Beginning this fall, a program at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study will allow Harvard to support a group of young scholars in a distinctive way.
Traditionally, new assistant professors have found that competing demands—teaching, mentoring, and becoming active members in a department—make it difficult for them to pursue their scholarship and share ideas with the renowned faculty that first drew them to Harvard.
Radcliffe Assistant Professorships support selected young scholars in the first three years of their Harvard careers with appointments at the Institute, including one year to advance their research as fellows in Radcliffe’s signature intellectual community, made up of scholars and artists working in a wide array of fields on a vast number of topics.
“The most exciting and important scholarly work happens across the boundaries that so often divide academic fields,” Lizabeth Cohen, the dean of the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study explains. “Radcliffe is committed to diversifying and enriching the excellence of the Harvard faculty and these assistant professorships further that goal by offering new scholars a multidisciplinary environment at a formative stage in their careers.”
This unique support for innovative young scholars enables Harvard to attract and retain the most promising talent in all disciplines, including, this year, the sciences.
Marine Denolle will join the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences. Her work focuses on understanding earthquake sources and on predicting their ground motion in populated areas. She obtained her PhD in geophysics from Stanford University and is currently a fellow at the Scripps Institute of Oceanography—University of California, San Diego.
Denolle joins the Harvard faculty in January 2016 as both an Assistant Professor in the Earth and Planetary Sciences Department and an Assistant Professor at the Radcliffe Institute. During her fellowship year, she will be the Radcliffe Alumnae Fellow, named for the hundreds of Radcliffe College Alumnae who endowed a fund to “encourage the work of a scholar of exceptional promise and also honor the historic role of Radcliffe College in promoting scholarship of the highest quality.”
Cora Dvorkin will join the Harvard faculty in the Department of Physics. She studies questions in fundamental physics that can be tested with cosmological data, including theories related to inflation, dark matter, dark energy, and neutrinos. For this purpose, she uses data from the Cosmic Microwave Background and the large-scale structure of the universe. She earned her PhD in the Department of Physics at the University of Chicago and has conducted postdoctoral work at the School of Natural Sciences at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey, and at the Institute for Theory and Computation at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.
In addition to being an Assistant Professor in the Physics Department, Dvorkin will be the Shutzer Assistant Professor at the Radcliffe Institute, established by Dr. Fay and Bill Shutzer ’69, MBA ’72, who are longtime friends and supporters of the University, including the Radcliffe Institute.
“When we can offer the best of both worlds, we can attract the best talent,” said Jeremy Bloxham, dean of science in Harvard’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences and Mallinckrodt Professor of Geophysics. “The appointments of Marine Denolle and Cora Dvorkin are a testament to the wonderful value of the Radcliffe Assistant Professorships for recruitment.”
These two new faculty members join six Radcliffe Professors who hold tenured positions across the University.