RAISE Initiative

RAISE initiative

Through the Race, Inclusion and Social Equity (RAISE) initiative, Ohio State is enhancing our world-class research program on race, inclusion and social equity. The university set a goal to add at least 50 tenure-track faculty members within a decade whose research can help to address racial and social disparities. RAISE faculty will focus on topics such as health outcomes, educational equity, economic opportunity, environment impacts, justice and public safety, as well in the arts.

Additional RAISE faculty positions approved

In autumn 2022, the Office of Academic Affairs approved 23 additional faculty positions to be created through the RAISE initiative. In total, 48 of 50 tenure-track RAISE positions have been approved.

Read the autumn 2022 update

Approved RAISE proposals and open searches

There are proposals approved in each of the six RAISE research areas and searches are ongoing. The first cohort of RAISE faculty are expected to join the university in autumn 2023.

The colleges of Nursing and Education and Human Ecology will expand and amplify interdisciplinary scientific inquiry in cardiovascular health interventions and the role of stress, health disparities, racial discrimination and social determinants of health on cardiovascular health across the lifespan. The new faculty researchers, like current faculty investigators, will lead and collaborate on externally funded studies to identify mechanisms of health disparity and develop interventions to improve health outcomes.

  • College(s) involved: Dentistry
  • Positions involved: 2

The College of Dentistry, in collaboration with Nationwide Children’s Hospital, will continue to build a strong pediatric oral health collaborative to dismantle barriers that prevent or impede proper dental care to underserved populations. The collaborative researches and devises strategies to eliminate those barriers.

Five Ohio State colleges will recruit an interdisciplinary cluster of faculty researchers who will, through interdisciplinary team science, seek to address the impact of social determinants of health (such as socioeconomic, environmental, and community factors) on vulnerable and disenfranchised communities. Their research will help inform strategies, screening tools and interventions to address health disparities among patients and communities. Faculty appointments will be in Arts & Sciences (Psychology), Engineering (Computer Science and Engineering), Medicine (Division of Cancer Prevention and Control), Nursing, and Public Health (Division of Health Behavior and Health Promotion).

The College of Education and Human Ecology and the College of Medicine are hiring additional faculty to address diet-related health disparities in underserved racial, ethnic, and impoverished communities. By applying precision nutrition techniques, these researchers will address heightened obesity-related disease burdens that result from the lack of evidence-based nutrition recommendations and insufficient access to health interventions. In addition to the RAISE-supported positions, Education and Human Ecology is conducting a search for three other new human nutrition faculty in this focus area.

Through the Climate, Race, and Place cohort, Ohio State will elevate its globally recognized expertise in the science of climate change and adaptation. Through a cluster hire of faculty, the university will holistically investigate the racial disparities and social inequities of climate impacts and help shape responsive adaptations. Working in an interdisciplinary team between the College of Arts and Sciences, College of Engineering, and College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences, this cohort will amplify scholarship in the areas of climate science, climate analytics, and climate adaptation across various geographic scales.

The College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences will recruit a cohort of social, biological, and ecological scientists focused on urban health and environmental problems that are experienced differentially based on race and class. This new Urban Health, Environment, and Race Outcomes (Urban HERO) Collaborative will be a consortium that will focus on the generation and rapid dissemination of new solutions to racial inequities and social disparities in environmental and health outcomes.  The collaborative will leverage the outreach strengths of Ohio State University Extension (OSUE) and engagement with the CFAES Knowledge Exchange (KX), a university/community partnership for research integration, translation, and communication.

Through interdisciplinary and community-based scholarship, a cluster of three researchers will focus on the impacts of environmental injustice on human health and well-being. These experts in medical anthropology, environmental health science and social work will collaborate on work to address social and environmental factors that lead to disparate health outcomes in urban and rural high-risk populations. The team will integrate geospatial/environmental monitoring data with biomarkers of health and identified social determinants of health.

The Global Black Arts cohort in the College of Arts and Sciences will support systematic investigation of the ethics and aesthetics that foster enduring artistic creations that are critical and wary of the spaces they can and cannot occupy.  This cohort encompasses critical, performance, and studio practices in relation to, and as part of, the concerns of Black communities.

The College of Arts and Sciences and the Knowlton School of Architecture in the College of Engineering will advance research that focuses on the intersection of race and the built environment. This cross-college collaboration is innovative in its desire to hire a historian of architecture and race as well as an urban designer — bringing to Ohio State two scholars who focus on racialized architecture from the perspectives of both theory and practice. The addition of two scholars in this cluster will bolster these units’ already impressive national reputations; attract strong pools of graduate students who would shape the future of the field; bring about curricular innovation relating to race and the built environment; and broaden engagement projects in Ohio and beyond.

This College of Arts and Sciences will recruit three specialists in the creative and cultural practice of Black music, working at the interface between the arts and the humanities. One will be a practicing hip hop musician, the second will focus on the cultural and political significance of global Black musics and the third will contribute to interdisciplinary historical and critical studies. These faculty will complement new hires through the Global Black Arts RAISE cluster. 

By attracting a cohort of early career and senior scholars, the College of Arts and Sciences, Moritz College of Law and John Glenn College of Public Affairs will enhance research at the intersection of race, criminal justice and public affairs. By collaborating with one another and existing Ohio State faculty, the cohort of new faculty will study how to improve police-citizen interactions and law-enforcement practices more generally, prosecutorial and judicial decision-making, and the effectiveness of other criminal justice institutions.

The College of Arts and Sciences seeks to address social equity and racial disparities in three core educational areas essential for all STEM students: chemistry, mathematics and physics. By attracting a faculty member in each discipline, the proposal will enhance research into evidence-based practices to improve learning, the student experience and measures of success, such as grades and graduation, as well as career placements in these STEM fields.

  • College(s) involved: Engineering
  • Positions involved: 3

The College of Engineering will recruit new faculty members whose research addresses bias and inequity in engineering design, as manifested in areas such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, human-centric computing, robotics, circuits, electronic devices, feedback control, and technology for social justice. This research will contribute to a culture, in both undergraduate instruction and graduate student mentoring, in which equity is embraced as a foundational component of the design process.

The College of Arts and Sciences seeks to increase speech-language pathology services in Central Ohio so that fewer bilingual Spanish-English children are erroneously diverted to special education programs as they acquire English language skills. The Buckeye Bilingual Speech-Language Program will create a graduate-level bilingual speech-language pathology program at Ohio State, which will include teaching, research and community outreach through the Speech-Language-Hearing Clinic.

  • College(s) involved: Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences
  • Positions involved: 1

With a focus on community-engaged research and OSU Extension programming in urban communities, this College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences faculty member will help to raise the visibility and accessibility of Ohio State expertise and resources. The position will advance the university’s efforts to address equity in the areas of food, health and wellness, environment, economic and workforce development, community leadership and other concerns facing Ohio’s urban communities. Among other connections, this position will complement the Urban Health, Environment, and Race Outcomes (Urban HERO) Collaborative approved through RAISE.

An interdisciplinary cluster of faculty will use their expertise in economics, sociology, and public affairs to lead change toward equitable economic opportunity for all people. The new faculty will collaborate with one another and existing researchers on in-depth quantitative and qualitative analyses of topics such as inequalities in human capital, earnings, household income, credit, and debt; social, political, and other determinants of economic behaviors; and policy and leadership interventions that expand economic opportunity.

The Fisher College of Business will add three RAISE-supported faculty and two additional faculty members who will enhance scholarship addressing the distinct career and business-related challenges that under-represented groups face. The new faculty will be part of a new scholarly community – the Fisher DEI Business Research Initiative – that involves each of the college’s five academic departments. Research will address race-based opportunity gaps in business enterprises, among consumers and throughout the career life cycle.

For more information about the RAISE positions approved in 2021-22, see the updates about the autumn 2021, spring 2022 and summer/autumn 2022 calls for proposals.