Through a $3.3 million grant from the National Science Foundation’s ADVANCE program, the University of Maine conducted several studies beginning in 2008 related to faculty departure.

A consistent finding from these studies was that up to half of the faculty leaving the university in a given time period pointed to a lack of partner accommodation and family integration as their primary reason for departure. Moreover, these faculty members pointed to the difficulties they found in trying to connect with others in the region.

In the summer of 2013, a supplemental grant from the National Science Foundation allowed for the creation of the Maine Career Connect, modeled after Tech Valley Connect in New York State.