STARS Program

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Faculty Science and Technology Acquisition and Retention (STARs) Program

The Faculty STARs Program has evolved and expanded from the original proposal approved by The University of Texas System Board of Regents in August 2004. The Faculty STARs, STARs Plus, Rising STARs, Translational STARs and Teaching STARs programs are described below.

In August 2004, the UT Board of Regents approved an allocation of funds to be awarded to institutions to help attract and retain the best-qualified faculty. This Faculty STARs program was funded through Permanent University Fund bond proceeds (LERR funds) to help purchase state-of-the-art research equipment and make necessary laboratory renovations to encourage faculty members to perform their research at U. T. institutions. The Board has allocated STARs funds to both general academic and to health institutions.

(Information about the Academic Institutions STARs Program )

Faculty STARs Program

Funds from the Faculty STARs Program can be used for purchase of equipment and renovation of facilities required as part of the recruitment or retention of particularly outstanding faculty in the health science institutions. These monies are meant to supplement institutional resources for the purpose of recruiting the very best faculty. Priority will be given to recruitment or retention of individuals with national reputations and promise of election to national honorific societies, such as National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, or the Institute of Medicine (or who have been already elected to these organizations). Factors which will be considered for the use of these monies include:

  • Extent to which the recruitment or retention will provide outstanding scientific leadership in an area of significant importance to the individual institution, e.g., the addition of a high-quality research program in an underdeveloped area within the institution, or a substantial enhancement of an existing program .

  • The extent to which recruitment or retention provides important scientific leadership in a priority area for the University of Texas and/or the State of Texas, e.g. research in underdeveloped aspect of health science or for moving to a higher level in an established program.

  • The extent to which the recruitment would introduce a researcher into high quality collaborative activities involving interactions between health science campuses and academic campuses or among multiple health science campuses.

  • The extent to which the recruitment or retention will contribute to scientific development in areas bridging multiple disciplines, enhancing translation of research from bench to bedside, or provide scientific or technological skills supportive of a number of other investigators and/or programs.

Successful nominees will have firm institutional commitments for salary support as well as an institutional commitment for equipment and/or renovations requiring an investment of at least of $250,000 by the institution. Individuals nominated for these funds should show evidence of accomplishment in research with demonstrated capacity for extramural research support and graduate student training. There should be clear justification for additional equipment and renovation needs from the Faculty STARs Program for amounts up to $1 million. Under some circumstances a sum larger than this amount may be awarded. However the level of institutional support required would also be proportionally higher.

Requests for funding will be reviewed by members of a scientific Advisory Board. Proposals will be considered at any time in both hardcopy and electronic format.

Rising STARs Program

Up to $250,000 is available for recruitment of promising faculty members who are recruited in a tenure track position at any academic level, i.e. assistant, associate or full professor. Rising STARs funding is limited to the same equipment and renovation expenditure restrictions as Faculty STARs.

Rising STARs proposals for the use money should consist of a President’s letter of recommendation, the candidate’s curriculum vitae, and a 2-year work plan including a budget. The President’s letter should clearly communicate why this candidate is considered to be a very promising member of the faculty.

Preference will be given to candidates whose areas of interest include health services research, health economics, comparative effectiveness, data analysis or other activities relevant to studies of health care delivery or health policy. However nominees will be considered for all academic areas or disciplines.

Translational STARs and Teaching STARs

Beginning in February 2012 a portion of STARs Program funding is available for Translational STARs and Teaching STARs . This funding is limited to the same equipment and renovation expenditure restrictions as Faculty STARs.

For the Translational STARs, selection would be for the recruitment/retention of nationally recognized leaders in translational and clinical sciences. Priorities for selection would include:

  • Extent that candidate provides outstanding scientific leadership in an areas of significant importance to the institution and scholarship in translational research; and

  • Extent that candidate is integral to transformative research programs that catalyze or sustain clinical and translational discovery within the institution or among institutions within the UT System or State of Texas.

For the Teaching STARs Initiative, selection would be for the recruitment/retention of nationally recognized leaders in academic, clinical or public health education. Priorities for selection would include:

  • Extent that candidate demonstrates superlative accomplishments and scholarship in educational and instructional processes, including traditional, on-line, distance or blended methodologies; and

  • Extent that candidate is integral to high quality teaching, training, and mentoring programs for graduate and professional learners at all levels within UT and State of Texas.

All STARs Programs indicated above are managed by the Associate Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs, Mr. Patrick Francis, pfrancis@utsystem.edu.