Welcome to the Black Ph.D. Pipeline Project!

The BPPP is a collaborative research project that focuses on improving understanding of the sociology degree-to-faculty “pipeline”, specifically the social networks and structural means by which Black sociology faculty members in the United States have navigated academic job market and hiring processes. We are funded by a 2021 grant from the American Sociological Association’s Fund for the Advancement of the Discipline.

A 2007 American Sociological Association research brief identified a “leaky pipeline” for Black sociologists: though Black students comprised the largest share of Bachelor’s and Master’s sociology degree-recipients among non-white students, this trend did not continue in the share of Ph.Ds earned or in tenure-track employment. The BPPP investigates the experiences of Black faculty who are currently working or have worked in academic positions that have promotional tracks (both full-time teaching and tenure-track faculty) to understand how Black sociologists traverse this “pipeline,” in particular, how scholars are hired, tenured, promoted, and/or transited across institutions. We aim to discover more details about the experiences Black sociologists face seeking academic positions and what kinds of knowledge, mentoring, and collegial networks are produced in order to better facilitate success in achieving tenure and promotion.

This mixed-methods project currently consists of a survey that includes questions about advisor networks, perceptions of social status, and demographics in order to engage in a networks analysis. The BPPP will later conduct oral history interviews to develop a deeper understanding of what roadblocks exist in the academic sociology pipeline. The survey, which you can take here, a) establishes an initial record of Black sociologist “firsts” to achieve tenure and/or promotion, b) ascertains the degree to which tenured/promoted Black sociologists move between departments and university roles, and c) maps the social connections Black sociologists are part of to understand their role throughout sociologists’ careers.

If you are interested in participating in our survey, appropriate respondents include any Black scholars with PhDs in Sociology or those who have a PhD in another discipline but currently work exclusively in a Sociology department. Click here to take the survey or reach out to blacksocpipeline@gmail.com to contact the research team.

“Ten Grants Awarded from the ASA Fund to Advance the Discipline” in Footnotes