COACh is a grass-roots organization in the U.S. that is working to increase the scientific success and leadership capacity of women scientists and engineers. One of COACh’s most visible and high-impact activities has been its career building workshops held at several hundred universities and professional society meetings. Since its formation in 1997 over 18,000 researchers, faculty, graduate students and postdoctoral associates from across the U.S. have participated in COACh workshops. The research collaborations, leadership training, career guidance, mentoring and networking opportunities provided in these programs have been shown to greatly enhance the career progress and scientific successes of women scientists who have participated in its programs.
More recently COACh has been working with scientists and engineers in developing countries to assist in building intellectual and leadership capacity in areas of global need through two types of programs. The first involves creating research and educational partnerships between women scientists in the U.S. and those in developing countries through 1-3 day workshops on a scientific topic of mutual interest. Such workshops on a variety of topics have been held in Chile, Argentina, Jamaica, Morocco, Namibia, Laos and Vietnam. The second program involves offering COACh career building workshops in-country for men and women scientists and engineers on topics that include obtaining research funding from international sources, publishing research results, communicating science effectively to international audiences, career launch and fellowship applications, negotiation and leadership techniques for teachers, researchers and administrators. Such workshops have been held in countries such as Cameroon, Gabon, Algeria, Tunisia, Morocco, Kenya, Ethiopia, Indonesia, Thailand, India, Mozambique, China and Brazil.
With its base of operation at the University of Oregon, COACh is governed by an international advisory board of leading women scientists and engineers. Grants from the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, the U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. State Department have sponsored these activities. Membership in COACh is free and open to all interested in joining.