GUMC Cluster Hire Initiative

The  purpose  of  the  Cluster Hire  initiative  is  to  recruit  new  tenure-line faculty conducting  basic, translational, clinical, and population research that aligns with GUMC’s affirmed priority areas (Global Health, Mind & Brain, Population Health, and Cancer) through a series of cluster hires.  

The overall goal of this recruitment effort is to support and expand our current research efforts through cross-disciplinary integrative hiring at GUMC, with potential for additional growth of the clusters with the other Georgetown campuses and with MedStar Health.

This initiative for hiring new faculty will emphasize multi-departmental clusters, which will promote interaction among the new hires as well as with established faculty, allowing GUMC to support faculty by providing them with a cohort of incoming colleagues as well as their interactions with our  existing  academy.

The  Cluster Hire  initiative  is  guided  by  the  principles  of  inclusive  excellence.  Over  the  past  three years, initiatives revisiting our job search, hiring, mentorship, and retention practices have helped us to identify roadblocks and barriers to enhancing diversity at GUMC. Through targeted cluster hiring, we aim to create cohorts of next-generation scientists dedicated to both research and to achieving and maintaining a diverse and inclusive environment

The Cluster Hire  program is planned as a regular annual recruitment process at GUMC – transforming our faculty through new hires, we are committed to our institutional efforts to support both individual hires and culture change at our University.

First Cluster Hire: Integrative Approaches to Neuroplasticity Across The Lifespan

In December 2021, Dr. Edward Healton announced the selected proposal for the first cluster hire, which focused on integrative approaches to neuroplasticity across lifespans (Figure 1).

The Research Areas of the proposed cluster, Integrative Approaches to the Neuroplasticity Across the Lifespan, described in a cyclical cycle with different colors for each research area around a brain.
Research Areas of the Proposed Cluster include: Neuroimaging, Neuroimmunology, Cognitive Function, Modeling and Omics, Neurophysiology, Protein Misfolding.

Cluster Hire Search Process

The Cluster Hire Search Committee began the search committee process for the first cluster hire in April 2022.  One of the goals of the interview and hiring processes is to ensure that cross-disciplinary hires join a department or departments where they can flourish in research, teaching, and service.  

The Search Committee consists of two representative faculty from each of the departments mentioned in the proposal, and a Committee Chair from a department/sector not mentioned in the proposal to provide objective guidance.

The role of the Search Committee is to draft and provide feedback to the cluster hire job posting, assist in broadly disseminating the advertisement, assess the overall candidate pool, and select candidates to move to the next step in the recruitment process.  The Search Committees will provide a bridge between their departments and the suggested departments of the applicants in the next step in the recruitment process.

Each member of the Search Committee has engaged in implicit bias training and awareness, and implicit bias training will occur at each of the hiring processes.

Apply for the Cluster Hire

The Medical Center at Georgetown University (GUMC), known for its excellence in research and scholarship, is seeking applicants for a faculty cluster hire consisting of six (6) tenure track positions at the rank of Assistant Professor broadly focused on the topic of “Neuroplasticity Across the Lifespan.” This cluster of new hires will join a vibrant neuroscience research community as we continue to expand our institutional priority areas of research on the Mind & Brain and Aging and Age-Related Diseases. This is the inaugural class of cluster hires as GUMC seeks to expand its ranks of tenure-line faculty.

Plasticity is a fundamental ability of the nervous system and essential for its normal function. It occurs at the molecular level (e.g. genome and proteome), the level of the cell (e.g., changes in excitability and receptor signaling), the circuit (e.g., changes in connections), and at the systems and cognitive level (e.g., learning, development, memory, recovery and reorganization after injury). There are few, if any, processes more fundamental to the mind and brain than the remarkable ability to change and adapt. 

We welcome and encourage applications from candidates working on neuroplasticity at any level of analysis, with particular interests in individuals conducting interdisciplinary research relevant to: (1) neuroimaging across the lifespan and in disease, (2) neuroimmunology of brain-immune interactions, (3) cognitive function across the lifespan, (4) large scale omics and/or network modeling, (5) neurophysiology of brain plasticity, and (6) protein folding and misfolding in aging and neurodegeneration. 

New hires will join one of seven departments at GUMC (Biochemistry and Molecular & Cellular Biology; Biostatistics, Bioinformatics, & Biomathematics; Microbiology & Immunology; Neuroscience; Neurology; Pathology; or Pharmacology & Physiology), with the departmental appointment and consideration of joint or secondary appointments to be determined during the course of the interview and hiring process. They may also participate in various NIH T32-funded training programs including Interdisciplinary PhD Program in Neuroscience, Aging and Alzheimer’s Research Training Program, Neural Injury and Plasticity (NIP) Training Grant, The Training Program in NeuroHIV, the Neuroscience of Language Training Program and other training programs, all of which recruit outstanding students and postdoctoral fellows.

The cluster hires will receive mentorship at the department level and through GUMC’s Mentoring Program for New and Early Career Faculty. Competitive space, startup funds, and salary will be provided.

Interested individuals should submit via Georgetown’s electronic platform: (i) a curriculum vitae, (ii) three representative publications, (iii) a statement that describes past engagement with and future commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion as applicable to your scholarship, teaching, mentorship, or service (no more than one-page) and (iv) names of three references and contact information. To facilitate blind review, applicants should also submit (v) an anonymized statement of three of your most significant contributions to science to date and future research interests (no more than three pages), without reference to information that would reveal identities, professional titles, journal titles or PhD granting institutions. Preference will be given to applications submitted before October 1, 2022.

Georgetown University Medical Center is strongly committed to an environment that fosters inclusive excellence and diverse working and learning communities. We are particularly eager to consider candidates committed to our institutional mission to continue to build a thriving, collaborative, diverse, inclusive, and welcoming scholarly community. 

Why work at Georgetown?

Georgetown strives to model a workplace environment committed to fairness, equity, and competitiveness. We embody these principles in the diversity of our students, faculty, and staff, our commitment to justice and the common good, and our international character.

Georgetown University is consistently classified by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education (new window) as an institution with “very high research activity.” Georgetown University Medical Center is home to the university’s most robust research enterprise, securing approximately $145 million  in externally sponsored funding in fiscal year 2022 supporting a broad continuum of research from basic to applied translational science and global health. The Medical Center research community includes specialists in a wide array of disciplines and is recognized internationally for its work, most particularly in the areas of neurosciences, cancer, global health, and population health. It is home to a StrokeNet Regional Coordinating Center, a National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center and a Clinical and Translational Science Award, one of a few select institutions in the country to hold all three of these federal grants. The Medical Center’s many NIH-funded institutional training grants support programs in Neuroscience, Neural Injury and Plasticity, Aging and Alzheimer’s Disease, NeuroHIV, and Neuroscience of Language, among others.  You can learn more about our research from the Office of the Dean for Research.

Next Cluster Hire

The next Request for Proposal (RFP) for the next Cluster Hire will be announced in early Fall 2022.


If you have any questions, comments, or concerns related to the Cluster Hire Initiative, please contact