November 30, 2017

Faculty clusters create new research opportunities

Four faculty clusters resulting from the Faculty Cluster Hires Program have received funding to further advance their interdisciplinary research, says Peter Hollenbeck, vice provost for faculty affairs.

“Our goal is to help the colleges build scholarly communities in new research areas that rely upon an interdisciplinary approach,” Hollenbeck says.

The Faculty Cluster Hires Program was announced by the Office of the Provost in fiscal year 2011-12 to align research resources in areas where Purdue already has strengths or in areas of emerging significance.

Since introducing the program, the Provost’s Office has approved 14 faculty clusters for interdisciplinary research. As a result, 78 new faculty hires are bringing greater focus, strength and expertise to new cluster initiatives.

A second phase introduced in 2015 focused on community building for those faculty clusters whose hiring was complete. In the most recent round, faculty members were invited to submit proposals designed to increase interaction, collaboration and the national and international profiles of their clusters. The four research areas listed below have been selected for funding:

* The Epigenetic and Chromatin Biology Cluster is planning to hold the Midwest Chromatin and Epigenetics Meeting in June. This meeting will bring scientists from the Midwest together at Purdue to share recent discoveries in transcription, chromatin and epigenetics.

* The Center for Animal Welfare Science is planning a seminar series focused on the study of animal welfare for fall 2018 and spring 2019. National and international scholars will be invited to present at the symposia.

* The Purdue Autism Cluster is planning to hold a research conference in mid-October at Purdue. The conference will focus on the topic “Measuring and Predicting Change in Autism” with tracks for applied and basic science. An external advisory board will be developed and will meet after the conference.

* The Social and Behavioral Sciences Advanced Methodologies at Purdue Cluster (AMAP) is planning to hold a symposium in October at Purdue. The theme of the symposium will be “Quantitative, Qualitative, and Mixed Methodologies in the Social and Behavioral Sciences: New Approaches, New Discoveries.” A combination of external and internal speakers will be invited.

Faculty who are interesting in learning more about these faculty clusters and their activities should contact cluster leads at the email addresses listed below.


* Peter Hollenbeck,
* Jessica Huber,
* Scott Briggs -- Epigenetic and Chromatin Biology Cluster,
* Candace Croney -- Center for Animal Welfare Science,
* Mandy Rispoli and AJ Schwichtenberg -- Purdue Autism Cluster,;
* James McCann and Chris Agnew -- Social and Behavioral Sciences Advanced Methodologies at Purdue Cluster (AMAP),;

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