SSRI Co-Funding of Faculty

The Social Science Research Institute seeks to stimulate interdisciplinary research in targeted areas of strength at Penn State through co-funding of faculty hires. Currently, SSRI co-funds faculty members in the Colleges of Agricultural Sciences, Education, Health and Human Development, the Liberal Arts, Medicine, and Nursing. Co-funded faculty members may be junior or senior faculty members; all have demonstrated research expertise in strategic areas identified by SSRI.

Once SSRI has selected an area/areas of strategic research activity in which to hire, an announcement is developed and sent to relevant colleges asking department heads to develop proposals to create a position in their department in the identified area(s) of interest.

Please see “Procedures for Submitting Co-Funded Faculty Proposals” for guidelines. We recommend that department heads meet with their Deans and Associate Deans for research to ensure complete communication in this process. Contact Susan McHale, SSRI director, with questions.

Departmental proposals, once developed, are forwarded to college deans, who then review them and decide which will be sent to SSRI for further consideration. Proposals are then reviewed and rank-ordered by the SSRI Steering Committee, who then submit them to the SSRI Directors. The Directors then meet with the SSRI Oversight Committee (comprised of the Vice President for Research, and the Deans from the Colleges of Agricultural Sciences, Education, Health and Human Development, the Liberal Arts, Nursing, and the Vice President for Research in the College of Medicine). Final decisions are made at that meeting.

Once a proposal is approved, SSRI commits to paying up to 50 percent of the start-up costs as well as up to 50 percent of the salary (renewable after a successful SSRI review every five years). Department heads and deans are asked to involve the SSRI director in discussions about candidates and preparing letters of offer. In order to achieve the expectation of leadership in interdisciplinary research, it is expected that SSRI co-funds’ service responsibilities in other areas of the academic mission will be limited.