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University Academic Affairs

Strategic Diversity Cluster Hiring

Since creating and retaining a thriving culture of academic diversity often occurs through thoughtful collaboration within and across units in areas that are of strategic value to the university, the initiative invites proposals for faculty cluster hires that fit within one of three areas of strength and emerging promise across all the chancellor-led units at Rutgers: Race, Racism, and Inequality; Health Equity; and Advancing STEM Diversity:

  • The Race, Racism, and Inequality Cluster will support leading scholars at all ranks coordinated around inquiry into the structural, systemic, institutional, and individual effects of racism and discrimination, both historically and today, in all domains of the humanities, social sciences, and professional schools at Rutgers, including but not limited to education, urban planning, criminal justice, environmental justice, media, or other fields.
  • The Health Equity Cluster will support interdisciplinary, cross-campus collaborations in biomedical research that address health inequalities and accelerate the hiring of early-career faculty who are underrepresented in the biomedical fields.
  • Clusters for Advancing STEM Diversity will support efforts to create a critical mass of faculty in areas that bring vitality and visibility to Rutgers, increasing pipelines for new scholars, improving retention, and encouraging collaboration among STEM faculty and convergent areas of inquiry in adjacent fields.

Cluster Proposals

Cluster proposals must be submitted by deans to their campus provost, who will evaluate them for strategic importance, align them with additional support, and forward requests with recommendations to the EVPAA's office. Deans proposing clusters should consult with provosts to ensure that proposed clusters are reasonably feasible, given projected applicant pools, as well as intellectually desirable.

All clusters will be reviewed by an advisory committee that will make recommendations to the EVPAA. Clusters may originate in any department or school at Rutgers; proposals that involve collaboration across multiple departments, schools, or chancellor units will receive special priority for funding. Clusters may include faculty at any rank, but they must be anchored around at least one senior faculty member working in the area of the cluster (who may be an existing colleague or a proposed hire). Clusters may be assembled over multiple hiring cycles. The initiative will support successful cluster hires at 100% salary or the equivalent amount for the first two years of appointment, to be used for salary and benefits support, discretionary funds for the faculty as a top off to the start-up, or funds to provide protected time for scholarly activities.


Proposals for cluster hires must include all of the following information:

  • The priority area in which the cluster is being proposed:
    • Race, Racism, and Inequality,
    • Health Equity, or
    • Advancing STEM Diversity
  • A specific description of the field or subfields advanced by the cluster and how they relate to the overall priority area, as well as a description of the departments, schools, and programs involved in the cluster
  • Endorsement by the chairs of departments involved in the cluster proposal
  • Endorsement by the dean(s) of the school(s) for the cluster proposal
  • The names, field expertise, and department home of any existing faculty who will form part of the cluster
  • A description of the rank, field expertise, and projected tenure-home department for each proposed member of the cluster
  • A projected timeline for hiring over three years
  • A statement of any additional commitment that will help sustain the cluster with resources and programs within units (e.g. existing or new postdoctoral positions, graduate fellowships, leadership commitments and mentoring structures, start-up funds, coordinated release time, center or institute appointments/involvement, additional lines or forms of support from provosts and chancellors)
  • How faculty mentoring and advancement resources will be employed to sustain new hires

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