President's award to support exceptional scholars

The university has a new way to support its exceptional scholars who are on the cusp of transforming their fields.

The Johns Hopkins University President's Frontier Award of $250,000 will be given over each of the next five years to a faculty member who demonstrates significant scholarly achievement and shows exceptional promise for important future work. President Ronald J. Daniels and Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs Robert C. Lieberman made the announcement in October in an email to faculty, staff, and students.

The award is being established with a $1.25 million donation from two alumni: trustee Louis J. Forster, who received degrees from Arts and Sciences in 1982 and SAIS in 1983, and Kathleen M. Pike, who received a diploma from SAIS Bologna in 1981 and holds undergraduate and master's degrees from Arts and Sciences, received in 1982 and 1983.

"We are very grateful for Lou and Kathy's generosity, which enables us to give a significant boost to faculty members who have the expertise and creativity to become prominent intellectual leaders but need more time, resources, or assistance to develop and share their ideas," Daniels and Lieberman wrote. "We look forward to announcing the first recipient in spring 2015 and, over the next five years, watching our brightest educators challenge the boundaries of their work."

Full-time faculty from all Johns Hopkins schools and campuses will be eligible. One recipient will be named each spring through 2019, and that individual will be able to use the award for a research sabbatical, lab support, hiring of assistants, travel, publication of findings, or other purposes that advance his academic pursuits. Each recipient will give a public lecture at the conclusion of the award year.

The nomination process began immediately; the deadline for submissions is Nov. 10. A committee of distinguished faculty from across the university will review the candidates and seek input from appropriate deans and department chairs before forwarding the finalists to the president and the provost to make a selection.

The creation of the Johns Hopkins University President's Frontier Award dovetails with the commitment outlined in President Daniels' Ten by Twenty plan to support bold innovation and the pursuit of excellence across the divisions.