Award Guidelines: Synergy Award 2015-2016

Please Note: A faculty member may participate in only one application in which s/he is budgeted to receive funds from the award, whether s/he be listed as corresponding PI, co-PI, Investigator, or Collaborator.  There is no restriction on the number of applications a faculty member can participate in as a collaborator or consultant who will not receive any awarded funds. A faculty member cannot apply for both a Synergy and Innovation Award as a budgeted recipient of awarded funds.

This announcement seeks proposals for novel research projects led by faculty of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. These awards are meant to spark new, synergistic interactions between investigators and potentiate scientific achievements of the highest quality and impact. Applications are solicited from all disciplines at the school of medicine, from basic to clinical, and from all levels of academic faculty. Collaborations across all Johns Hopkins entities are eligible for consideration, but proposals must include a school of medicine faculty member as one of the co-principal investigators. These awards are not intended to support already established projects or minimal extensions of ongoing research programs. Collaborators who have worked and published together in the past are not excluded, but the project itself must be new, highly innovative, and as yet unfunded and unpublished.

The school of medicine Discovery Fund Synergy Awards are distinct from the Johns Hopkins Discovery Award Program administered by the Johns Hopkins University Office of the Provost.

Synergy Awards will consist of up to $100,000 with an award term of one year. Applicants must present a credible plan describing how they will make substantial progress with one year of funding. Carryover of funds to a second year will be considered with justification under special circumstances.

The application deadline is May 1, 2015, and funding will begin July 1. Up to 10 Synergy Awards will be made this cycle.


Each proposal must include a member of the school of medicine faculty as one of the collaborating principal investigators. All principal investigators may be school of medicine faculty; there is no requirement for one of the investigators to be faculty outside of the school of medicine. A principal investigator may only participate in one school of medicine Discovery Fund application and cannot apply for both Synergy and Innovation Awards. Current Discovery Fund Synergy Award recipients are not eligible for an award for this cycle. The proposal cannot be duplicative with other funding at the time of the award.


Applications will consist of:

  1. A cover sheet: See the attached form.
  2. A research proposal, which should include four sections that succinctly describe the following:

o   Innovative hypothesis to be tested or goal to be achieved; why is the problem important; how are the proposed studies novel and not merely an extension of previously funded or published work

o   Nature of the collaboration that enables the proposed work; is this a new collaboration; if not, applicants must describe how the project represents a new direction

o   Approach to be pursued during the year of funding

o   Expected scientific impact of the proposed studies beyond the initial funded phase, including what future work would be enabled

The research proposal section can be no more than three pages. References are not included in the three-page limit. Shorter applications are encouraged. Since Synergy Awards are intended for new collaborative projects, no preliminary data are required.

3. A minimal, one-page budget that describes how the funding will be allocated to each investigator in the collaboration and how it will be apportioned for any personnel, supplies and equipment. Any budget amount up to $100,000 can be proposed. Faculty salary and equipment costs can be included as desired. No indirect costs should be included in the budget.

4. A National Institutes of Health-style biosketch (old format) for each principle investigator, without the personal statement, that includes all current and pending support from all sponsored and nonsponsored sources. Each biosketch is limited to four pages.

Each proposal must be submitted with the above four items compiled into a single PDF. The PDF file name format must be: Last name of Corresponding PI dot First Name of Corresponding PI dot pdf. For example: Pomerantz.Joel.pdf

Each PDF must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. on May 1, 2015, to


Administrative questions about the application process can be best addressed by contacting Jolene Patey (, 443-287-0246). JHM Research Council members Joel Pomerantz ( and Kathleen Burns ( are available for scientific questions. Successful awardees may consult with the vice dean’s office for assistance if any administrative barriers to completing Discovery Fund objectives are encountered.

Click here to view last year’s winners:

Synergy Award Cover Sheet