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BDP Call for Cluster Proposals

The Bloomberg Distinguished Professorships (BDP) program has been integral to promoting significant scientific discoveries and fostering an interdisciplinary spirit among faculty across Johns Hopkins University. In the next phase of the BDP program, BDPs will be hired in clusters that unite multiple scholars and researchers around research areas of promise and impact.

Purpose:

This university-wide collaboration will continue to deepen the BDP program’s cross-disciplinary ethos and bring forth the most compelling, impactful, and executable ideas rooted deeply in our areas of disciplinary strength. It will also provide a renewed opportunity to attract and support scholars with diverse perspectives, experiences, and ideas. We are proud of the program’s diverse composition, and expect to see this trend continue into the next phase.

Each BDP cluster will focus on expanding a strategic area of interdisciplinary research where Johns Hopkins is well-positioned to make meaningful discoveries, such as neuroscience, the business of health, artificial intelligence, and racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic disparities.

Commitment:

As you consider possible clusters, we encourage you to consult with colleagues and leadership across the university. All clusters will be strengthened by co-investment from participating schools and aligned with the strategic plans of the divisions.

Clusters will include new junior faculty lines, equipment, research funding, and space, among other personnel and programmatic supports, pending the needs of the fields supported.

Each cluster will have access to collaborative seed funding to inspire high-risk, high-reward projects in partnership with early career faculty. Additionally, equipment matching funds will provide for new shared facilities, with a focus on purchasing cutting-edge instruments.

Consider best practices for cluster hiring when crafting your cluster research area (available here). Your input in this process is invaluable. Proposals are strongly encouraged from every corner of the institution.

Timeline:

December 17, 2020: University-wide call for cluster proposals

January 28, 2021: Letters of Intent due

April 5, 2021: Invited Proposals due (5PM) [Download proposal instructions here]

  • Committee Review
  • Selection of 5-7 clusters by the Deans, Directors, President & Provost

Late Spring: Public announcement of selected clusters and celebration of BDP 50/BDP 100

Potential 2nd Cluster Selection in 2022

Cluster Evaluation Criteria:

Prerequisites:

  • Equivalent involvement of two or more divisions
  • Aligns with priorities of divisional leadership (support from the deans/directors)

Evaluation (scored 1-5):

  • Recruitment area seeks to solve a pressing world problem or is focused on important scientific discovery and scholarship
  • Importance of this recruitment area to its broader field
  • Area that leverages existing institutional strengths
  • Growth in this field complements the strategic plans of the associated divisions
  • Clear justification for interdisciplinary BDP positions and understanding of the field’s landscape
  • Reasonable resources needed for cluster’s success

Invited Proposals – 4/5/2021

[Download these instructions here]

Invited teams will receive a link to the full proposal submission portal in early March. 

Online Proposal – Form:

I. Cluster title & three-sentence synopsis of the recruitment area

II. Cluster leads: Two faculty who will organize the cluster searches with assistance from the BDP team

III. 10 colleagues from at least two schools/divisions supporting the cluster recruitment (required: three department chairs/directors/heads among the group)

Online Proposal – Attachments:

IV. Updated vision for the cluster (2 pages, 11+ font, 1 inch margins)

  • A. What big questions will this cluster enable us to address? Describe the broader field and the pressing problems this research area seeks to solve.
  • B. In what ways is Johns Hopkins uniquely positioned to solve these problems?
  • C. How will these recruitments align with current areas of institutional strength?
  • D. How does this cluster align with the strategic plans of the involved divisions?

V. Justification for BDP recruitments (2 pages, 11+ font, 1 inch margins)

  • A. Why do these recruitments need to hire interdisciplinary scholars to solve the problems described? What areas of expertise need to be brought together to seek novel solutions?
  • B. Cluster Structure and Resources:
    1. How many BDPs would you aim to recruit (generally 3-6 slots available per cluster)?
    2. What resources currently exist at the institution that will support these new lines of research?
    3. What is needed to ensure the cluster’s success (junior faculty lines, equipment, support personnel, space, etc.)?
    4. What would ensure the recruitment of high caliber BDPs in this research area?

Emailed directly to rboyer@jhu.edu:

VI. 10-12 potential BDP names (for internal consideration only; will not be shared with external members of the review committee). For each candidate:

  • Note: screening conversations were removed
  • Research synopsis (1 paragraph)
  • Alignment with the cluster (1 paragraph)
  • Potential appointments at Johns Hopkins (Interdivisional recruitments are standard for BDPs. Intra-divisional appointments will be considered in exceptional cases.)
  • Potential start-up, space, equipment and personnel considerations
    • A general understanding based on their current program
  • Angle for recruitment: Existing relationships at Hopkins? What is the draw to Hopkins? Would their recruitment be contingent on another recruit (e.g. group of three scholars being recruited together from one university; dual career hire)?

Potential BDP list must be reflective of the diversity and inclusion policy of the institution. One internal nomination may be included in each cluster. (University Statement / Roadmap on Diversity and Inclusion)

Invited teams will receive a link to the full proposal submission portal in early March. 

Review:

Distinguished faculty will be recruited to thematic review panels to provide guidance on the selection. We expect an approximate 2:1 ratio of external to internal reviewers. Reviewers will provide recommendations to the President, Provost, deans and directors for a final selection of 5-7 clusters.

Divisional leadership will collaboratively construct financial, administrative, and operational commitments for each of the selected clusters.

Other investment opportunities will be identified for high-ranking proposals that are not selected and we anticipate holding another call for clusters in the next few years.

Archive:

Letter of Intent (LOI) – Due 1/28/2021:

I. Cluster title

II. Cluster leads: Two faculty who will organize the cluster searches with assistance from the BDP team

III. Three sentence synopsis of the recruitment area

IV. Five colleagues from two or more schools/divisions interested in supporting the recruitments

V. Statement of Support from Deans (Schools) and/or Directors (APL/Berman) Involved (attachment)

  • A short statement that the cluster idea has been discussed with them and they support pursuing it further.

VI. Vision for the cluster (attachment; 1 page, 11+ font, 1 inch margins):

  • A. What big questions will this cluster enable us to address? Describe the broader field and the pressing problems this research area seeks to solve.
  • B. In what way is Johns Hopkins uniquely positioned to solve these problems?
  • C. How will these recruitments align with current areas of institutional strength?
  • D. How does this cluster align with the strategic plans of the involved divisions?
  • Contact

    Vice Provost for Research

    265 Garland Hall
    3400 North Charles Street
    Baltimore, MD 21218

    (410) 516-8094

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