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Chancellor's Faculty Excellence Program

For the latest developments in the Chancellor's Faculty Excellence Program, please visit the faculty clusters website.


The Chancellor’s Faculty Excellence Program, launched in 2011, is recruiting some of the best and brightest minds to join NC State’s community of world-leading faculty at the forefront of this initiative. Guided by a strong strategic plan and an aggressive vision, new thematic clusters are adding over 75 new faculty members in 20 select fields to enhance the breadth and depth of NC State’s solution-driven research and innovation.

The current 20 clusters have been selected on several important criteria:

  • Ability to achieve national eminence in proposed topic
  • Alignment with university strategic priorities
  • 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


In Fall 2011, Chancellor Woodson announced an innovative faculty-hiring program to be known as the Chancellor’s Faculty Excellence Program. At the time, a $5 million fund was set aside to partner with the academic colleges to bring either individual scholars or small groups of scholars to campus in strategically important areas. The program was managed through the Office of the Provost which invited faculty to submit brief proposals describing emerging areas of strength and high potential impact. Emphasis was placed on attracting groups of scholars with diverse disciplinary skills representing more than one academic department and preferably college.

The Office of the Provost received over 70 proposals from faculty in all 10 colleges. The proposals were reviewed by an advisory committee composed of faculty or administrative representatives from each college and individuals from the Office of Research, Innovation and Economic Development. Provost Arden announced in February 2012 that twelve clusters had been selected for funding:

  • Bioinformatics
  • Data-driven Science
  • Digital Transformation of Education
  • Environmental Health Science
  • Forensic Sciences
  • Genetic Engineering and Society
  • Geospatial Analytics
  • Global Environmental Change and Human Well-Being
  • Innovation + Design
  • Personalized Medicine
  • Synthetic and Systems Biology
  • Translational Regenerative Medicine

Cluster search committees were created in Spring and Summer 2012; hiring began in earnest in Fall 2012. As of August 2015, 41 faculty hires have been made, with hiring completed for 10 of the 12 clusters.

Chancellor Woodson announced a second call for proposals in October 2014. Forty-nine pre-proposals were received; thirteen clusters were invited to submit full proposals. The pre-proposals and full proposals were reviewed by a 15-member university committee composed of at least one faculty or administrative representative from each college. Eight new clusters, receiving a total of 33 new positions, were announced in April 2015:

  • Carbon Electronics
  • Emerging Plant Disease and Global Food Security
  • Global Water, Sanitation and Hygiene
  • Leadership in Public Science
  • Microbiomes and Complex Microbial Communities
  • Modeling the Living Embryo
  • Sustainable Energy Systems and Policy
  • Visual Narrative

The newest eight clusters are currently engaged in the faculty search process.

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