Kavli Neuroscience Postdoctoral Fellows Program

Submission deadline
November 30, 2016

  • Objective

    • The primary goal of the Kavli Neuroscience Discovery Fellows Program is to provide support for postdoctoral fellows who bridge research between neuroscientists, engineers and data scientists at Johns Hopkins University. The Fellowship will foster discovery-driven neuroscience research aligned with the mission of the Kavli Neuroscience Discovery Institute (Kavli NDI) and will be guided by cross-disciplinary mentorship. This call invites proposals for research that will draw upon the expertise of Johns Hopkins faculty to direct innovative, interdisciplinary postdoctoral research projects. The successful fellow will be co-mentored by two JHU faculty with distinct expertise  in neuroscience, engineering or data science.


      Award Information

      We invite proposals for funding of up to $60,000 per year for two years.  Second year funding is contingent on acceptable progress, as described in a progress report due two months prior to the start of the second year.  We expect to give out 5 awards for this RFA.



      The fellows program is open to current (as of October 1, 2016) full-time JHU postdoctoral fellows or students (that must be appointed as a JHU postdoctoral fellow prior to award commencement). Fellows will be mentored by full-time faculty members at JHU who are eligible to serve as Principal Investigator (PI) and Co-PI. The PI and Co-PI must be from distinct disciplines and/or two departments or divisions from Johns Hopkins University, such that together they bridge the fields of neuroscience to engineering and/or data science. We especially encourage applications from the School of Medicine, Whiting School of Engineering, Krieger School of Arts and Sciences, the Bloomberg School of Public Health and the Applied Physics Laboratory.

  • Proposal Preparation
    and Submission

    • Formatting Requirements

      All application materials must be formatted to fit on 8.5 x 11” paper with 1-inch margins, single line spacing, 12-point Arial or Helvetica font. Please adhere to the specified page limit for each section (listed in parentheses below).

      Proposal materials

      Proposals should include the following items:

      1. Applicant’s Biosketch, not to exceed five (5) pages, in accordance with NIH guidelines (for formatting assistance see here)
      2. PI and Co-PI should include:
        1. Each PI’s Biosketch, not to exceed five (5) pages, in accordance with NIH guidelines
        2. A brief, 1-page statement summarizing each individual’s qualifications and specific expertise that will be contributed to the project. A mentorship plan for the fellow must be included.
        3. A list of each PI’s existing funding for research related to the project, following the NIH format for description of “Other Support”.
      3. Project Lay Abstract: A short lay description of the project in 300 words or less, written to be conceptually accessible to a non-expert audience, and highlighting the potential impact of the proposed research.
      4. Project Description (4 pages maximum). This document must contain the following sections:
        1. Background and Specific Aims: This section should clearly describe the background, the objectives of the project, and the hypotheses or questions addressed. This section should end with a numbered list of the Aims.
        2. Approach: This section should clearly describe the research design, measures, data analysis plan, and any preliminary data.
        3. Significance: This section should briefly describe how the project addresses each of the evaluation criteria listed below. This section should illustrate the importance of the project or describe the critical barrier to progress in brain research and how the project will improve scientific knowledge, technical capability, and/or practice if the Aims are achieved.
        4. Project Timeline for Years 1 and 2: This section should include a brief project timeline (table format preferred) that identifies major project activities and their projected completion dates (e.g., experiment development, data analysis, manuscript submission).
      5. Applicant’s Letters of Reference (2): Two letters of reference (uploaded by reference writers to the Kavli NDI grant submission website) that address the suitability of the fellow to undertake these studies. Letters must be written by individuals other than the proposed mentors.

      Applications should be submitted via the Kavli NDI’s grant application and review website: https://kavlindijhu-rfa.fluidreview.com/

  • Application Review Criteria

    • Proposal Materials

      Proposals will be evaluated by a team of internal reviewers. Priority will be given to proposals that are strongest

      • Innovation: The project seeks to have a transformative role in neuroscience discovery, encompassing the development of novel strategies, generates innovative tools, and/or establishes facile data management/analysis methods, ultimately contributing to greater understanding of the structure/function of the nervous system.
      • Interdisciplinary: The project uses multiple theoretical and empirical approaches to neuroscience, and clearly draws on expertise spanning more than one expertise, discipline, department, and/or division in the University.
      • Sustainability: The project is likely to generate preliminary data that could be used to generate continuing support for the research, including grant proposals to federal institutions, private foundations, and/or industrial partners when the grant period is complete.
      • Approach: The project’s design, methods, and analytic plan are well-developed, integrated, and appropriate to the Aims of the proposed project and the research environment with consideration of potential pitfalls and alternative solutions.
      • Strength of PI, Co-PI and Research Team: The PI’s have a demonstrated ability to carry out and publish high quality research, and team members are uniquely qualified to create new synergies across fields with appropriate content knowledge and methodological practice to carry out all elements of the proposed project.
  • Application Timeline

    • Application deadline

      November 30. 2016

      Notification of award

      March 1. 2017

      Commencement of award

      April 1. 2017

  • Questions

    • Applicants who wish to discuss their project before applying are encouraged to contact members of the steering committee with the most relevant expertise.

      Questions regarding the application process or review timeline should be directed to Natasha K. Hussain, Scientific Director, Kavli NDI KavliNDI@jhu.edu


      Kavli NDI Leadership & Steering Committee


      Steering Committee