35 interdisciplinary research teams presented with Johns Hopkins Discovery Awards

Winning projects—chosen from 191 proposals—include 115 individuals from across the university

Using sunlight to clean the air through photoelectrochemical carbon capture. Simulation-assisted navigation for skull-base surgery. Exploring extreme heat and poor school infrastructure and its implications for violence among Baltimore City youth. Rebooting a Johns Hopkins' midcentury television show to showcase the university's scientists and discoveries.

These are among 35 multidisciplinary endeavors that have been selected to receive support this year from Johns Hopkins University's Discovery Awards program. Each project team is made up of members from at least two JHU entities who aim to solve a complex problem and expand the horizons of knowledge.

Altogether, the winning project teams—chosen from 191 proposals—include 115 individuals representing 10 Johns Hopkins entities.

"This year's Discovery Award honorees exhibit exceptional creativity and innovation in their pursuit cross-disciplinary solutions to a multitude of complex global and societal challenges," says Johns Hopkins University President Ron Daniels. "The pathbreaking innovations of our faculty truly embody a one university ethos and represent the very best of the academy as we continue to support opportunities for collaboration."

"This year's Discovery Award honorees exhibit exceptional creativity and innovation in their pursuit cross-disciplinary solutions to a multitude of complex global and societal challenges."
Ron Daniels
President, Johns Hopkins University

The Discovery Awards program was announced in early 2015, as was the Catalyst Awards program for early-career researchers. Together the two programs represent a $45 million commitment by university leadership, along with the deans and directors of JHU's divisions, to faculty-led research.

The Discovery Awards are intended to spark new interactions among investigators across the university rather than to support established projects. Teams can apply for up to $100,000 to explore a new area of collaborative work with special emphasis on preparing for an externally funded large-scale grant or cooperative agreement.

This year the Discovery Award joined forces with the Hopkins Business of Health Initiative (HBHI), the One Neuro Initiative, and the Ralph O'Connor Sustainable Energy Institute (ROSEI) to award additional seed funding to related projects. Awarded teams include faculty from biology, business, electrical and computer engineering, health policy and management, mechanical engineering, and neuroscience.

The HBHI-funded project, "Measuring the Implementation of Universal Design in Hospitals: a RAMP Methods Project," brings together the Schools of Nursing, Public Health, and Medicine to tackle the sequelae of COVID-19. By improving our understanding of universal design principles and its implementation into the hospital setting, there can be significant implications for those suffering from long-term COVID symptoms and disabilities and their ability to receive specialist care.

"This year's remarkable Discovery Award selections embody the very reason these grants exist," says Denis Wirtz, vice provost for research. "Our expert reviewers identified projects that compel cross-disciplinary examination and trailblazing inquiry. We're grateful to Johns Hopkins leadership for their support as we invest in these new ideas and reap the rewards over the coming years."

The full list of recipients and their projects is available on the Office of Research website.