Auburn University hiring 41 new faculty in strategic clusters to solve pressing world issues

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Auburn University will hire 41 new faculty members in five strategic clusters to develop solutions to some of the most pressing challenges facing the world today.

"These faculty will work in many disciplines and across colleges to increase the quality and impact of Auburn's research in five key areas," Provost Timothy R. Boosinger said.

The new Strategic Hire Clusters are:

  • Climate, Human and Earth System Sciences—focusing on adverse impacts of climate change;
  • Health Disparities—seeking to improve health care for disadvantaged segments of the population;
  • Scalable Energy Conversion Science and Technology—developing underutilized energy sources;
  • Omics and Informatics—adding to the knowledge base of genetics research through collecting, storing and analyzing data;
  • Pharmaceutical Engineering—developing new methods for drug delivery, testing and manufacturing.

The clusters are part of Auburn's Strategic Hiring Initiative, the first in the university's history. Launched in fall 2014, the initiative is designed to align Auburn's research efforts with funding trends, while strengthening Auburn's research faculty and enhancing the university's research profile through strategic hiring.

"Implementing the Strategic Hiring Initiative is central to the advancement of Auburn's research mission," Boosinger said. "By strategically investing in our interdisciplinary efforts, we will recruit top faculty who will not only reinforce many of our existing research programs, but will also advance Auburn's capacity for discovery, innovation and creative endeavors."

The process of determining the five clusters began with nearly 50 faculty members presenting synopses of their scholarly work with others in Auburn's intellectual community, resulting in the submission of 10 Strategic Hire Proposals.

Following a competitive review process, five proposals representing faculty from nearly all of Auburn's colleges and schools were selected for funding, which will be jointly provided by the Office of the Provost and the colleges and schools. Funds will be used to support faculty startups, equipment, graduate students and facilities. National searches for these positions are currently under way.

"The new cluster positions will enhance Auburn's research collaboration with industries and state and federal agencies, and will lead to more opportunities for our faculty and students," said John Mason, Auburn University vice president for research and economic development. "This will also create economic development opportunities for the state and region through new discoveries."

Each strategic cluster has identified a steering committee, chaired by a faculty member. More information on the Strategic Hire Clusters is available on the Office of the Provost's at

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Auburn University is a nationally ranked land grant institution recognized for its commitment to world-class scholarship, interdisciplinary research with an elite, top-tier Carnegie R1 classification, life-changing outreach with Carnegie’s Community Engagement designation and an undergraduate education experience second to none. Auburn is home to more than 30,000 students, and its faculty and research partners collaborate to develop and deliver meaningful scholarship, science and technology-based advancements that meet pressing regional, national and global needs. Auburn’s commitment to active student engagement, professional success and public/private partnership drives a growing reputation for outreach and extension that delivers broad economic, health and societal impact.