Update: Vice President for Research search

January 26, 2024
Cynthia Barnhart, Provost |

Dear colleagues,

I write with timely updates about our search for the next faculty leader of the Institute’s research enterprise.

In September, I shared our plans to assemble a search committee charged with advising me on candidates for the senior vice provost for research, a leader responsible for setting a strategic research vision, fostering an outstanding research environment, enabling major multidisciplinary research initiatives, overseeing interdisciplinary labs and centers, and strengthening our research administration infrastructure. I am grateful to chair Tyler Jacks and the entire group, whose names I highlight below, for the careful, thorough work they performed throughout the fall term.

After extensive consultation with our research community and thoughtful deliberation as a group, the committee has put forward a slate of excellent candidates whom we are beginning to meet with now.

In addition to presenting a compelling field of candidates, the search committee has also recommended that we reinstate the former vice president for research (VPR) title and direct reporting line to the president. The committee noted that returning to the current VPR structure will make it clearer that this new leader is the Institute’s senior research officer. President Kornbluth and I have carefully considered this feedback and agree that there should be no question or confusion about the importance of this position. We have therefore accepted the committee’s recommendation to maintain the existing VPR role and reporting structure.
Given this development, and in the interest of transparency, we will reopen the search for a limited time so that any faculty member who would like to apply for the vice president role has the chance to do so.

Interested faculty should send a statement of interest and CV to vprsearch@mit.edu. The deadline to submit materials is Monday, February 5. The committee will review any new applicants and share its final recommendations with President Kornbluth.

Thank you for your attention to this important search.


Cynthia Barnhart

Search committee

Marc Baldo, Dugald C. Jackson Professor of Electrical Engineering and Director of the Research Laboratory of Electronics (RLE)

Fotini Christia, Ford International Professor of the Social Sciences and Director of the MIT Sociotechnical Systems Research Center (SSRC)

Robert Freund, Theresa Seley Professor in Management Science and Professor of Operations Research

Tyler Jacks (chair), David H. Koch Professor of Biology

Miho Mazereeuw, Associate Professor of Architecture and Urbanism and Director of the Urban Risk Lab

Dennis Whyte, Hitachi America Professor of Engineering and Professor in the Department of Nuclear Science and Engineering

Kim Haberlin (staff to committee), Senior Advisor, Office of the Provost

Mary Markel Murphy (staff to committee), Senior Director for Administration, Vice President for Research