Strategic Hiring Initiative Cluster Hire

Please note the proposal deadline has been extended to May 5th, 203

To grow the number of tenure track faculty in strategically important areas, the University of Illinois is committing $50 million over five years. The second opportunity for hiring new tenure-system faculty members under the Strategic Hiring Initiative (SHI) involves a cluster hire program. Through the SHI-Cluster Hire program, the University affirms its commitment to create opportunities for diverse scholars from across disciplines to collaborate on topics that have the potential to lead to creative solutions to vexing societal problems. Working alongside colleagues who bring different perspectives and voices to shared research interests can be a transformative experience from which our broader university community and global society can benefit.

The SHI-Cluster Hire program will consider proposals for multi-unit, themed cluster hires that connects with campus priorities identified in the Next 150 strategic plan. Proposals for a SHI-Cluster Hire around a strategic theme must include the participation of at least two different academic units. Cross-college partnerships and participation of the research institutes and centers in the development of the proposals are strongly encouraged.

The cluster hire proposal represents a commitment by each participating unit to search for candidates with expertise relevant to the theme. It is expected that, if awarded, units participating in the cluster will develop and post a common announcement that will direct interested candidates to each unit’s job advertisement and requirements. Unit-level job ads will indicate the search is part of the cluster hire initiative. Units participating in the cluster hire may decide how to coordinate the search process, but the home unit always has the ultimate authority to determine whether to hire a candidate.

While the number of approved clusters will reflect the quality of the proposals, we anticipate approving 3-5 clusters, with each approved cluster including 3 to 6 tenure-stream faculty positions to be filled beginning in AY 2024-2025.

SHI-Cluster Hire proposals are due May 5, 2023. Approved units will be notified by mid-May to allow them to begin their search process as soon as possible.

For questions about the SHI-Cluster Hire program, please contact Amy Santos, Acting Executive Vice Provost for Academic Affairs at or 217-333-6677.


To submit a cluster hire proposal, you must be a tenure system faculty member at UIUC.

PI Requirements

For the cluster hires, the PI is the faculty leader.

Each proposed cluster also must have an identified faculty leader on campus, as well as at least one dean who will take responsibility for coordinating activities if the cluster is selected.