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Catalyst Awards: Application Guidelines

The 2019 cycle is currently CLOSED.
The next application deadline is March 25, 2020.


Applications from early-career faculty in any academic or professional discipline at the university are encouraged to apply.

  • The term “early-career” is defined as any full-time tenure-track faculty member who was first appointed to a faculty position at any institution within no less than three (3) years and no more than ten (10) years as of July 1 of the deadline year.
    • Eligible 2019 applicants were appointed to their first full-time, tenure track faculty position between July 1, 2009 and June 30, 2016.
  • Non-tenure-track Research Associates and Research Scientists at the School of Medicine (SOM), Bloomberg School of Public Health (BSPH), the Whiting School of Engineering (WSE), and the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences (KSAS) are NOT eligible for the Catalyst Award, but are encouraged to consider applying for the Discovery Award.

Successful applicants will not be eligible for subsequent Catalyst Awards.

Funding Amount:

Faculty may request up to $75,000, with an award term of award term of one to two years. Support may be used for PI salary, to hire graduate students, postdoctoral fellows or technicians, equipment, travel, and/or consumables. Applicants must describe a credible plan to make substantial progress toward their aims with one year of funding.

2019 applicants will select a start date between 7/1/2019 and 12/31/2019. 



2020 Deadline: March 25, 2020 at 12:00PM

2019 awards will be announced in early June. It is expected that approximately 30 Catalyst Awards will be made this cycle. The 2019 RFA is the fifth annual cycle.


Applications will consist of five elements:

  1. Title of your submission: please use the title of your proposed work.
  2. proposal, which should include two sections that succinctly describe: (A) The research or creative work you intend to pursue during the year of funding, and the ways in which the work described is original or creative and will shape the future of your discipline(s) or field(s) of study; and (B) the expected outcomes of the proposed work beyond the initial funded phase, including what future work would be enabled, and how the funding and the work it will catalyze will fit into your long-term professional goals.
    The proposal should be no more than two pages, not including references.
  3. budget that briefly describes how the funding will be apportioned for personnel, supplies, and/or equipment. Any budget amount up to $75,000 can be proposed. No indirect costs should be included in the budget.
  4. A current CV or biosketch. If relevant, please include all current and pending support from sponsored and non-sponsored sources.
  5. Up to five key words to aid in reviewer assignment.

Review Criteria:

The review process will evaluate the academic potential of the applicant. The creativity and originality of the project and the academic impact of the work will also be considered. Proposals will be reviewed by a panel of distinguished faculty from across the institution.

Post–Award Requirements:

Recipients will be part of a cohort and offered the chance for mentoring opportunities. In addition, there will be workshops and other training events throughout the year targeted to this cohort of awardees.

Recipients will submit final progress reports, including any completed work, reports of invention, and external funding applications/awards enabled by this funding. Recipients may also be asked to present their work at a Provost Research Symposium.

Learn about the 2019 Catalyst Awardees.


Vice Provost for Research

265 Garland Hall
3400 North Charles Street
Baltimore, MD 21218

(410) 516-8094

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