Ten proposals selected for faculty hiring initiative

Initiatives ranging from the exploration of genomic function to intervention science in special education to sports products are among the 10 proposals chosen as the highest priorities for a three-year project aimed at boosting the UO’s national presence in cutting-edge research.

UO Provost Scott Coltrane said the list marks the first phase of the Cluster of Excellence Faculty Hiring project. The selected proposals will have highest priority for funding in the first round of hiring.

“We will pursue funding for these proposals using all available sources and expect to fund several of them through a combination of philanthropy and institutional sources,” Coltrane said in announcing the selections.

In alphabetical order, the 10 proposals are:

  • Center for Genome Function. Primary coordinator: Eric Selker.
  • Faculty Cluster in Chemistry and Physics to Amplify Excellence in Energy and Sustainable Materials. Primary coordinators: James Hutchison and Andrew Marcus.
  • Health Promotion, Obesity Prevention, and Human Development. Primary coordinator: Elizabeth Stormshak.
  • Integrated Analysis of Biological Networks. Primary coordinator: William Cresko.
  • Life at Nanoscale. Primary coordinators: Brad Nolen and Ken Prehoda.
  • Neurons to Minds. Primary coordinator: Ed Awh.
  • Prevention and Intervention Sciences in Special Education. Primary coordinator: Christopher Murray.
  • Securing National Prominence in Volcanology, Volcanic Hazards, and Geothermal Energy. Primary coordinator: Paul Wallace.
  • Sports Product Initiative. Primary coordinator: James Bean.
  • Sustainable Cities Initiative Research Hub. Primary coordinators: Nico Larco and Marc Schlossberg.

A total of 34 proposals were submitted from schools, colleges and departments across the university. The final list of high-priority proposals came out of three independent reviews, which Coltrane said produced a substantial level of agreement on the top initiatives. The reviews found that the 10 top proposals had the best chance of achieving the goals of the cluster hire project in the first round of hiring.

Reviews were conducted by the Research Advisory Board, the Faculty Advisory Council and the Academic Leadership Team. The evaluations looked at each proposal’s ability to give the UO national or international pre-eminence, potential to build on and connect to existing strengths and strong likelihood of improving academic benchmarks.

Coltrane stressed that while the 10 proposals will have the highest priority for funding, all of the submissions were worthy and that none will be ignored.

“Cluster hire proposals not on the high priority list may still be funded through specific philanthropic gifts, and we will be working with the Office of Advancement and individual schools and colleges to make sure that those ideas are part of our larger fund raising campaign goals,” Coltrane said. “The full list of cluster of excellence submissions will be an invaluable asset to us as we move forward.”

Information about the Faculty Excellence Cluster Hire Program is available here.

―By Greg Bolt, Public Affairs Communications