The Summer Writing Retreat (SWR) provided a means of support for the research careers of women faculty in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) fields and Social and Behavioral Sciences (SBS) fields. The SWR sought to redefine the role of women faculty in STEM and SBS by strengthening their publishing and grant writing productivity within their departments. The SWR curriculum was designed to enhance the participants' research and writing skills and consequently increase their increase publication of peer-reviewed articles and to increase the quality of grant proposals submitted. The SWR also encouraged a cohesive community of scholarly writers and promoted the self-discipline of daily writing.
Participants were required to complete one of the following by the end of the Summer Writing Retreat: an article for a peer-reviewed journal or conference proceedings, a book chapter or a grant proposal for submission to a funding agency. Participants provided weekly updates on the status of their projects throughout the summer. The Summer Writing Retreat culminated in participants' presentations of their research to their peers and invited guests.
All Jackson State University full-time faculty in STEM or SBS disciplines were eligible to participate. The program supported pre-tenure and tenured faculty. It exercised an initial preference for including women faculty approaching tenure or promotion in those disciplines.