The Huck Institutes of the Life Sciences

Policies - Organization and governance

The Huck Institutes of the Life Sciences is a new type of unit whose purpose is to support the integration of research and teaching across disciplines in the life sciences at the Pennsylvania State University.


The Huck Institutes provides resources to colleges with faculty working in the life sciences, broadly interpreted, through the following mechanisms:


  • Co-funding salaries of new life sciences faculty
  • Supporting graduate students (including joint recruiting and counseling)
  • Enhancing graduate and undergraduate education in the life sciences
  • Supporting research and education at the interface between the life sciences, technology and business
  • Supporting shared technology facilities and electronic resources
  • Supporting a variety of enhancements, including seminars, workshops, and symposia


The Huck Institutes is not an academic unit. Rather, it is an internal academic and technical support unit, as well as a funding organization promoting excellence in the life sciences in and between many different units on the University Park and Hershey campuses. Existing academic units, including schools, departments, and laboratories, as well as interdepartmental and intercollege graduate programs, will have access to the activities, enhancements, and support functions of the Huck Institutes. All faculty engaged in Huck Institutes functions and activities, including the Director, will have academic appointments in departments of participating colleges within the University.


Because the Huck Institutes functions as both an intercollege and an interdisciplinary organization, it is supported administratively by the infrastructure of the Intercollege Research Programs (IRP). However, the Huck Institutes is not anIRP: it has no independent faculty lines or internal research programs. Rather, it provides financial and administrative support to promote interdisciplinarity and innovativeness in research and teaching, as well as cooperation among different life sciences units on the University Park and Hershey campuses. Its administrative structure is minimal and dedicated to functions that are broadly applicable to and supportive of the life sciences. This includes administrative support for interdisciplinary graduate education and training, as well as interdisciplinary research and training grants, fellowships, shared technology facilities, and activities at the interface between the life sciences, technology and the broader community, including business.


Policy and decision making are the joint responsibility of the Faculty Steering Committee, chaired by the Director of the Huck Institutes, and its Executive Committee. The Faculty Steering Committee comprises distinguished faculty from the participating colleges, while the Executive Committee comprises the Deans of the participating colleges, the Senior VP for Research and Dean of the Graduate School, and the Huck Institutes Director.