Peter Schiffer ’88, an experimental physicist, will join Yale in October as the inaugural vice provost for research, University President Peter Salovey and Provost Ben Polak announced in an email on Thursday.
In the newly created position, Schiffer will oversee scientific research across the University, the email said, bringing a “new level of strategic attention to Yale’s science and research enterprise.”
“I would like to help reduce the administrative load for researchers, improve facilities, and increase Yale’s competitiveness for external research funding,” Schiffer said in an email.
According to a job listing posted by the University in March, the vice provost for research will collaborate with faculty and administrators on research strategy and assist with the design and renovation of science facilities, among other responsibilities.
Schiffer will replace physics professor Steve Girvin, who stepped down from his position as deputy provost for research at the end of the spring semester after a decade in the job.
The appointment represents the latest step in Yale’s ongoing efforts to promote the sciences. Last year, Salovey announced that investment in the sciences was one of his primary “university priorities,” alongside improvements in the humanities and social sciences and better integration of the University’s arts offerings across the professional schools.
In January, Salovey announced the creation of a committee led by Vice President for West Campus Scott Strobel to recommend specific strategies for bolstering the sciences at Yale.
After graduating from Yale, Schiffer received a Ph.D. in physics from Stanford, and later worked as a professor at the University of Notre Dame and Pennsylvania State University. He is currently the vice chancellor for research at the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign.
Schiffer has won numerous awards over the course of his career, starting with the Howard Schultz Award for Research in Physics when he was a senior at Yale. At the end of the year, his wife, Sharon Hammes-Schiffer, will join the faculty as a chemistry professor.