Cluster and Interdisciplinary Hiring Initiative


Over the past few years, UT Austin has made significant progress to strengthen interdisciplinary research and scholarship efforts. Through a combination of the work already occurring in the colleges and schools, and reinforced by the UT Pop-up Institutes and Bridging Barriers, our campus is experiencing considerable interdisciplinary research and scholarship momentum.

To supplement this work, the Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost is launching the Cluster and Interdisciplinary Hiring Initiative. It is designed to extend collaborative research and scholarship by authorizing up to 40 new faculty hires whose interdisciplinary areas of knowledge cross the boundaries of existing academic departments.

Goals and Objectives

The Cluster and Interdisciplinary Hiring Initiative aims to supplement departmentally-based hiring practices and norms. In essence, the initiative will facilitate interdisciplinary strategic hiring by providing full salary support for new faculty positions.

The initiative’s goals include:

  • Enabling the campus to devote a critical mass of faculty to areas of knowledge that can only be addressed across existing departmental structures.
  • Providing for new research tracks and collaborative opportunities.
  • Addressing difficult contemporary problems.
  • Encouraging and fostering cooperation among an already strong faculty and staff research body.
  • Assisting with the fulfillment of other priorities of the university, particularly increasing campus diversity.

Funded Proposals

Eight proposals were selected to receive institutional investment and support.

  • Bridging the Gaps in Resilience Research
  • Diversity in Cognitive Functioning in Late Life
  • Global Internet, Media, and (Dis)Information
  • Good Systems: Building Technology Ethics Expertise
  • Growing Basic and Translational Biomedical Imaging Science
  • Maya Archaeology, Environment, and Religion
  • Reducing Health Disparities: Innovative Biosocial Approaches
  • Whole Communities, Whole Health

Four additional teams were selected to work with academic leadership – the Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost, the Office of the Vice President for Research, and relevant deans and department chairs – during 2019-20 to refine their proposal for future consideration.

  • Basic, Translational and Clinical Infectious Diseases and Immunology
  • Exploration of Life and Planetary Habitability
  • Interdisciplinary and Distributed Artificial Intelligence
  • Texas Quantum Science and Engineering Institute

Proposal Process

Learn more about the proposal process.