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Faculty Cluster Hire Initiative


Cluster Hire Initiative: Request for Proposals/Template

As a land-grant institution, Auburn University is committed to advancing knowledge and discovery through application and scholarly work. To promote successful interdisciplinary research, scholarship, creative work, and engagement activities, it is important to identify existing multidisciplinary opportunities for research and cultivate new ones.

At the 2014 Research Retreat, the Associate Deans for Research (ADRs) identified cluster hiring as a key way to enhance the University’s existing research capacity, contribute new discoveries and applications of knowledge, and address real-world problems that require cross-disciplinary expertise.

In support of this effort and in consultation with the Deans, ADRs, and the Office of the Vice President for Research and Economic Development, the Provost’s Office is launching the Faculty Cluster Hiring Initiative.

Initiative Objectives:

  1. To identify important and socially relevant areas of scholarly work;

  2. To advance multidisciplinary research, scholarship, and creative work by Auburn’s faculty;

  3. To support the strategic directions of the departments, schools, and colleges;

  4. To broaden campus discussions and build faculty research alliances in areas unique to Auburn University;

  5. To enhance Auburn’s existing faculty strengths while identifying new campus resources.

Process for Cluster Hire Initiative

The Faculty Cluster Hiring Initiative will follow a two-stage submission process, beginning with a series of short presentations given by faculty that provide a brief overview on a key area of research. All presenters will be given the following parameters:

  • 5 minutes to present

  • 5 PowerPoint slides

  • 5 minutes for questions and answers

A total of eight presentation sessions are scheduled during November and December 2014, each session is focused on a broad research theme, with six faculty presenting during each session. All faculty are encouraged to attend. Any faculty member who desires to present is asked to contact the ADR identified as the moderator for that session.

Faculty Research Presentation Sessions

All sessions will be held in the RBD Library presentation room (located on the ground floor across from the Special Collections) and will include light refreshments prior to the first speaker. The sessions will be moderated by the Associate Dean for Research listed below.

Faculty proposals are NOT limited to these topics. Cluster proposals from all areas are welcome.

Session #1: Monday, November 3

4:30-6:00
Theme: Climate Change
ADR Moderator: Ray Henry, College of Sciences and Mathematics
RBD Library presentation room (located on the ground floor across from the Special Collections)

Presenters:

  1. Susan Pan, School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences: Climate-ecosystem-human interaction at multiple scales from landscape to global: research program in the climate center (IC-CGRC)
    PP Presentation

  2. Ming-kuo Lee, College of Science and Mathematics: Climate-Induced Hydrologic and Geochemical Modifications in Alluvial and Coastal Watersheds
    PP Presentation

  3. Kelly Alley, College of Liberal Arts: Water, energy, and climate in the Ganga-Brahmaputra valley
    PP Presentation

  4. Lisa Samuelson, School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences: Climate change adaptation and mitigation in southern pine forests
    PP Presentation

  5. Steve Dobson, College of Science and Mathematics: Mapping animal fitness onto seasonal climate change
    PP Presentation

  6. Puneet Srivastava, College of Agriculture: Incorporating Climate Information in Water Resources Decision-making
    PP Presentation

  7. Click here to view faculty presentations.

Session #2: Monday, November 10  

4:30-6:00
Theme: Health Sciences (1st session)
ADR Moderator: Jennifer Kerpelman, College of Human Sciences
RBD Library presentation room (located on the ground floor across from the Special Collections)

Presenters:

  1. Dr. Beth Schwartz, College of Sciences and Mathematics: Microbiota-Obesity-Inflammation
    PP Presentation

  2. Dr. Robert Judd, College of Veterinary Medicine: Boshell Diabetes and Metabolic Diseases Research Program PP Presentation

  3. Dr. Bruce Smith, College of Veterinary Medicine: Cancer Research at Auburn
    PP Presentation

  4. Dr. Elizabeth Lipke, Samuel Ginn College of Engineering: Cardiovascular Disease
    PP Presentation

  5. Dr. Mona El Sheikh, College of Human Sciences: Health Disparities, Sleep and Development
    PP Presentation

  6. Dr. Rick Hansen, Harrison School of Pharmacy: Optimizing Health Care Delivery and Outcomes
    PP Presentation

Click here to view faculty presentations.

Session #3: Wednesday, November 12          

4:30-6:00
Theme: Environmental Health
ADR Moderator: Art Chappelka, School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences
RBD Library presentation room (located on the ground floor across from the Special Collections)

Presenters:

  1. Wayde Morse, School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences: Human behavior, the environment, and health
    PP Presentation

  2. Derek Ross, College of Liberal Arts: Radical environmentalism: The rhetoric and ethics of resistance
    PP Presentation

  3. Luxin Wang, College of Agriculture: Zoonotic diseases & the environment
    PP Presentation

  4. Latif Kalin, Forestry and Wildlife Sciences: Water quality as a nexus between land use/cover and infectious diseases
    PP Presentation

  5. Derrick Mathias, College of Agriculture: Dissecting the transmission biology of vector-borne diseases 
    PP Presentation

  6. Paul Walz, College of Veterinary Medicine: Ecology of bovine viral diarrhea virus
    PP Presentation

Click here to view faculty presentations.

Session #4: Monday, November 17  

4:30-6:00
Theme: Energy (1st session)
ADR Moderator: Ralph Zee, Samuel Ginn College of Engineering
RBD Library presentation room (located on the ground floor across from the Special Collections)

Presenters:

  1. Anne Gorden, College of Sciences and Mathematics: Opportunities, Initiatives, and Overlap: Physical Sciences Research Targeting Future Energy Needs
    PP Presentation

  2. Tom Gallagher, School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences: Harvesting Practices to Support Renewable Energy
    PP Presentation

  3. Yasser Gowayed, Samuel Ginn College of Engineering: High Temperature Materials for Energy Generation
    PP Presentation

  4. Chuck Savrda, College of Sciences and Mathematics: Unconventional Hydrocarbon Systems Scientist
    PP Presentation

  5. Steve Taylor, College of Agriculture: Energy research in Center for Bioenergy and Bioproducts and its Capabilities
    PP Presentation

  6. Roy Hartfield, Samuel Ginn College of Engineering: Gas Turbine Optimization
    PP Presentation

  7. Click here to view faculty presentations.

Session #5: Monday, December 1

4:30-6:00
Theme: Nano-Bio Sciences
ADR Moderator: Skip Bartol, College of Veterinary Medicine
RBD Library presentation room (located on the ground floor across from the Special Collections)

Presenters:

  1. Allan David, Samuel Ginn College of Engineering: 'Smart' nanomaterials for biomedical applications
    PP Presentation

  2. Virginia Davis, Samuel Ginn College of Engineering: Enabling Engineering Applications through the Self-Assembly of Nano- and Bio- Materials
    PP Presentation

  3. Chris Easley, College of Sciences & Mathematics: Opportunities in Measurement Science and Chemical Biology using Nanoscale Assemblies
    PP Presentation

  4. Tatiana Samoylova, College of Veterinary Medicine: Phage Nanobiotechnology
    PP Presentation

  5. Jacek Wower, College of Agriculture: Bio-functionalization, biosynthesis and biomedical applications of nanomaterials

    Click here to view faculty presentations

Session #6: Wednesday, December 3

**DIFFERENT TIME 3:30-5:30**
Theme: Energy (2nd session)
**DIFFERENT LOCATION: McCartney Suite of the Shelby Center**

ADR Moderator: Ralph Zee, Samuel Ginn College of Engineering

Presenters:

  1. Bruce Tatarchuk, Samuel Ginn College of Engineering: Scalable Fuel Production and Energy Conversion

  2. Maobing Tu, School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences:Redefine the Role of Lignin in Biochemical Conversion of Lignocellulosic Biomass to Biofuels

  3. Prabhakar Clement, Samuel Ginn College of Engineering: Energy and the Environment

  4. Ben Choe, Samuel Ginn College of Engineering: Batteries

  5. Jorge Valenzuela, Samuel Ginn College of Engineering: Optimization of Electric Power Systems

  6. Jeff Fergus and ZY Cheng, Samuel Ginn College of Engineering: Materials Engineering

    Click here to view faculty presentations

Session #7: Friday, December 5

4:30-6:00
Theme: Computational Science (includes genomics and informatics)
ADR Moderator: Ray Henry, College of Sciences and Mathematics
RBD Library presentation room (located on the ground floor across from the Special Collections)

  1. Kai Chang, Samuel Ginn College of Engineering: Scientific Computation in Computer Science and Software Engineering
    PP Presentation

  2. J.J. Dong, College of Sciences & Mathematics: Predicting atomistic structures and properties of materials from first-principles computation
    PP Presentation

  3. Orlando Acevedo, College of Sciences & Mathematics: Computational Organic, Biological, and Medicinal Chemistry
    PP Presentation

  4. Gopikrishna Deshpande, Samuel Ginn College of Engineering: Magnetic Resonance Imaging Based Computational Models of Brain Function
    PP Presentation

  5. Ken Halanych, College of Sciences & Mathematics: The intersection of biology and computation - Biology at the genomic scale
    PP Presentation

  6. Richard Hansen, Harrison School of Pharmacy: Big data and health outcomes research
    PP Presentation

    Click here to view faculty presentations.

Session #8: Thursday, December 11

4:30-6:00
Theme: Health Sciences (2nd session)
ADR Moderator: Jennifer Kerpelman, College of Human Sciences
RBD Library presentation room (located on the ground floor across from the Special Collections)

  1. Tom Denny, Samuel Ginn College of Engineering: Neuroscience Research at the AU MRI Research Center
    PP Presentation

  2. Bonnie Sanderson, School of Nursing: Translational Research & Health Science Priorities
    PP Presentation

  3. John Quindry, College of Education: Integrative Biology of Exercise: Applications to health science research

  4. Doug Martin, College of Veterinary Medicine:  Neurologic Disease and Therapeutics

    Click here to view faculty presentations.

Competitive Request for Proposals (RFPs)

Beginning in December 2014, faculty will be invited to submit a proposal in response to an RFP for faculty cluster hires. Criteria for the submissions include:

  • A list of the sponsoring colleges or schools. These are home academic units of the proposed faculty to be hired. These colleges and schools will be required to commit resources to the cluster hire program. All cluster proposals must be sponsored by at least two colleges or schools.

  • A narrative of no more than three pages describing the scientific/scholarly work of the proposed cluster and listing faculty already at Auburn who would be part of the cluster. The narrative should explain how the addition of 3-5 new faculty would elevate scholarly work at Auburn in this area and significantly advance the research enterprise of the university. The narrative should also list the departments into which the new faculty would be hired and the resources that will be required (e.g., startup, major shared equipment, etc.). Proposals for senior hires as part of the cluster are encouraged, but an explanation should be given for why a senior-level hire is needed.

  • CVs for each faculty member at Auburn who will be part of the proposed cluster. Please use the 2 page NSF-style format.

  • A letter of endorsement from the dean of each college involved in the proposed cluster.

  • The deadline for submission is February 15, 2015 and all proposals must be submitted to Dr. Nick Giordano, Dean, College of Sciences and Mathematics.

Evaluation of RFPs

Following the deadline, the ADRs will conduct an initial review of submissions and provide recommendations for further review.

Informed by these recommendations, a selection committee—composed of the Provost, the Deans, and representatives from the Office of the Vice President for Research and Economic Development—will review the initial proposals and invite selected authors to prepare expanded proposals detailing that include the prospects for generating external funding, the vision for the cluster in five years, and the metrics that will be used to measure the cluster's success. It is anticipated that winning proposals will be announced no later than the end of spring semester.

Last Updated: October 17, 2016