Two new research awards draw nearly 400 proposals from JHU faculty

Discovery, Catalyst awards to provide $15M in funding over three years

Two new awards announced in January have drawn an unprecedented response from Johns Hopkins University faculty in every division. Close to 400 total applications were submitted for the Discovery and Catalyst Awards by the deadline Tuesday night.

"The response speaks to the boundless imagination, energy, and collaborative spirit of our faculty across all our divisions," said JHU President Ronald J. Daniels. "It's also an affirmation of our university's efforts to step up and support our faculty's creativity in the face of significant funding constraints. This is a great One University moment."

A cadre of more than 50 faculty members will now review 217 proposals for the Discovery Awards and 176 for the Catalyst Awards and finalize the recipients by early June. The Discovery Awards will recognize faculty-led research and discovery with the aim of promoting novel interdivisional collaborations across the university. The Catalyst Awards will go to early-career faculty based on their exceptional research or creative endeavors.

When reviewers examine the applications, they will find ideas from a wide variety of disciplines including the space sciences, music composition, near Eastern studies, mechanical engineering, German and romance languages, infectious diseases, and philosophy, to name just a few.

Daniels was joined earlier this year by Provost Robert C. Liebermann and the deans and directors of the university divisions in announcing the awards, which will provide a total $15 million in funding over three years. The awards were launched in part as a response to an urgent need to support faculty research while funds are declining from traditional government sources, such as the National Institutes of Health.

University leaders said they also recognize the fact that answers to the most pressing questions increasingly rely on diverse expertise. These awards will incite new collaborations that draw upon the institution's vast strengths.

"We look forward to the selection of a cohort that represents the depth and breadth of our intellectual pursuits," Daniels said.

Another cohort will be chosen next year. Information on the awards programs is available on the Office of the Provost website.