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Chancellor's Faculty Excellence Program

Overview

In the fall of 2011, Chancellor Woodson announced an innovative faculty-hiring program to be known as the Chancellor’s Faculty Excellence program. This program is bringing some of the best and brightest minds to join NC State University’s interdisciplinary efforts to solve some of the globe’s most significant problems.


Current Clusters

Twelve cluster areas were intially selected for funding in February 2012, with the goal of hiring 42 new faculty members to add more breadth and depth to NC State’s interdisciplinary efforts.

As of October 2014, 33 new faculty have been hired in the twelve cluster areas, with the remaining hires to be completed soon.


2014-15 Call for New Cluster Proposals

Given the successes of the program to date, the Chancellor announced a second call for cluster proposals in his fall address on October 1, 2014. This new proposal round will identify four to six additional clusters and fund approximately 15-20 new faculty lines. 

Please note that the process has changed from the first CFEP round based on feedback from campus and experience with the program.  Applicants will engage in a two-step proposal process, intended to clarify a new cluster’s mission and better engage important campus constituencies.  The funding model is also being changed to reflect the actual costs of CFEP hires to date.  The Provost’s Office will provide a larger percentage of the costs in this round: 100% of the line and 50% of the start-up. The colleges will be expected to budget ahead to cover the 50% start-up costs of the lines. The goal here is to avoid protracted negotiations, which can be time consuming and inefficient for both the Provost’s Office and the colleges.  It can also create delays in hiring that have the potential to lose us qualified candidates.

General Instructions

The CFEP program is designed to encourage interdisciplinary collaborations in areas of strength and high potential.  Cross-college groups of faculty are encouraged to submit pre-proposals for advancing the national prominence of their research group through the hiring of three to four eminent or highly promising faculty, at any rank. Successful pre-proposal applicants will be provided with feedback and invited to apply for the final proposal stage. Pre-proposals and subsequent invited proposals will be vetted by a cross-college committee co-chaired by Terri Lomax, Vice Chancellor for Research, Innovation and Economic Development, and Duane Larick, Senior Vice Provost for Academic Strategy and Resource Management.  Please note that an invitation to submit a final proposal does not guarantee that the cluster will be selected for funding.

Pre-Proposal Stage: October 13 - December 5

Pre-proposal Format

  • The pre-proposal should be no more than three pages and include the following: name of cluster, cluster leader (no more than two names), proposing faculty, short-term and long-term objectives of the cluster, description of the alignment between cluster objectives and college and university strategic priorities, an impact statement and a proposed hiring plan (detail specific areas and faculty ranks but do not include the names of targeted individuals)
  • Appendix of no more than two pages listing relevant past or current grant funding and any current or future plans for development of graduate programs
  • Pre-proposals should be accompanied by letters of support from the relevant deans. College letters should include a statement of where the submission fits into the college strategic plans and an assessment of priority.

Pre-proposals are due to Laura Severin by December 5, 2014.

In evaluating the pre-proposals, priority will be given to several criteria:

  • Ability to achieve national eminence in proposed topic
  • Alignment with university strategic priorities and/or cross-cutting platforms
  • Demonstration of real interdisciplinarity
  • Potential to build on an existing university strength (or strength of the existing assets)
  • Opportunity for faculty to engage in both research and teaching of proposed topic
  • Ability to attract funding
  • Commitment to share resources and physical infrastructure
  • Inclusion of multiple colleges
  • Demonstration of a balanced hiring plan with clear leadership
  • Potential to attract diverse faculty

Successful pre-proposal applicants will be notified by January 12, 2015 and provided with feedback to help in the preparation of their full proposals.

Proposal Stage: January 12 - March 6

Final Proposal Format

  • Revised proposal of 5-10 pages, which includes all the elements requested in the pre-proposal (name of cluster, cluster leaders, proposing faculty, objectives, relevance to strategic priorities, impact statement and hiring plan)
  • Revised appendix of up to three pages
  • Original or revised letters of support from relevant college deans
  • Letters of support from at least three department heads, indicating their faculty’s interest in participating in the hiring process. Department head letters should also explain the relevance of the hire to departmental strategic priorities.
  • A space plan elaborating the likely space needs for the three-four proposed faculty and how these needs might be met by the sponsoring colleges and departments. Where space needs cannot be met, the department and the college should detail the amount and kind of space needed.

Criteria for the final proposal stage will include all of the above pre-proposal criteria, plus the following:

  • Departmental commitment to the proposal
  • Clear articulation of space needs
  • Engaged response to pre-proposal feedback

Final proposals are due to Laura Severin by March 6, 2015. Successful clusters will be announced by the end of the Spring 2015 semester.

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Related Links and Documents

2014-15 Call for Proposals

Cluster Hiring Procedures


Proposal Selection Committee

Members

Duane Larick (co-chair) - Senior Vice Provost for Academic Strategy and Resource Management

Terri Lomax (co-chair) - Vice Chancellor for Research, Innovation and Economic Development

Members from each college will be posted soon.

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Frequently Asked Questions

How many clusters and faculty positions will be selected in this new round of proposals?
Four to six new clusters will be identified and funding will be available for 15-20 new faculty lines.

How is the current request for proposals different from the first round in 2011-12?
In additional to the fact that less clusters and faculty lines will be funded this time, a few changes have been made to the process based on feedback from campus and experience with the program to date. Applicants will be asked to engage in a two-step proposal process, intended to clarify a new cluster’s mission and better engage important campus constituencies.  The funding model is also being changed to reflect the actual costs of CFEP hires to date.  The Provost’s Office will provide a larger percentage of the costs in this round: 100% of the line and 50% of the start-up. The colleges will be expected to budget ahead to cover the 50% start-up costs of the lines. The goal here is to avoid protracted negotiations, which can be time consuming and inefficient for both the Provost’s Office and the colleges.  It can also create delays in hiring that have the potential to lose us qualified candidates.

What are appropriate expenditures of Faculty Excellence funds?
Appropriate expenditures of Faculty Excellence funds include salary, start-up costs, space upfit, rent for non-university owned buildings, and user fees on shared equipment.

Are Faculty Excellence funds recurring or one-time?
Both. The provost will provide 100% of the recurring for each line and 50% of the start-up costs. However, these percentages may be negotiated, particularly in the case of a more advanced hire. The colleges will be expected to budget ahead to cover the 50% start-up costs of the lines.

Can joint appointments be proposed?
Because of the shared relationship between the cluster and the department, it is anticipated that the cluster hires will have only one home department. However, exceptions are possible.

Can Faculty Excellence funds be used as a retention tool?
Retention of key faculty remains a priority at NC State.  While adding early- or mid-level faculty to complement the expertise of an existing senior investigator might aid in retention, that is not the primary focus of this funding.  Retention will be addressed using the existing faculty retention process.

Who is on the committee that will evaluate pre-proposals and proposals after they are submitted to the Provost’s Office?
The provost formed a committee composed of one faculty or administrative representative from each college and co-chaired by Terri Lomax, Vice Chancellor for Research, Innovation and Economic Development and Duane Larick, Senior Vice Provost for Strategic Initiatives. Full list of committee members

What should I include my pre-proposal submission and how should it be formatted?

Pre-proposal content/format:

  • The pre-proposal should be no more than three pages and include the following: name of cluster, cluster leader (no more than two names), proposing faculty, short-term and long-term objectives of the cluster, description of the alignment between cluster objectives and college and university strategic priorities, an impact statement and a proposed hiring plan (detail specific areas and faculty ranks but do not include the names of targeted individuals)
  • Appendix of no more than two pages listing relevant past or current grant funding and any current or future plans for development of graduate programs
  • Pre-proposals should be accompanied by letters of support from the relevant deans. College letters should include a statement of where the submission fits into the college strategic plans and an assessment of priority.

When are pre-proposals due and what criteria will the committee use to evaluate the submitted pre-proposals?
Pre-proposals are due to Laura Severin by December 5, 2014. In keeping with the chancellor's and provost's vision for the Faculty Excellence Program, the committee will evaluate the pre-proposals based on the following factors:

  • Ability to achieve national eminence in proposed topic
  • Alignment with university strategic priorities and/or cross-cutting platforms
  • Demonstration of real interdisciplinarity
  • Potential to build on an existing university strength (or strength of the existing assets)
  • Opportunity for faculty to engage in both research and teaching of proposed topic
  • Ability to attract funding
  • Commitment to share resources and physical infrastructure
  • Inclusion of multiple colleges
  • Demonstration of a balanced hiring plan with clear leadership
  • Potential to attract diverse faculty

When will successful pre-proposal applicants be notified?
Successful pre-proposal applicants will be notified by January 12, 2015 and provided with feedback to help in the preparation of their full proposals.

If I'm invited to submit a final proposal, does that mean that my proposed cluster will receive funding?
No, an invitation to submit a final proposal does not guarantee that the cluster will be selected for funding.

What should I include my final proposal submission and how should it be formatted?

Final proposal contents/format:

  • Revised proposal of 5-10 pages, which includes all the elements requested in the pre-proposal (name of cluster, cluster leaders, proposing faculty, objectives, relevance to strategic priorities, impact statement and hiring plan)
  • Revised appendix of up to three pages
  • Original or revised letters of support from relevant college deans
  • Letters of support from at least three department heads, indicating their faculty’s interest in participating in the hiring process. Department head letters should also explain the relevance of the hire to departmental strategic priorities.
  • A space plan elaborating the likely space needs for the three-four proposed faculty and how these needs might be met by the sponsoring colleges and departments. Where space needs cannot be met, the department and the college should detail the amount and kind of space needed.

When are invited proposals due and what criteria will the committee use to evaluate the submitted proposals?
Invited proposals are due to Laura Severin by March 6, 2014. Criteria for the final proposal stage will include all of the above pre-proposal criteria, plus the following:

  • Departmental commitment to the proposal
  • Clear articulation of space needs
  • Engaged response to pre-proposal feedback

Will selected proposals be implemented as submitted?
The review committee will evaluate the merit of individual proposals in the context of our existing capacity along with other Faculty Excellence proposals. It is possible that the review committee will recommend modifications to optimize the benefit to the University.  It is also possible that, prior to final selection, the Chancellor or Provost may ask for changes to a proposal.

When will the selected new clusters be announced?
Near the end of Spring 2015.

Other questions?
If you have additional questions about the Faculty Excellence Program that are not answered here, please contact:

  • Duane Larick, Senior Vice Provost for Academic Strategy and Resource Management
  • Laura Severin, Special Assistant to the Provost for Academic Planning

Questions may also be submitted to provost_web@ncsu.edu.

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