In each of the next three years, UW-Madison will make a substantial investment to reopen the Cluster Hiring Initiative. It is anticipated that funding will be provided for about five new clusters in each of the next three years, for a total of up to fifteen new faculty each year. The first round of cluster proposals are due Friday, Nov. 3, 2017; it is expected that a second call for proposals will be issued in the spring of 2018 (Round 2), with two subsequent rounds taking place in the fall of 2018 (Round 3) and the fall of 2019 (Round 4). If funding remains available, the program will continue beyond 2019-20.
The purpose of cluster hires is to deepen the university’s interdisciplinary research strength in key areas of current and future research promise, and to catalyze innovative responses to contemporary problems that can only be solved through research that crosses disciplinary and methodological boundaries. An interdisciplinary cluster is a group of three faculty with overlapping research interests, typically hired across different units.
For the first six years (five years for faculty hired with tenure), the initial salary costs of new hires in each cluster will be fully covered by central funds. Any salary increases over this time period should be covered by the units involved. After the initial funding period, the initial salary costs will be split 70:30 with the involved units (central funding covering 70 percent of the salary cost, with the units covering the remaining 30 percent). We will continue to ask the units to cover any future salary increases.
The main goal of the centrally-funded cluster program is to support faculty hiring, and it is expected that the majority of requested funds in proposals are for the recruitment and hiring of faculty. Successful, already-existing clusters also may make proposals to replace a departed cluster colleague; such requests will go through the same process as proposals for new clusters.
Start-up funding is not included in the new centrally-funded cluster allocation; these funds should be sought through the normal process of application to the office of the VCRGE once the faculty to be hired are identified. Units involved will also be expected to make some contribution to these costs. All proposals – regardless of whether they are made by individual faculty members, departments, research centers, or deans – must involve consultation with the relevant units, schools and colleges and provide evidence of that consultation.
All proposals – regardless of whether they are made by individual faculty members, departments, research centers, or deans – must involve consultation with the relevant units, schools and colleges and provide evidence of that consultation. Groups of individual faculty, research centers, or schools/colleges can submit a proposal for a cluster hire.