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Discovery Awards: Application Guidelines

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


Applications from all academic and professional disciplines at the university are welcome, and may cover fundamental, applied, or clinical research in any field, as well as the development of applied creative projects in the arts and humanities.

Applications must include at least two faculty members and/or APL staff members representing at least two separate schools/divisions or affiliates of the university.

Schools/divisions and affiliates are as follows: Applied Physics Laboratory (APL); Berman Institute of Bioethics (BI); Bloomberg School of Public Health (BSPH); Carey Business School (CBS); Center for Talented Youth (CTY); Jhpiego; Krieger School of Arts & Sciences (KSAS); Peabody Institute; School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS); School of Education (SOE); School of Medicine (SOM); School of Nursing (SON); Sheridan Libraries; and Whiting School of Engineering (WSE).

For example, Peabody and SOM co-PIs qualify as an eligible partnership, but two faculty members from different SOM departments would not qualify without a third co-PI from a different school or affiliate.

Funding Amounts:

Teams may request up to $100,000, with an award term of one to two years, to explore a new area of collaborative work. Support may be used for salary, graduate students, postdoctoral fellows or technicians, equipment, travel, and/or consumables. Applicants must describe a credible plan that assures they will make substantial progress during their funding period.

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 anticipated that approximately 25 Discovery Awards will be made this cycle. The 2019 RFA is the fifth annual cycle.


Applications will consist of four elements:

  1. proposal, which should include five sections that succinctly describe the: (A) innovative hypothesis to be tested or goal to be achieved; (B) nature of the collaboration that enables the proposed work; (C) approach to be pursued during the year of funding; (D) expected impact of the proposed studies beyond the initial funded phase, including what future work would be enabled; and (E) potential source of funding to sustain the effort.
    The proposal section can be no more than three pages, not including references. Please use 11-12 point font and margins no smaller than 1/2 inch.

    1. Since the Discovery Awards are intended for new collaborative projects, no preliminary data are required.
  2. budget breakdown that describes how the funding will be allocated to each investigator on the team, and how it will be apportioned for any personnel, supplies, equipment or other project expenses. Any budget amount up to the cap can be proposed. Faculty salary and equipment costs can be included. No indirect costs should be included in the budget.
  3. current CV or biosketch for all investigators. Please include all current and pending support from sponsored and non-sponsored sources.
  4. Up to five key words to aid in reviewer assignment.

Review Criteria:

The review process will evaluate the innovativeness of the project, its potential long-term impact and the synergy expected to result from the proposed crossdivisional collaboration. Collaborators who have worked and published together in the past are not excluded, but the project itself must be both highly innovative and as of yet unfunded. Applications will also be judged on the likelihood of success in attaining future funding. Proposals will be reviewed by a panel of distinguished faculty.

Post–Award Requirements:

Recipients will submit a final progress report, including any completed work, reports of invention, and any 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 2018 Discovery Awardees


Vice Provost for Research

265 Garland Hall
3400 North Charles Street
Baltimore, MD 21218

(410) 516-8094

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