successfully engaged in research abroad; however, I find a broader pattern—many women interviewees bump into similar barriers when attempting to conduct such research. These fences can amplify the gendered obstacles in U.S. academia or can be unique challenges. Still, unlike their issues with the seemingly robust glass ceilings and borders faced by women managers,23 women academics are overcoming the fences, although this takes them more effort than it does for their male colleagues. Ironically, many of the obstacles and fences are built precisely by the institutions—universities, funding agencies, professional associations—that support U.S. involvement in global science and academia more broadly and stand most to benefit from it. But this also means that these fences can be dismantled.

Aside from the good news that these fences are not built of stone, the overall hopeful message is that when U.S.-based women cross national boundaries, the .edu bonus awaits them. The .edu bonus opens doors and enables women to engage in productive exchanges with colleagues abroad. It thus creates an incentive and makes it worthwhile to get through, around, or over the fences. With the .edu bonus, U.S.-based women can draw their professional circles wider, extending them abroad. International collaborations allow women—like Thelma—to circumvent potentially exclusionary networks at home and experience enriching collaborations abroad. Senior women faculty experience that their reputation and status among colleagues is at times higher outside than inside their institutions and especially closer to home in their own departments.

Therefore, moving horizontally across borders can help women faculty rise vertically through glass ceilings, given how important collaborations are for academic careers in many STEM fields. And even though U.S. faculty at times find that their international engagement is discounted, publications with international coauthors receive more attention and are published in higher-quality journals than those with national coauthors. Thus, moving horizontally across borders can enable faculty to move vertically.24

Mapping a New Domain: International Gender, Science, and Organizations

Global academia is therefore not gender neutral because it is organized in gendered ways. On the one hand, the globalization process has important implications for gender relations in academia. On the other hand, gendered inequalities shape the process. This book focuses on faculty in STEM fields at research universities to explore the (gendered) meanings of international collaborations for faculty and their universities to shed light on the role of gender in an internationalized academia in the context of the changing global position of U.S. science. Internationalization takes place at interrelated organizational levels—national policy, funding agencies, and universities, as well as individual faculty careers—and decisions and actions at each level directly influence the others. I explore the effects of these dynamics on faculty and universities. Administration, evaluation, and resource policies and practices can create obstacles for international research. I investigate how STEM faculty members perceive and negotiate these barriers and how academic institutions continue to prop them up in the face of their own good intentions and ostensible priorities.25

This book is thus the first to systematically consider the challenges and opportunities globalization of scientific work brings to the career paths of U.S. academics, especially women faculty. It maps a new scholarly domain: analysis of globalization of science and gender, in which two processes intersect, as the globalization of science reconfigures gender arrangements and internationalizes U.S. universities.

Globalization processes intensify and amplify some of the gendered inequalities in academia. I argue that the internationalization of U.S. academia is a gendered process with deeply intertwined status inscriptions based on national affiliations. In particular, gender shapes international collaborations and mobility, and I show that international research collaborations carry gendered meanings, as both globalization and internationalization (re)create the stratified and hierarchical organizations of academic work while at the same time shifting some of these hierarchies.26 This study thus seeks to synthesize two bodies of scholarship by bringing gender into discussions of the globalization of science and academia and by internationalizing debates about gender and career paths in academia and science in particular.

With regard to globalization of academia, I investigate what increased national competition means for participation in and access to academic work, asking how academic work can become more democratic and merit based and less elitist.27 I examine the ethnocentrism inherent in U.S. conceptions of the globalization of science, in particular international research and collaboration. Despite claims about the universality of science,28 research and other academic work remains organized and governed by institutional norms and practices at the local and national level, and national borders still matter and become visible in the globalization of science. And, as we will see, faculty notice these national boundaries when they engage with international colleagues.

With regard to gender, I bring an international lens to the ongoing debates about the steady attrition of girls and women in STEM fields from secondary and higher education up to academic leadership. Some continue to argue that the underrepresentation of women in STEM fields is due to biological differences or gendered educational and career preferences.29 A large social science literature, 30 however, identifies the institutional and organizational factors that produce gendered inequalities in science, primarily at the national level.31 I examine a less explored but increasingly important terrain: how these gendered structures in academia at the local and national level might be replicated or reproduced at the international and global levels. So we could understand how globalization of scientific work—in particular, international collaboration—might contribute to the underrepresentation of women in STEM fields and gender inequalities in academia, even as internationalization of research networks might provide opportunities for individual women to pursue STEM careers.

Women faculty are relatively invisible in global academia. This invisibility of women professors is even more striking because undergraduate and graduate women students participate at higher rates in international study abroad programs and earn more degrees abroad than do men.32 However, this gender pattern seems to reverse at the postdoctoral level, and men are more internationally mobile than are women.33 And furthermore we find that women faculty are underrepresented in international leadership positions and have fewer international awards, such as Nobel Prizes, Fulbright research fellowships, and German Alexander von Humboldt professorships and prizes.34 For example, the international Fields Medal, the highest honor for a mathematician, was first awarded to a woman, Maryam Mirzakhani, in 2014.35 This invisibility, I argue, is due to various fences.

We might also expect a gender gap in international collaborations if women academics simply collaborate less than men. Interestingly, however, research on this question is inconclusive.36 Some recent U.S. studies find no significant gender differences in collaboration for academics,37 but a large body of research has shown that women are more isolated and less integrated into international research networks in particular. Women tend to have fewer collaborators and less cosmopolitan networks38 and coauthor more within their own lab teams39 and are more nationally oriented in their coauthorships.40 Extensive research in European countries and Canada finds that women tend to be less included particularly in international collaborative research and coauthorship networks.41 Explanations for such a gender gap include women’s family responsibilities and persistent gendered inequalities in academia across the world.42 Research in European countries is also inconclusive as to whether there is a gender gap in international mobility.43

Collaborations are crucial for academic career advancement as they further the exchange of ideas, skills, and expertise.44 Not surprisingly, faculty more engaged in collaborations are more productive in terms of publications,45 and an analysis of published articles worldwide demonstrates that collaborations drive research output and scientific impact.46 International collaborations in particular can have high rewards, as they bring more citations and publications in higher-impact journals than papers with only domestic authors.47 International collaborations of U.S. faculty are also associated with higher publication rates and attainment of senior rank.48 Therefore, we need to understand gender matters in international collaborations and how collaborations in general are evaluated.49

This book provides a theoretically grounded analysis of interview and focus group data on U.S. academics and explores why we would expect gender to matter and how. I show that if women academics can overcome fences, they can benefit from international collaborations because of the .edu bonus. Drawing on theoretical work on gender and organizations,50 and on research that looks at gender, science, and academia,51 I examine how gender inequality is reconfigured in an internationalized academic world. My particular study of elite U.S. STEM faculty illuminates both what happens to gender inequalities when work internationalizes and how international academic work is organized in gendered ways.52

This research has important implications for policy makers, university administrators, and others concerned about promoting (gender) equality in academia. As international collaborations become more important for U.S. academics’ research agendas and career paths, we need to understand how to include and support all faculty, including women and those from diverse backgrounds. For those interested in promoting international collaborations, my analysis offers important insights into how access to international academia can be structured in more participatory ways. I provide a tool kit of practical advice for integrating diversity concerns into internationalization strategies, and I map how gender equality initiatives can benefit from attention to the internationalization of scientific work.

What It Means to Collaborate Internationally

An article in Science on the genomic changes and social evolution of bees has fifty-two coauthors from eleven countries.53 When U.S. faculty are on a crew on a research vessel in the Antarctic, work in a research lab in the Andes, conduct field work in the Amazon River basin or in the African Sahara desert, work in the research labs in European or Asian cities, attend international scientific conferences, or coauthor with colleagues abroad, the various forms of collaborations they engage in are part of a broader dynamic of globalization of scientific and technological knowledge. STEM fields have become increasingly reliant on collaborations, international collaborations in particular, and although the form of collaborations varies by field, more scientific papers are produced by teams, and these teams are getting larger.54

The dramatic increase in international collaborations is fueled by several factors. The information technology revolution and lower travel costs facilitate more international exchange of knowledge, resources, and scientific communication. The nature of the scientific project calls for collaborations to study global phenomena like climate change and epidemics because oceans and viruses simply do not respect national borders. Faculty networks can expand beyond borders, allowing researchers to connect with specific experts and tap into new knowledge bases,55 research infrastructure, facilities, laboratories, and equipment. A research team with diverse disciplinary, technical, and national backgrounds can be better equipped to address questions that transcend intellectual and technological boundaries.56

Though (national) elite universities still drive both national and international collaborations, global networks have been undergoing important changes.57 Patterns of global networks have been reconfigured toward becoming somewhat more inclusive; countries that used to be excluded from networks among scientific superpowers are now emerging powerhouses.58 Of course, persistent inequalities in resources and research capacities continue to influence who gets to collaborate with whom. Despite notions of academia as inherently without boundaries, and with universal scientific values, academia positions faculty on the basis of their national and organizational contexts.59 Although joint research is ideally based on free, cosmopolitan exchange of knowledge, it is also based on instrumental and economic logics, for example, allowing academics to circumvent inconvenient national research regulations or conduct research less expensively abroad than at home.60 For example, after the fall of the Berlin Wall, U.S. academics “outsourced” research by hiring postdocs in Russia for a fraction of the salaries they would have paid in U.S. institutions.

These contexts, along with disciplinary and research fields, shape faculty motivations for, attitudes toward, and decisions about international collaboration. Particle physicists at CERN, the European particle physics laboratory in Geneva, Switzerland, will see international collaborations as more important for their careers than faculty in fields where the United States is considered a leader, such as motor neuroscience or other fields in computer science, biotech, and the Earth sciences. And worldwide astronomers and geoscientists have the highest rates of international coauthorship, whereas engineers and social scientists have the lowest.61 In particle physics and other lab-based fields, the particular institute or lab counts more than which country it is located in.

Engagement in international collaborations among U.S. scientists also depends on who their employers are: PhDs who work in businesses have higher rates of collaboration than those in government and academia.62 Workplace organizations provide the context in which individuals make decisions and choices; opportunities and potential barriers in their organizations shape scientists’ behavior. Because academic institutions are the locus of basic research and the training grounds for future generations of scientists, I focus in my book on these.

But in academia itself, national contexts can vary greatly. Asian, Latin American, and European countries consider strategies to create world-class, internationally linked, high-quality research universities. They invest in the international mobility of their academic elites, young scholars, and scientists in the hope they will engage in global knowledge production. The notion of “excellence” in hiring, merit, and promotion at universities shapes incentives for faculty to engage in international collaborations, and international educational or research experience becomes an expectation in the PhD and postdoc phases of academic career paths.63

By contrast, career paths in the United States are constructed around mobility primarily between U.S. institutions and labs. Although many non-U.S. universities see faculty collaborations with U.S. colleagues as a sign of excellence, the value attributed to such collaborations in U.S. universities is more ambiguous (see Chapter 2). I find that despite the benefits of international collaborations for U.S. faculty, some administrators and colleagues place more weight on national presence and devalue international research engagement because they presume it to be of lower quality. I argue that this devaluation of international engagement creates obstacles for U.S. faculty. Ironically, then, without broad-based institutional supports international collaborations risk being elite activities, undertaken primarily by those who can afford risks on the basis of their rank and resources. This attitude has implications for all women and for men from underrepresented groups, who tend to be in more marginal academic positions with less job security and fewer resources.64

For the United States, international exchange and collaborations are not primarily organized by U.S. faculty going abroad but have been fueled by mobile international academics who visit the United States for both short and extended periods of time and may migrate long term. Although U.S. faculty have low rates of engaging in international collaborations compared to their counterparts in other academically strong countries,65 the United States has been a magnet for academics worldwide—the dominant destination country.66 The United States relies heavily on international recruitment of graduate students, postdocs, and faculty, especially in the STEM fields.67 Although faculty from the United States show little international mobility and fewer collaborations, international academics bring the world to the United States and create a dynamic context for creating meanings around international collaboration. For example, the idea that the “best academics” are in the United States emerges from this notion of the United States as a magnet for top talent with a comparably good research infrastructure. These returning students and postdocs then help fuel collaborative networks for U.S. faculty in the future without the U.S. faculty leaving their country.68

An Unequal Process: International Gender, Science, and Organizations

The globalization of science is a gendered process that intertwines with national affiliation as international research collaborations and mobility are organized in gendered ways. What I call international gender, science, and organizations is a new field of study that brings together theoretical frameworks from sociology and gender studies to explore the globalization of science from a gender perspective. A gender lens reveals how social and cultural aspects of academia profoundly structure who participates in international exchange and collaborations: in particular, women’s more limited access to international research and collaborations itself might be gendered. Universities provide the institutional contexts, including opportunities and potential barriers, within which individuals make decisions and choices.69 Glass fences reveal how these organizational structures are both nationally oriented and gendered. My approach seeks to map a framework for studying these processes by focusing on the organizational and institutional contexts in which faculty develop international collaborations.

The .edu Bonus and Glass Fences

To understand how gender matters for U.S. academics’ engagement in the globalization of scientific and engineering knowledge, I develop two key concepts: the .edu bonus (see Chapter 3) that reveals the particular opportunities that the global position of U.S. science brings, and glass fences, gendered obstacles or barriers (see Chapters 4 and 5) that shape women’s participation in international research and collaborations. These fences are embedded in the institutions—universities, funding agencies, professional associations’ journals—that structure international academic work (see Chapters 2 and 6).

The .edu bonus benefits academics affiliated with U.S. institutions when the global position of U.S. science trumps gender, race/ethnicity, or immigration status; that is, when being an American scientist (or a scientist associated with an American university) is more salient than being a woman, a nonwhite man, or a member of any culturally marginalized status group in U.S. academia. Drawing on Benedict Anderson’s70 notion of nationality as imagined communities, I introduce “academic nationality” to mean belonging to a particular national academic community through training or job affiliation.

The .edu bonus, based on U.S. academic nationality, helps identify how the global positioning of U.S. science provides opportunities and privileges for individual faculty members. Because the internet has become such an important medium also for academics, status is also signaled through email and web addresses. Because academia is organized hierarchically,71 it is important to consider how faculty stratification, status, and access to resources work at the international level with its own dimension of hierarchy. Despite claims of universalism and meritocracy, status in scientific organizations and professional networks is crucial for accessing resources, such as funding, graduate students, and postdocs (who can be potential future collaborators).72 Research suggests that the status of faculty members, related to their human, social, and academic capital, correlates with their desirability as collaborators, both at home and internationally.73

I build on Cecilia Ridgeway’s work on status74 to explain how these status categories intersect and become more or less salient in particular academic and social contexts. When gender becomes less salient for women scientists abroad because their status as U.S. scientists is more salient, beliefs about U.S. scientific competence counteract with worldwide held beliefs about gender and science that depict women as less competent.75 The .edu bonus creates a crucial opportunity to experience being valued and seen as desirable collaboration partners even though they might feel or be excluded in the United States. Going abroad can therefore be liberating for women temporarily escaping confining gendered beliefs at home.76

Historically, U.S. women academics benefited from educational opportunities abroad and circumvented closed doors at home. In the nineteenth century, before women were admitted to colleges in the United States, they went to Germany and other European countries for their education, and on their return they founded women’s colleges.77 Although German professors did not allow German women to study, U.S. women were seen as less of a threat because they were expected to return to teach in the United States.78

The experience of empowerment abroad has some similarities to that of African American writers, artists, and musicians who lived and worked in Paris at the beginning of the twentieth century. Josephine Baker, James Baldwin, and others experienced a kind of freedom away from home. As James Miller explains, they were foremost seen as Americans: “The European treats the American—white and black—as an American, whether the American likes it or not.”79 Their national affiliation was in certain situations more salient than their race or ethnicity. They could not entirely escape gendered and racial stereotyping in France, and their race/ethnicity and gender were still at times salient, as was class,80 but moving across the Atlantic opened new doors and allowed them to live very different lives from what the racial politics and inequalities in the United States would have permitted. The .edu bonus allows U.S.-based women scientists such an experience.

Many obstacles for academics to engage in international collaborations appear invisible, for they are rarely direct prohibitions but are woven into the policies, practices, and values of universities, funding agencies, and government bureaucracies. Clearly visible prohibitions include, for example, U.S. federal laws that restrict technological exchange in sensitive areas of national security (arms, nuclear energy, and so on). Many obstacles can be surmounted, but with difficulty. The Fly America Act, for instance, requires researchers with public funding to fly on U.S. airlines even if their prices are higher, which protects domestic airlines at the (literal) cost of U.S. researchers (and taxpayers). By draining already scarce funding for international collaborations, this act creates a material obstacle.

Finally, faculty, for example, notice that their international work frequently requires doing things “outside the box” because they do not fit into university and funding policies and practices. It is possible for universities and funding agencies to eliminate these obstacles or support individual faculty, for example by providing extra funding to cover the extra costs.

The obstacles are constructed in the context of a stratified international academia. Research and development resources and expenditures vary widely in different countries, as do research capacities, training infrastructures, supplies of skilled labor, and cultural and political contexts. And these complex global inequalities raise questions about how to set up international collaborations in ethical ways; for example, how to create partnerships that avoid exploitative relations between U.S. researchers and those abroad. These are important challenges; however, they go beyond the scope of this book.

Although research content and disciplines seem to be increasingly globally linked, university workplaces and funding agencies are still largely organized nationally (though universities have always been at once local, national, international, and global).81 These obstacles, whether institutional, structural, cultural, symbolic, or political, reveal how academia is still organized in national ways. Internationalization strategies often seek to identify and tackle these obstacles because they can have unintended consequences that keep faculty from engaging in international collaborations.

The term glass fences, then, describes the gendered obstacles academics face in international collaborations and research, obstacles that have potentially different implications for women and men. The term glass ceilings has been useful for describing the barriers women face on the path to leadership positions in business and academia. The term glass borders has been used in business literature to discuss the barriers that prevent women managers from participating in a globalizing business world.82 I find the border imagery, with its implications of permanence, too sturdy for academia. The notion of fences, which can be of different heights, suggests that faculty can find ways to jump them or even climb over them with the help of ladders. In my analysis of fences, I build on conceptualizations by Joan Acker and others83 of how organizations are gendered, not only through formal and informal rules but also through practices such as division of labor and at the symbolic level of images. Fences show how international academic work amplifies and intensifies some gendered inequalities in academic careers. In short, rather than explaining gendered patterns of faculty involvement in international collaborations with human capital theories, fences embedded in the structures of academia reveal how academia is organized in gendered ways. Fences also point to how institutional support could help faculty to circumvent or climb over them.

Although not all international collaborations require mobility, faculty who have previously lived abroad seem to be able to jump over obstacles more easily and are more likely to be involved in international research collaborations than faculty who have not left their own country.84 Faculty from family backgrounds and communities where travel abroad is common, and who embrace cosmopolitan values, are also more likely to find (additional) personal funds if necessary as well as supports to go abroad. Thus, not only gender but also class and race/ethnicity shape some of the so-called soft factors, including the ease and comfort level for operating in a different cultural environment abroad.85 U.S. students of color are underrepresented in study-abroad programs.86 U.S. faculty of color or from economically disadvantaged family backgrounds might have less cultural capital to engage in international collaborations, though Hispanics and others who speak additional languages might have the advantage of being able to connect to people in different countries in their native language.

Although most studies consider globalization of scientific and engineering knowledge to be a gender-neutral process, I explore its implications for gender arrangements.87 A gender lens with a social constructionist perspective allows us to explore how the globalization of science is enmeshed with gender through the .edu bonus and fences. The globalization of academia creates forms of inclusion and exclusion that are constructed and in flux; these processes can reproduce gendered inequality, through fences that amplify existing or add more obstacles for women but can also reconfigure or challenge existing inequalities, for example by empowering women through the .edu bonus that offers opportunities in international networks that are exclusionary at home.88 Feminists studying the impacts of globalization in the Global South have emphasized its negative implications for women;89 my approach considers the multifaceted effects of globalization of science on gender relations in the North, including its potential benefits for U.S. STEM women professors. As high-status persons in (global) science, they can take advantage of the inequalities in (global) science.

The United States in the World of (Global) Science

As this is an exploratory study, designed to investigate a growing issue and demarcate a new field, I focus on the United States as a case, arguing that its particular positioning and institutional settings shape how its academics gain access to international research collaborations, which in turn has implications for obstacles and fences. To avoid the pitfalls of comparing incommensurable institutional contexts, I focus more specifically on STEM faculty at public and private research universities.90 And although I make no claims about the generalizability of my specific findings, the framework I offer can provide a template for studying other institutions and countries, even as some of the aspects are particular to U.S. academia. In addition, because U.S. academics are sought after as cooperation partners around the world, understanding the economic, political, social, and cultural context in which they make decisions about collaborations is of broader interest.

The United States is an especially interesting case because of its hegemonic status at the center of science worldwide in terms of research networks and research productivity, including “funding, total scientific output, highly influential scientific papers, Nobel Prize winners.”91 However, policy makers and academics have been debating whether the United States will maintain its dominance in STEM in the twenty-first century and what the implications for the U.S. economy will be, if any.92 Some argue that the U.S. position is threatened by international competition, especially from Asia, as most prominently expressed in two widely debated reports by the National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, and Institute of Medicine, Rising above the Gathering Storm (2007, 2010). These reports argue for more public investment in U.S. higher education, particularly in STEM, to strengthen the scientific labor force and stop the decline of U.S. STEM. On the other hand, several economists challenge these alarming depictions of the shortage of scientific talent, pointing out that education, immigration, and workplace policies influence each other in complex ways and that the problem is not a current shortage of U.S. educated workforce but the relatively low wages that make STEM for U.S. talent unattractive.93

Historians of science have pointed out that U.S. dominance in science is a relatively recent development. The world center of science has moved several times over centuries, from England, France, and Germany.94 The growth of U.S. science and engineering was fueled during the Cold War by the “space race.” Competition with the Soviet Union led to U.S. investments in military and space developments in particular, and concerns about espionage limited cross-national collaborations because exchanges of knowledge were seen as potential threats to national security.95 Today, competition among countries has shifted to the global “race for talent.” The rationale is that a country’s economic performance is fueled by knowledge production and innovation in science and technology.96 Thus, STEM fields stand not only for economic progress but also for national power and security.

As we will see (Chapter 2), this global position creates a contradictory context for international engagement of U.S. faculty. Given its leadership position, U.S. universities, funding agencies, and publishing practices have developed a self-referential national orientation.97 And although some argue that the United States needs to get more involved in international research collaborations, others view them as secondary, insisting that the United States is the world leader. The conception of the United States as an isolated island and gold standard for scientific progress, however, carries, among other issues, the risk of invisible power relations between countries and particular privileges of U.S. academics, such as English as the lingua franca.

Furthermore, over the past few decades, changes in academia and scientific developments worldwide have challenged the U.S. position. Overall data, however, support the notion that, as Yu Xie98 puts it: “The nation’s position relative to other countries is changing, but this need not be reason for alarm.” For example, rising global competitors, especially from China and to some extent the EU, have been investing in research and development and growing their knowledge economies (see Figure 1.1.).99

Although the United States remains the leader in research and development (R&D) expenditures, the business sector finances much of these, often largely for development. The United States has also been the main spender in basic research ($74 billion), followed by Japan ($18 billion) and France ($13 billion), though it should be noted that the United States has a larger population.100 However, as other regions have increased funding for research and universities, changes in U.S. funding for research and higher education have been starving both public and private universities.101

These changes were triggered through the financial crisis in the 2000s and include shrinking endowments, falling charitable contributions, and cutbacks in government support. For example, federal funding for research has remained flat since 2004 and, in 2011, after a temporary boost from the Recovery Act, dipped for the first time in decades.102 Universities rely on such funding, particularly for basic research; 55 percent of overall college and university R&D funding comes from federal agencies, so these developments are a major concern.103 In addition, state revenues for higher education between 2000 and 2012 decreased by 37 percent, and federal sources did not pick these up entirely.104 Public colleges and universities that educate more than two-thirds of the students are especially hard hit by these changes, as federal and state revenues constitute 37 percent of their total budget.105

FIGURE 1.1. National trends and international comparisons of GDP on R&D funding, 1981–2013.
SOURCE: NSB Science and Engineering Indicators 2016.

Along with funding challenges, U.S. universities are experiencing tremendous institutional changes, as ongoing struggles over rationalization, bureaucratization, and modernization characterize a general trend toward a more corporate model of academia.106 The neoliberal components of what critics call “academic capitalism” impinge on academic institutions in various ways.107 Institutions experience increased pressure and competition over funding sources and national and international rankings, which lead to heightened pressure on faculty to seek external funding, intensified monitoring of faculty “productivity,” and greater emphasis on measurable notions of scholarly excellence and knowledge production.108

FIGURE 1.2. Science and engineering articles worldwide, 2003–2013.
SOURCE: NSB Science and Engineering Indicators 2016.

Globalization of scientific and engineering knowledge has reframed competition in academia as not only national but also international.109 To date, the United States has been the world leader in research outputs as measured by publications, with the highest number of articles in science and engineering for a single country. However, Asian countries are showing dramatic growth rates and increasingly challenging this lead. China’s share alone rose from 3 to 18.2 percent between 1997 and 2013. In 2013, the U.S. share of the world’s total science and engineering articles was 18.8 percent, down from 30 percent in 2001, while the EU share also dropped from 35 percent in 2001 to 27.5 percent in 2013 (see Figure 1.2).110

In this changing context of international scientific knowledge production, policy makers and academics view international collaborations as increasingly important, in particular as a (seemingly paradoxical) strategy to maintain U.S. leadership and be part of cutting-edge scientific developments. One concern is that collaborations among other countries, especially EU member states and China, could undermine U.S. leadership. As U.S. funding for research and higher education in general stagnates or even decreases, while funding increasingly becomes available elsewhere, international cooperation can be a welcome source of faculty research support. Overall, these developments, including changes in resource allocation and research output, challenge the notion of the United States as the undisputed world leader in science and engineering, generating complex and contested attitudes toward international collaboration (see Chapter 2).

STEM Fields, Gender, and Internationalization

The STEM disciplines are the ideal place to consider gender and internationalization, for they currently have the highest status and levels of internationalization in U.S. academia, along with some of the lowest participations by women. STEM fields have been valued highly, not only in the economic competition among countries but also in the competition between U.S. universities. This prioritizing of STEM fields is in part due to their promise of (large) federal government research grants that include facilities and administrative costs. These so-called indirect costs provide much desperately needed revenues for both public and private universities in the aftermath of the financial crises and otherwise dwindling public funding for higher education. Universities have been generalizing expectations for scientific work and increasingly imposing them on other fields, for instance, introducing rankings of publications and impact factors, reorienting expectations from monographs toward article publications, and expecting faculty to pay for their own research and support graduate students and postdocs with external funds.111 Thus developments in these fields are highly relevant for understanding changes in academia as a whole.

In general, gender inequalities continue to characterize U.S. higher education and academic careers despite important changes over the past decades: Although women now constitute the majority of U.S. college students, they remain underrepresented across all academic ranks in many STEM fields.112 Women compose less than 20 percent of U.S. STEM faculty in research universities, though integration varies across fields (women’s presence in social and life sciences has grown more quickly than in physical sciences and engineering). The United States ranks around the EU average for women’s representation in academia.113

STEM fields are also a central locus for globalization of scientific and technical knowledge, fueled by mobility of students, postdoctoral researchers, and faculty and collaborative activities, including large international research collaborations and laboratories. The international exchanges are fueled by the international funding resources, publication outlets, workshops, and conferences that promote the internationalization of science.

Academics in these fields increasingly engage internationally, as demonstrated by dramatically rising numbers of research collaborations and coauthored publications from different institutions. In 1988, just over half the articles in STEM fields had authors from multiple institutions; by 2012, that proportion was two-thirds. Scholars around the world are particularly publishing more internationally coauthored articles: In 1990, only 12 percent of overall articles had international coauthors; in 2010, that number was 32 percent. Between 1990 and 2010, the share of coauthored articles rose; articles with only domestic coauthors remained at 43 percent of all articles, while the percentage of internationally coauthored articles almost tripled (see Figure 1.3).114

In general, multi-institutional coauthorships have been rising, and international coauthorships have had a remarkable rise, reaching 33 percent in 2013.115 Researchers from China, the UK, and Germany are the three most frequent coauthors of U.S. scientists.116 The United States is also tightly intermeshed into the network of leading European nations according to patterns of citations—that is, who cites whom.117 However, the growth of the global network has, interestingly, not led to an increased clustering.118

U.S. STEM faculty rank low in international mobility compared to their counterparts in other academically strong countries. In thirteen of sixteen countries, the majority of scientists have international experience; only 19.2 percent of U.S. scientists have worked abroad, and only 5 percent were abroad in 2011.119 Because mobility is linked to international collaborations, it is not surprising that U.S. STEM faculty also collaborate less than faculty in other comparable countries.120 Approximately one-third of STEM PhDs in the NSF Survey of Earned Doctorates stated that they have international collaborators; this is similar to the percentage of coauthored science publications.121 The rising mobility, coauthorship, and collaboration in the United States demonstrate that international collaborations are increasingly important for U.S. scientists, but they also raise the question of why the United States is an outlier. I argue that the particular global positioning of the United States creates obstacles and fences that keep U.S. faculty from engaging in international collaborations and being mobile themselves. Of course, the size and relatively high level of resources of U.S. academia make it easier for faculty to find collaborators within national borders.122 Furthermore, because the United States has been an international magnet for students, researchers, and faculty, U.S. faculty have opportunities to interact with non-U.S. scholars without leaving home.

FIGURE 1.3. U.S. scientific collaboration, 1990–2010.
SOURCE: NSB Science and Engineering Indicators 2012.

In the postwar decades, the United States has been the ne plus ultra for scientific training and scientific labor the dominant destination country.123 It relies heavily on international recruitment of graduate students, postdocs, and faculty, especially in the STEM fields.124 International academics “bring the world” to the United States and create a dynamic context for creating meanings around international collaboration. For example, the idea that the “best academics” are in the United States emerges from the notion of the United States as a magnet for top talent with a comparably good research infrastructure. Although many students and postdocs prefer to stay in the United States, those who return to their home countries help create collaborative networks for U.S. faculty (outside the United States) without those faculty leaving their country,125 creating “brain circulation” that furthers international exchange. Foreign-born academics126 who stay in the United States may contribute to “brain drain” in other countries; for some, however, family and cultural ties also create motivation to engage in international collaborations. I subsume the foreign-born scientists under “U.S. scientists” because in the international academic community they are considered “American scientists” due to their academic nationality, their affiliation with U.S. research institutions, regardless of their citizenship status. And I define international collaborations of U.S. faculty as collaborations they engage in with academics in other countries, independent of the national or immigration backgrounds of those involved.127

Faculty in Research Universities

Finally, I focus on faculty in public and private research universities128 because the high stratification in U.S. higher education means that these academics have comparatively more resources of time (for research and building collaborations) and support (in the form of internal funding, infrastructure, and personnel, including graduate students and postdocs) that enable them to participate in international research and collaborations.129 They have the status and the resources to apply for the larger grants they need to fund international collaborations. Most universities, whether public or private, will not provide such large research funds. Because faculty encounter not only economic but also noneconomic, symbolic, cultural, and institutional barriers, it is not surprising that I found no systematic differences between public and private universities’ overall support of faculty’s international engagements.

Stratification occurs within research universities as well. I focus on tenure track and tenured faculty, who are more able to engage in collaborations for the same reasons as having access to these necessary resources.130 Instructors, contract staff, and others with precarious employment situations are less able to take “risks” to build international collaborations due to lack of funding, short-term planning horizons, and other such barriers.

By selecting the most privileged U.S. STEM faculty, I can investigate the range of freedom of academics to create international collaborative research practices and how gender matters in these. Because these faculty generally have more access to the necessary resources, they allow me to identify what other barriers and fences U.S. academics encounter in international research and collaborations. And despite some variation among fields, the overall percentage of women in STEM faculty positions in research universities remains the lowest compared to other fields and universities. Thus, faculty in research universities in STEM disciplines in the United States can provide important insights into how the globalization of scientific and engineering knowledge shapes and reconfigures gender (in)equalities.

Data and Methods

I have drawn the data for this book from several related projects on international collaboration and mobility, including two U.S. NSF-funded research projects. Data on the international experiences of STEM faculty include a survey of 100 principal investigators of NSF-funded international STEM projects (2009); phone and in-person interviews with more than 100 university STEM faculty (2007–2015); and eight focus groups with eighteen STEM faculty (2009–2010). Participants represent thirty-eight research universities across the United States; 57 percent of these are public and 43 percent are private. The interviews lasted between twenty minutes and two hours and were recorded and transcribed. Because this study is exploratory in nature, the sampling strategies sought faculty from a range of disciplines, regions, ages, ranks, genders, and minority statuses, with or without children living in the household.131 Although most faculty who participated in the study had some international research, collaboration, or mobility experiences, some did not.

Although faculty are the ones who actually collaborate, funding agencies and universities shape opportunities for engaging in international research and collaboration. To study these institutional contexts, I conducted interviews about opportunities and barriers for international collaboration and mobility with thirty department chairs and university administrators, seventeen funding agency personnel, sixteen policy makers, and thirteen academic experts in the United States and Europe (2007–2015). The interviews were coded for common themes and analyzed to reflect both recurring themes and variation of views, using NVIVO to organize the data analysis. A content analysis of policy documents and materials from funding agencies and policy makers complements the interview data. Finally, I draw on the results of an international expert workshop on international research collaboration I organized with Lisa Frehill at the NSF in Washington, D.C., in 2010.132

The Plan of the Book

In the following chapters, I show how the globalization of scientific and engineering knowledge creates a new frontier for the inclusion of women in STEM fields, with concomitant challenges and opportunities. Chapter 2 examines the institutional context for faculty decisions about engagement in international collaboration and research. I investigate the contrast between faculty perceptions of international research and collaborations as extremely positive—a highlight of their careers—and their experiences of lack of institutional recognition and support. Part of this dynamic is the construction of international collaboration as an activity for elite faculty. I also explore the meanings of international research for U.S. funding institutions and universities. By analyzing U.S. faculty constructions of (global) science, I identify how U.S. institutions position themselves globally. Although claims to U.S. scientific supremacy persist, there is also a call for international collaborations as in the “national interest” in maintaining its global position, which suggests a sense of threat to that supremacy. Not surprisingly, given these competing imperatives, faculty members use contradictory rationales to explain why international academic work is meaningful to them in the context of constructions of U.S. superiority, competition, the universality of scientific work, and international research as a “risky” activity.

In Chapter 3, I explain the benefits offered to women in international academic work. I argue that cultural schemas for U.S. scientists reveal an .edu bonus that depicts U.S. scholars as competent and overshadows stereotypes of women as less so. Academics marginalized at the national level by gender, minority background, or field can benefit particularly from the .edu bonus, drawing on the positive aspects of being a U.S. scholar in an international environment. For many women researchers, being a woman and a foreigner is thus a positive combination rather than an accumulation of disadvantages. Persistent stereotypes and myths hold that U.S. women scientists are not effective in cultural environments where no native women hold equal positions of power. But women scientists report that they are seen foremost as foreigners and treated as such, making their gender status less salient. This .edu bonus can serve to expand networks internationally and demonstrates the importance of analyzing the intersection of gender and foreigner status of U.S. scientists.

In Chapter 4, I focus on the glass fences, the various gendered challenges in international research collaborations. Because academia is still organized in gendered ways, these fences tend to have a more powerful impact on women’s careers. Gender is embedded in the international collaboration policies and practices of nation-states, funding agencies, universities, and researchers. I illustrate how these fences emerge in specific international work settings and research practices, examining in particular the implications for women’s access to and opportunities to participate in, organize, and operate international conferences, research sites, and fieldwork. I suggest that fences emerge when institutions and individuals construct safety abroad as a gendered issue. I argue that (global) academia is gendered through the organization of academic work around norms, values, and expectations that fit the ideal of an elite male global scientist with the personal, social, and academic resources to climb fences. The very structure of international collaboration thus privileges men over women and re-creates gendered inequalities in academia, globally and in the United States.

In Chapter 5, I challenge the conventional wisdom that family barriers make it impossible for faculty to engage in international collaborations and mobility. Despite discourse that suggests that children amplify family burdens for international research for mothers in particular, I debunk the notion that families (meaning those with young children) construct an insurmountable fence for women and hinder international work only for mothers. Diverse family commitments in various constellations can potentially be constraining, but they can also motivate and even support research abroad. Faculty with international family ties might have extra incentive to spend time in other countries and forge transnational academic careers, whereas “portable” or “supportive” partners (or lack thereof) can be another important factor in individual mobility.

The final chapter considers what these findings mean for research institutions. Drawing on the implications of the .edu bonus and glass fences for gender equality policies at funding agencies and universities, I argue that these institutions need to design internationalization strategies that recognize the diversity of both international research collaborations and their participants and take gender inequalities at the international and national level into account. I suggest ways to support international research collaborations that are inclusive of women, individuals from marginalized groups, and those with limited mobility due to caregiving. By promoting international collaboration and mobility, being transparent about support allocation, eliminating obstacles and fences through bureaucratic procedures and policies, and “broadening participation” along demographic lines, U.S. funding agencies and universities have the opportunity to help create a more inclusive (global) academia. I conclude with a cautionary note. When international collaboration and mobility become normative expectations for academic career paths, they might contribute to reproducing gender inequalities in academia because women might fit less the ideal of this kind of global scientist. Instead, the United States can do even more to engage other countries at the policy level to promote gender equality in academia at various levels, toward building an inclusive and innovative world of (global) academia.


1. To protect the confidentiality of my interviewees, the story of Thelma is a composite of aspects of many interviewees. Throughout the book, to disguise the individual faculty members and administrators, I have given pseudonyms to respondents and changed their fields if it was necessary and when the specific fields were not relevant.

2. See also Hogan et al. 2010.

3. My data do not allow me to study the prevalence of women’s and men’s international collaboration, nor do I study how women and men might differ in how they conduct international research collaborations.

4. Globalization is also a controversial concept in sociology of science. Although some maintain that science has always been global, others argue that over the past decades global science has become a new phenomenon due to the increased scope and intensity of the flow of ideas, knowledge, people, and norms and values.

5. Among many others, Xie 2014; Xie and Killewald 2012; Teitelbaum 2014; and Stephan 2012.

6. For example, “Effective international S&E partnerships advance the S&E enterprise and energize U.S. innovation and economic competitiveness, but they also have great potential to improve relations among countries and regions and to build greater S&E capacity around the world” (NSB 2008: 1). Among the strategic goals for 2011–2016 is to “keep the United States globally competitive at the frontiers of knowledge by increasing international partnerships and collaborations” (NSF 2011: 8).

7. This book focuses on international research collaborations; however, mobility is one of the key predictors for international collaborations of faculty (see discussion later). See also Childress 2010 and Altbach and Knight 2007 for the importance of faculty in internationalization strategies of universities. How high-skilled labor mobility contributes to globalization processes is widely recognized (see Sassen 1988). And the notion that mobility in general is not gender neutral has also been established (see Cresswell and Uteng 2008).

8. See data later in the chapter and Scellato et al. 2012.

9. Leemann 2010 and Costas, Camus, and Michalczyk 2013.

10. Key questions for this meeting are how to “make international collaboration successful and sustainable” as well as the “responsibilities of researchers, entrepreneurs, educators, and policymakers in global scientific endeavors,” (AAAS 2016). See also National Research Council 2014 for a summary of a workshop on international research collaborations.

11. See also my work on globalization of higher education and its implications for gender equality projects in higher education (Zippel et al. 2016 and Ferree and Zippel 2015).

12. See, for worldwide, Ramirez and Kwak 2015 and Ferree and Zippel 2015; for Scandinavian countries, see Nielsen 2014; for Germany, see Zippel et al. 2016; for the United States, see National Academy of Sciences et al. 2007, 2010, and Institute of Medicine et al. 2007.

13. Executive Office of the President of the United States 2013: 4.

14. See Freeman 2010: 393.

15. I am building on Altbach and Knight (2007), who developed an important definition to distinguish internationalization and globalization in higher education. My research, however, focuses more on the research than on the educational side of universities.

16. The American research university serves an ideal for the pursuit of excellence around the world; see Ramirez 2006.

17. I use the broad definition of the U.S. National Science Foundation for what constitutes a STEM field. These fields include chemistry, computer and information technology science, engineering, geosciences, life sciences, materials research, mathematical sciences, physics and astronomy, psychology, social sciences (including archaeology, anthropology, economics, and sociology). Although there are variations of collaboration patterns among fields, Leydesdorff et al. 2014 find that patterns of international coauthorship are surprisingly similar for social scientists and other scientists, although Mosbah-Natanson and Gingras 2013 find that for sociology the United States and Europe continue to form the key centers of collaboration.

18. See Cummings and Finkelstein 2012a; around 50 percent of U.S. faculty in STEM fields (agriculture 67 percent, life science 54 percent, physical sciences 52 percent, and engineering 47 percent) say they collaborate internationally, whereas this percentage is much lower for non-STEM fields—only 14 percent in law and 25 percent in education and the humanities and arts fields. Most researchers use coauthorship data from science and other databases to measure collaborations and to map collaboration networks among scientists. Despite some limitations, these available data are one of the best sources to conduct research on the prevalence and patterns of collaborations. Coauthoring means at a minimum some engagement among scientists over research and thus is a form of collaborative activity. The limitations include, for example, inconsistent coverage of journals across databases and exclusion of non–English language journals. In addition, disciplinary practices vary greatly as to who is listed as an author in which positions and so on (Glänzel and Schubert 2005).

19. Jöns and Hoyler 2013.

20. See Ferree and Zippel 2015.

21. And we do not have data that allow us to distinguish faculty by social class background, race/ethnicity, gender identity, or sexual orientation.

22. Although the data of my study allow me to explore this proposition, different methodologies, for example, experimental designs and long-term comparative studies with larger sample sizes, would be necessary to provide the strongest kind of social scientific evidence.

23. Mandelker 1994 invented the concept of glass border to depict the women’s underrepresentation in expatriate assignments. She argued that glass borders contribute also to the underrepresentation of women in senior management (see also Adler and Izraeli 1994).

24. Rosenfeld 1981 argued already gender differences in academic careers are due to gender differences in mobility among institutions. And Shauman and Xie 1996 found gender differences in geographic mobility of academics. Similarly, Cañibano et al. 2011 investigate how important temporary international mobility is for academic careers of Spanish PhD holders. But, so far, there are no theories or studies of U.S. faculty to explain the intersection of international (short-term) mobility and career success.

25. Childress 2010 discusses two exemplary cases of universities that focus on faculty international research collaborations as part of their broader internationalization strategies, Duke University and the University of Richmond. Each institution developed faculty seminars to support faculty’s pursuit of international scholarship, which were sponsored by well-regarded university centers, included an interdisciplinary focus, and considered the balance of timing and other faculty commitments. Additionally, the University of Richmond paid for faculty’s visa and passport fees, showing faculty that their engagement was valued and helping to motivate it, and Duke related its internationalization plan to its reaccreditation process.

26. I draw on the gender theory of gendered practices advanced by Connell and Wood 2005 and Martin 2003.

27. Wildavsky 2010; Altbach and Salmi 2011; and Kauppi and Erkkilä 2011.

28. Merton 1979.

29. In the United States, for instance, at a National Bureau of Labor conference in 2005, former Harvard University President Larry Summers notoriously stated that the lack of women in top science leadership positions might be due to differences in innate mathematical and logical skills, re-igniting a public and academic ongoing debate about the causes of women’s underrepresentation in many STEM fields.

30. Forty years of interdisciplinary research on gender and science literature has pointed to organizational and institutional factors, along with unintentional biases, that contribute to a lack of women in STEM fields (for a good overview, see Institute of Medicine et al. 2007). These factors include gendered inequalities in access to networks, institutional resources (space, grants, and fellowships), and other opportunities for advancement; a lack of a “critical mass” of women; and a lack of mentoring and role models for women. Explanations for the small numbers of women and lack of advancement in STEM fields also include their “chilly climate”; lack of institutional support for a work–life balance; and gender bias and cultural schemas that contribute to discriminatory (evaluative) practices in hiring and advancement.

31. Bailyn 2003; Britton 2010; Fox 2010; Roos and Gatta 2009; and Smith-Doerr 2004. However, for more regional perspectives on the EU, see Husu and Cheveigné 2010.

32. Institute of International Education 2014.

33. For the European Union Ackers 2000, 2004 and Vinkenburg et al. 2014; for Switzerland Leemann 2010; and for Australia White 2014.

34. Jöns 2007, 2011 and Leung 2014.

35. At the International Congress of the International Mathematical Union, Seoul, South Korea, August 13–21.

36. The concept of a gender gap means that a woman academic in the identical position as a man would be more or less likely to be involved in international collaborations. Many large-scale studies measure collaborations by coauthorships. Because there are other differences in the propensity to collaborate or coauthor, for example, based on rank and discipline, and women tend to be in lower ranks and under- or overrepresented in particular disciplines, studies control for these other factors (Smykla and Zippel 2010 and Frehill and Zippel 2011). Many non-U.S. studies find significant gender differences in collaborations and coauthorships, especially in international collaborations; see Abramo et al. 2013; Kyvik and Teigen 1996; Larivière et al. 2013; and Nielsen 2015.

37. Bozeman et al. 2013; Bozeman and Gaughan 2011; Cummings and Finkelstein 2012b and 2012c; Glänzel 2001; and Melkers and Kiopa 2010.

38. Many studies find significant gender differences in collaborations and coauthorships; for example, Bozeman and Corley 2004; Steffen-Fluhr 2006; and Sonnert and Holton 1995.

39. Fox and Mohapatra 2007 make an important distinction between collaboration that is cooperation among peers and teamwork that includes scientists who collaborated with students.

40. Also, Padilla-González et al. 2011 find that U.S. women faculty have more domestic collaborations compared to men, who are more likely to collaborate internationally.

41. Around the world, Larivière et al. 2013 find that for the fifty countries in which faculty are most productive, this is the case. For European countries, for findings that show lower percentages of women’s international collaboration and integration in international networks, see Abramo et al. 2013; Jöns 2011; and Leemann 2010. For Canada, Larivière et al. 2011 find that women tended to collaborate within the same providence. However, German coauthorship patterns found that teams composed of women only are more likely to be international than those of men or mixed teams, though they receive lower citations than those of internationally composed men-only teams (Elsevier 2015: 22).

42. See Smykla and Zippel 2010 for an overview and Chapters 4 and 5 for more discussions. Gender homophily means that women are more likely to collaborate with other women than are men. Because there are fewer women than men in higher academic positions around the world, women might find fewer other women to invite them to collaborate than do men; thus, this explanation finds that the cause for gendered patterns is the gender-segregated academic system (Vabø 2012 and Jöns 2011). Another prevalent explanation is that family commitments and dual-career priorities decrease women’s mobility, and less international mobility means fewer opportunities to build international collaborations (see Ackers 2004; Kyvik and Teigen 1996; Larivière et al. 2011 and 2013; and Leemann 2010).

43. See Cañibano et al. 2015, who find no overall gender gap in international mobility among Spanish doctoral holders; however, they find specific gendered patterns. Cañibano 2009 previously also found cohort effects; whereas gender imbalances exist for older cohorts of academics, they are not significant for younger cohorts. Women have fewer and shorter (international) visits; they go abroad at earlier career stages, and they stay in closer geographical range to home. Costas, Camus, and Michalczyk 2013 find that in France and Germany women are not less mobile than men. Ackers 2004 argues that a life course perspective is necessary to study mobility of women academics. See also Jöns 2011 and Leemann 2010.

44. For a discussion of various benefits and pitfalls of collaboration, see also Fox and Faver 1984.

45. Fox and Mohapatra 2007 and others point out that the relationship between collaboration and productivity is complicated. To put it simply, we do not know whether more productive faculty are asked to be in collaborations, or whether faculty are more productive when they engage in collaboration.

46. Larivière et al. 2013: 213.

47. For example, Larivière et al. 2013 and many others find that internationally coauthored publications are cited more frequently worldwide. Freeman, Ganguli, and Murciano-Goroff 2015 show this relation also for coauthorships of U.S. scientists, but they attribute this finding to the fact that international coauthorships involve more authors than domestic coauthorships. However, Hsiehchen et al. 2015 find that having collaborators from more different countries by itself increases the citation impact of articles.

48. According to Cummings and Finkelstein’s 2012c survey of U.S. professoriate (including faculty in business and the humanities, in addition to STEM fields) find that international collaborations are a significant predictor for the attainment of senior rank. This could be linked to productivity; indeed, Melkers and Kiopa 2010 find a correlation between international collaborations and productivity for U.S. faculty. Both women and men faculty at the associate level who engage in international collaborations are more productive in terms of publications than are those without international collaborators (409–410). However, Padilla-Gonzales et al. 2011 analyzing the same CAP dataset that Cummings and Finkelstein used find that international collaborations are a significant predictor for productivity only for U.S. men but not for U.S. women faculty.

49. The jury is out as to whether there is a gender bias in how collaborative work gets evaluated. A recent study of economists shows that women’s contributions in coauthored publications do not receive the same recognition as men’s contributions, hurting women’s chances of getting tenure. Sarsons 2016 found that teamwork pays off less for women than for men because coauthored and solo-authored publications are valued differently for tenure for men and women. Women who published single-authored work were more likely to get tenure than women who coauthored publications. The penalty for coauthored publications is even higher when women coauthor solely with men and decreases when women are coauthors with other women.

50. Acker 1990; Britton 2000; Martin 2003; and Connell 2011.

51. Bird 2011; Ecklund et al. 2012; Jacobs and Winslow 2004; Husu and Koskinen 2010; Misra et al. 2012; Misra et al. 2011; Roos and Gatta 2009; Smith-Doerr 2004; Winslow 2010; Wharton 2015; Whittington and Smith-Doerr 2008; van den Brink 2010; and van den Brink and Benschop 2012.

52. Of course adjuncts and faculty in other fields and institutions with fewer resources face additional structural barriers.

53. Kapheim et al. 2015.

54. Most research studies use broad definitions due to field and discipline and leave it to respondents to define what they consider collaborations. For increases in (international) collaborations, see overviews in Bozeman, Fay and Slade 2013; Glänzel and Schubert 2005; Stephan 2012:73; and Wuchty et al. 2007.

55. Freeman et al. 2015.

56. Wuchty et al. 2007; see also Freeman et al. 2015.

57. Adams 2013; Gazni et al. 2012; Leydesdorff et al. 2013; and Wagner 2009.

58. Adams 2012.

59. Unlike Sassen 2001, who might argue that scientists who belong to the global elite differ less around the world, like high-skilled professionals working in cities.

60. For example, although Germany has stricter restrictions on stem cell research, the UK is more permissive on research on human embryos. Stephan 2012 tells the story of a Chinese American scientist who has a dual appointment at a U.S. and a Chinese university; it allows him to afford large-scale research on mice in China that would be more expensive in the United States.

61. National Science Board 2016: 5–9.

62. Frehill and Zippel 2011: Figure 1, page 41. Among U.S. doctoral degree holders, 27 percent of women in businesses, 23 percent in government, and only 21 percent in educational institutions say they collaborate internationally. The numbers for men are higher: 39 percent in business, 29 percent in government, and 28 percent in educational institutions. The gender gap is also highest in businesses, with 12 percent more men indicating that they have international collaborators, versus only 7 percent in academia.

63. Finkelstein 2014 and Jacob and Meek 2013. For the EU, see Ackers 2005; Børing et al. 2015; Morano-Foadi 2005; and Musselin 2004; for China, see Leung 2014; for Korea, see Park 2007. Overall, Altbach 2015 reminds us that professors worldwide are not a very mobile group, yet a selected group of scholars and scientists are highly mobile.

64. Women make up a higher proportion of full-time faculty at undergraduate colleges (42 percent) compared to research universities (34 percent) (see West and Curtis 2006). The percentage of women professors by ranks (assistant is highest, full is lowest) decreases even among research universities depending on the type of institution (doctoral, high research, or very high research activity). Although doctoral institutions have 30 percent of women as full professors, very high research activity universities have only 23 percent. And although 53 percent of assistant professors at doctoral institutions are women, only 45 percent at very high research activity institutions are women. See the data on instructional staff with faculty status by gender for 2012 fall, source: IPEDS data center (National Center for Education Statistics 2015). Thanks to Yun Cho for the calculations.

65. See the data later in the chapter; also Adams 2013; Cummings and Finkelstein 2012b; Franzoni et al. 2012; and The Royal Society 2011.

66. Institute of International Education 2014a.

67. According to the National Science Foundation, approximately 27 percent of employees in S&E occupations in the United States were foreign born in 2010, yet among all college-educated workers (regardless of occupational category) only 15 percent were foreign born. At the doctoral level, over 40 percent were foreign born in each S&E occupation except the social sciences (National Science Foundation 2014).

68. According to Franzoni et al. 2012, only 5 percent of U.S. scientists were outside their country in 2011.

69. Altbach and Knight 2007, Stichweh 2009, and others have pointed out that universities have always been international institutions. Universities can be considered simultaneously global, international, national, and local; see also Levitt 2015, who theorizes how local and global are not exclusionary ideas but can constitute one another.

70. Anderson 1983.

71. Fox 2001 and Merton 1979.

72. Merton 1979. Lamont 2009 also points out to the social processes of evaluations in academia.

73. Bozeman and Gaughan 2011; Fox 2001; and Melkers and Kiopa 2010.

74. Ridgeway 2011.

75. Ridgeway 2011; Miller, Eagly, and Linn 2015 found evidence of persistent gender-science stereotypes in sixty-six nations.

76. See also Ramos and Martin-Palomino 2015, who find emancipatory desires in internationally mobile Spanish women.

77. Singer 2003.

78. Rossiter 1982.

79. Miller 2008: 56.

80. Gillett 2013 and Jules-Rosette 2005.

81. See Altbach and Knight 2007 and Stichweh 2009.

82. Adler and Izraeli 1994.

83. Acker 1990, 2006; Britton 2000; and Martin 2003.

84. NSF survey data reveal that those who earned degrees abroad are more likely to engage in international collaborations than those who have only U.S. degrees (Falkenheim and Kannankutty 2012). Cummings and Finkelstein 2012b: 101 find that the odds of U.S. faculty who spent one or two years abroad after their undergraduate degree were three times likelier to engage in international research collaborations than other faculty. See also Freeman et al. 2015 and Franzoni et al. 2012.

85. Leemann 2010, for example, points to the intersectionality of life course, family, class, and gender in explaining why some faculty participate less in international collaborations.

86. Data from the Institute of International Education, the Open Doors Report 2014a show that 76.3 percent of students going on study abroad are white and that black and Latino/Latina students are underrepresented. Studies find that family income, financial support, but also cultural barriers play important roles in explaining the overrepresentation of white students.

87. I draw here on the work of Acker 2006 and others, who have pointed out that globalization is often thought of as gender neutral and that the theorizing of gender in the United States has only recently begun to take it into account.

88. Research on gender and globalization processes depicts them frequently as disempowering for women focusing on low-skilled labor; see Acker 2004, Ehrenreich and Hochschild 2003, and Salzinger 2004. By contrast, my interviewees are high-skilled privileged women (see also Luke 2001).

89. Salzinger 2004 and Collins 2003.

90. See Bozeman, Fay, and Slade 2013, who argue that organizational contexts shape the propensity of scientists to collaborate.

91. Xie 2014: 1 and Jöns and Hoyler 2013.

92. Xie and Killewald 2012.

93. See Stephan 2012 and Teitelbaum 2014, questioning the pervasiveness of the argument about general shortages.

94. Xie 2014: 1 (electronic copy) and Teitelbaum 2014: 173.

95. See Teitelbaum 2014: 172–173.

96. National Academy of Sciences et al. 2007, 2010.

97. Case studies bear fruit on the specificity of countries. Knobel et al. 2013 discuss these developments in Brazil; Robertson and Keeling 2008 compare the positions of various countries.

98. Xie 2014: 1 and Xie and Killewald 2012; see also Teitelbaum 2014 and Stephan 2012.

99. NSB 2016 Figure/Table 4–8. Sources: National Science Foundation, National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics, OECD, UN.

100. NSB 2014; table 4–6.

101. Tuchman 2009.

102. See trends in R&D by agency, AAAS 2015. There was a brief spike in 2009 with the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

103. NSB 2014: 4-4.

104. See The Pew Charitable Trusts 2015.

105. Ibid.

106. McMillan Cottom and Tuchman 2015, Kleinmann and Vallas 2001, Tuchman 2009, and Ferree and Zippel 2015.

107. Slaughter and Leslie 1997 and Slaughter and Rhodes 2004.

108. Altbach and Salmi 2001; Jöns and Hoyler 2013; Hemlin and Rassmussen 2006; Espeland and Sauder 2007; and Sauder and Espeland 2009.

109. Jöns and Hoyler 2013; Robertson and Keeling 2008; and Altbach and Salmi 2011.

110. NSB 2014 and NSB 2016, Table 5.24.

111. Clark 1987 and Tuchman 2009.

112. See the earlier discussion of explanations for this underrepresentation—and also Institute of Medicine et al. 2007 for a useful overview of the literature.

113. See Ramirez and Kwak 2015 for a useful cross-national comparison from 1970 through 2010. Comparisons across countries are difficult because of varying career paths and data availability, however, among the countries worldwide that have higher percentages of women among STEM degree holders and academics than the United States are Bulgaria, Latvia, Romania, Finland, Switzerland, Turkey, and Croatia (NSB 2016; European Commission 2016).

114. NSB 2014 and NSB 2012, Figure 5–25. Notes: “Article counts from set of journals covered by Science Citation Index (SCI) and Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI).” Sources: National Science Foundation, National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics, and The Patent Board, special tabulations (2011) from Thomson Reuters, SCI and SSCI.

115. NSB 2016: Table 5.27.

116. Adam 2012 uses data from the Web of Science.

117. Leydesdorff et al. 2014.

118. Wagner et al. 2015.

119. Franzoni et al. 2012: 1252 conducted this survey in 2011. See also Appelt et al. 2015 for a comparison of how the United States fares among OECD countries.

120. Cummings and Finkelstein 2012b find that having spent time abroad after a BA increases the likelihood that U.S. academics engage in international collaborations; Freeman et al. 2015 find that collaborators spend time together at an institution; Scellato et al. 2012 also find that immigrants are more likely to engage in international collaborations, create networks abroad, and have coauthors from more countries than the other scientists.

121. Frehill and Zippel 2011; analyzing the 2006 NSF survey of doctoral recipients with sample size N = 30,800 respondents found that one-third of STEM PhDs say they collaborated with other countries. See also Adams (2013); Cummings and Finkelstein (2012b); Franzoni et al. 2012; and The Royal Society 2011.

122. Luukkonen et al. 1992 find that cross-country variations of international collaboration can be explained by a range of factors including “cognitive, social, historical, geopolitical, and economic factors” (101).

123. Institute of International Education 2014 and Robertson and Keeling 2008.

124. Teitelbaum 2014 and Stephan 2012. According the National Science Foundation 2014: 3–53, “At the doctoral level, over 40 percent were foreign born in each S&E occupation except the social sciences.” Among PhDs in S&E, the five largest countries of origin are China (23 percent), India (13 percent), the UK (6 percent), Canada (4 percent), and Germany (4 percent) (see Figure 3–36, page 3–53).

125. Scellato et al. 2012 find that scientists who are internationally mobile as postdocs or for jobs have the highest rates of engaging in collaborations across national borders.

126. According to the National Study of Postsecondary Faculty 2004, at least one-third of STEM faculty are foreign born (National Center for Education Statistics 2004). Cummings and Finkelstein 2012c find that 21 percent of faculty are foreign born, but only 5 percent are foreign trained (72). This study includes STEM fields as well as humanities and business where foreign born/trained are fewer.

127. For quotes, however, I noted, however, whether faculty were foreign born, if their background seemed relevant to what they said.

128. Clark 1987 points out how important institutional types are for shaping the American academic profession. The definition of research universities is based on the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education 2015. About 209 universities are considered to have high or very high research activity; these institutions grant doctoral degrees and conduct research.

129. Cummings and Finkelstein 2012b: 100 find that institutional context is a predictor for research active faculty’s international activities, including research collaborations and international coauthorships; this includes research institutions as well as faculty-driven internationalization efforts.

130. However, as we will see in Chapter 2, university tenure requirements, with their emphases on grants and publications alongside rigid teaching schedules, can also impede international collaboration (see also Cummings and Finkelstein 2012b).

131. See Appendix for more details in the sample and sampling strategy appendix. See also Frehill, Vlaicu, and Zippel 2010.

132. Hogan et al. 2010.