More winners announced in Idea Lab challenge

Five additional winners of the 2015 Idea Lab challenges have been announced.

In the Ten by Twenty Challenge, in which MEP Campaign for Progress and Business Essential Lectures had been the top-two crowd-sourced vote-getters, the selection committee has named MedHacks and Solving the Achilles Heel of Core Facility Laboratory Resources as recipients.

The new winners of Diversity Innovation Grants are LGBT Health Training for Medical Students, Lift Up Mentors, and Diversity Handbook for Grad Students and Postdocs at Homewood. The previously announced winners, which had received the most popular votes, were Achieving Gender Equity at Hopkins and the Human Library at Johns Hopkins.

In the inaugural cycle of the Idea Lab grants initiative, students, faculty, and staff from every part of the university cast more than 4,400 votes for the more than 30 ideas on the site. The selection committee chose the additional recipients. The Idea Lab will be returning for its second cycle in spring 2016.

Here's a rundown on the new winners, with project descriptions from their applications:

MedHacks Project leads: Ron Boger, Neil Rens, and Kush Gupta, biomedical engineering majors in the Whiting School of Engineering; and Joshua Vogelstein, an assistant professor in the Whiting School's Center for Imaging Science and of neuroscience in the School of Medicine.

This event allows for a forum through which individuals with great insight and expertise in one focus area can extend and share their knowledge to solve problems beyond the scope of those with which they'd regularly be faced.

This three-day summit encourages multidisciplinary efforts, individual learning, personal growth, and community collaboration, to tackle the most fundamental challenges of humanity today.

Solving the Achilles Heel of Core Facility Laboratory Resources Project lead: Bryan Crawford, a senior laboratory coordinator in the Whiting School's Department of Materials Science

Students and faculty often confine their focus to only the spectrum of tools that their group has historically used. A common Achilles heel of research laboratories across the university is capability entrenchment, which limits characterization and processing techniques to only the equipment at hand. "When all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail." All too often, when researchers reach out to use other equipment, insufficient resources are available for training, understanding best practices for use, and data interpretation. These limited resources are major barriers in propagating novel research capabilities across the university and in exposure to a world of characterization and processing techniques. This project will break down these barriers.

By institutionalizing a process for sharing and replicating best practices, the students and faculty across the university and medical institute will have access to Web-based training and best practices for operation and data analysis on all the equipment installed in the core facility laboratories for Materials Characterization and Processing. In addition, this program will collaborate with other departments to propagate this model across other core facility laboratories in the university. This will provide our faculty and students with unparalleled resources for conducting research and for exposure to a broad spectrum of tools.

LGBT Health Training for Medical Students Project lead: Ryan Shields, a student in the School of Medicine

The School of Medicine LGBT Curricula Team was created to promote inclusion of LGBT health topics within the four-year curriculum at the School of Medicine. Students are working in conjunction with faculty to build curricular interventions and faculty trainings to teach LGBT terminology, an inclusive sexual history, the history of gender and sexuality within medicine, and the impact of minority stress.

We will target faculty in the School of Medicine, and subsequently medical students, through patient panels, small-group workshops, and case-based scenarios. The team will work to build an online toolkit for faculty with resources on LGBT health and curricular materials. Ultimately, we hope to train clinician researchers interested in the area of LGBT health and to ensure that every physician trained at Johns Hopkins is knowledgeable in the care of LGBT patients.

Lift Up Mentors Project lead: Tara Gallant, 2015 MBA recipient, Carey Business School

Create a Hopkins community that connects Hopkins employees and/or students who want a mentor with those who want to mentor, expanding the One University culture. Lift Up would consist of a website and events to encourage and cultivate mentor relationships.

The events would be a speed-mentoring format in a professional atmosphere where we would host a number of professorial guests and the attendees would have the opportunity to meet them in 6-9-minute intervals. The website would be used to market events and to house necessary forms to be a guest or attendee.

By developing a structure to allow attendees access to professional advice, we are looking to begin the makings of a true mentorship relationship. A perfect way to Lift Up our fellow Hopkins associates and students in career, academic, or social ways.

Diversity Handbook for Grad Students and Postdocs at Homewood Project lead: Christine Kavanagh, director of Graduate Academic Affairs in the Whiting School of Engineering

We will develop a handbook of resources for prospective and current URM [under-represented minority] and LGBTQ students and postdoctoral fellows at the Homewood campus. We will hold graduate student and postdoc focus group lunches with the help of the GRO (Graduate Representative Organization) Advocacy Chair for Diversity and International Student Life, the HW-PDA (Homewood Postdoctoral Association), as well as our Homewood Graduate Diversity Fellows; this will ensure relevance to the student and postdoc experience. We will collaborate with and solicit funding from the Office of LGBTQ Life, Homewood Graduate Admissions, the Office of Multicultural Affairs, and our graduate student/postdoc URM and LGBTQ affinity groups (Black Graduate Student Association, Latino Alliance, etc.).

The handbook would be used for graduate student recruitment, graduate student and postdoctoral fellow orientations, and by offices supporting postdoctoral fellow and graduate student life.