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Target of Opportunity Program

The Target of Opportunity Program (TOP) creates a funding pool to support opportunistic recruitment of external exceptional and diverse scholars outside of planned search cycles has been established.  Schools and divisions may request funding to support up to one-half of the cost of the faculty appointment, with a cap of $100K/year per appointee, for three years. TOP funds may be used to cover salary, fringe benefits, start-up, or any other allowable cost that would increase the compensation package of the appointee, such as support for a critical secondary appointment (e.g., spousal appointment, research staff, etc.). Requests will be accepted on a rolling basis, subject to available funding.

Multiple requests from a school/division must include a priority ranking.

Step 1 – After a faculty member or department identifies an outstanding candidate, the candidate’s information should be brought to the attention of the school/division vice/associate dean of faculty affairs.

Step 2 – If the school/division leadership concurs with an off-cycle faculty recruitment, the sponsoring department must complete a Request for Target of Opportunity (TOP) Faculty Search Waiver; this waiver is separate from the TOP funding request and should be routed from the division leadership to the Office of Institutional Equity.

Step 3 – An authorized representative from the Dean’s Office submits a proposal by email to that includes the following information:

  • Candidate’s CV
  • Cover memo (three pages maximum), addressing the five areas below:
    • An assessment of the scholarly accomplishments and the teaching contributions of the candidate (candidate’s credentials and/or record must be of commensurate quality hired in national searches);
    • How hiring the candidate would advance the overall scholarship, research, educational programs, and/or strategic objectives of the unit;
    • How hiring the candidate aligns with the unit’s diversity action plan;
    • The strength of the unit’s support of the candidate (faculty concurrence and financial support); and
    • The unit’s demonstrated record of promoting diversity.

Step 4 – The Provost’s Office issues a response, either (i) authorizing the recruitment and earmarking the funding request; or (ii) denying the request for funding.

Final approval/fund transfer is conditioned on submission of an offer letter to the Office of the Provost.

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    Office of the Provost

    265 Garland Hall
    3400 North Charles Street
    Baltimore, Maryland 21218
    Phone: (410) 516-8070
    Fax: (410) 516-8035


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