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Ph.D. Innovation Initiative

2013 Award Recipients

The President, the Provost, and the Doctor of Philosophy Board are pleased to announce the recipients of the 2013 Ph.D. Innovation Initiative Awards.  The winners were chosen from among 28 applications received from all Ph.D.-granting schools of the university.  The applications were evaluated by a review committee composed of faculty from across the university.  Projects were selected for their contribution to enriching and transforming Ph.D education at Johns Hopkins.

Sustainability and Health

THOMAS HAINE, Morton K. Blaustein Professor and Chair, Earth & Planetary Sciences, Krieger School of Arts & Sciences
BENJAMIN HOBBS, Professor, Geography Environmental Engineering, Whiting School of Engineering
CINDY PARKER, Assistant Professor, Occupation and Environmental Health, Bloomberg School of Public Health

This project is to create a broad and flexible interdivisional Ph.D. concentration/certificate program, tentatively entitled “Sustainability and Health,” with faculty from the Schools of Public Health, Arts & Sciences, Engineering, and Business. This project will include the development of a Ph.D. level core course in research methods, communication, collaboration, and management that will introduce the range of analytical frameworks and research tools from relevant disciplines.

Preparing Future Faculty Teaching Academy

PAM JEFFRIES, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, Johns Hopkins School of Nursing
CANDICE DALRYMPLE, Associate Dean of University Libraries and Director, Center for Educational Resources, Sheridan Libraries

Too often, Ph.D. students are trained as excellent researchers who graduate without the skills needed for successful teaching.  In this program, Ph.D. students will acquire an overview of pedagogy, explore different educational models, attain instructional and assessment skills, and work with faculty teaching mentors in a classroom, online course, or laboratory practicum environment.  They will acquire critical skills needed for their initial faculty appointments and certificates that enhance their competitive advantage as they seek their first faculty appointments.

Advancing Medical Innovation and Entrepreneurship Education 

CARMEN KUT, Graduate Student, Biomedical Engineering, School of Medicine 
NITISH V. THAKOR, Professor, Biomedical Engineering, School of Medicine
DELIA SILVA, Graduate student, Biomedical Engineering, School of Medicine
KATIE WASHINGTON, Graduate student, School of Medicine

MEP promotes entrepreneurship education as a bridge between research and clinical practice. In this program, simple medical devices, invented by students, will be taken through the process of prototype development, clinical trials and commercialization. Students will learn about the scientific foundation, global health context, and business ecosystem for the devices. In this way the MEP program facilitates and fosters interdisciplinary education, entrepreneurship and medical innovation.

Professional Development Program

ERIC RICE, Assistant Professor, School of Education
TIM WEIHS, Professor, Materials Science & Engineering, Whiting School of Engineering

The need to broaden graduate education has been expressed in many recent articles and presentations.  For example, The Commission on Pathways Through Graduate School noted that over half of all doctoral degree holders in science, engineering or health fields work outside the academy.  Housed in the WSE Center for Leadership Education, the Professional Development Program will offer a series of 20 seven-week courses to all graduate students and postdoctoral fellows on topics such as Writing Business Plans, Managing People, Writing Winning Proposals and Improving Presentations.

The Public Health Policy Practicum

THOMAS BURKE, Professor, Health Policy & Management, Bloomberg School of Public Health
NICOLE ERRETT, Research Assistant, Health Policy & Management, Bloomberg School of Public Health
SHELLEY HEARNE, Visiting Professor, Health Policy and Management, Bloomberg School of Public Health
MEGHAN MCGINTY, Graduate student, Electrical & Computer Engineering, Whiting School of Engineering
KESHIA POLLACK, Associate Professor, Health Policy & Management, Bloomberg School of Public Health
DANIEL WEBSTER, Professor, Health Policy & Management, Bloomberg School of Public Health

The Public Health Policy Practicum will offer selected Ph.D. students an opportunity to complement their Ph.D. education with a mentored policy field placement.  This placement will be designed to provide students with the knowledge and skills they need to bring evidence to the policymaking process, effectively translate that evidence for a policy audience, and interact with policymakers as they evaluate the evidence provided.  The Practicum will provide faculty support for a field placement, expand the curriculum to incorporate policy experience as an integrated part of the doctoral experience, and elevate the connection between scholarship and policy in the context of Ph.D. education.

Biomedical Career Initiative

PETER ESPENSHADE, Professor, Cell Biology, School of Medicine
ARHONDA GOGOS, Academic Program Manager, Basic Biomedical Sciences, School of Medicine

Empirical and anecdotal evidence indicate that Ph.D. graduates in the biomedical sciences increasingly pursue non-academic careers.  The Johns Hopkins University-Biomedical Careers Initiative is a three-phase program to equip graduate students in the biomedical sciences with the information, training and opportunities for a broadened array of professional careers.  The Center for Innovation in Graduate Biomedical Education at the School of Medicine will administer the program, which will serve biomedical graduate students in School of Medicine programs and KSAS Biology.

Learning through Osmosis

SHIV GAGLANI, Graduate Student, School of Medicine
M. RYAN HAYNES, Graduate Student, School of Medicine

Osmosis ( is an educational technology that aims to improve the way students learn and retain information.  It was developed by two Johns Hopkins School of Medicine students over the past two years and consists of both a web- and mobile-platform.  The focus of the Ph.D. Innovation Initiative grant is to apply the Osmosis platform to the graduate programs at the School of Medicine, beginning with the BCMB program, so that doctoral and masters students may also benefit from the novel system.

BME Transition Generator

ELLIOTT MCVEIGH, Professor and Director, Biomedical Engineering, School of Medicine
YOUSEPH YAZDI, Assistant Professor, Biomedical Engineering, School of Medicine
IRAJ HOSSEINI, Graduate Student, Biomedical Engineering, School of Medicine
MATTHEW FIFER, Graduate Student, Biomedical Engineering, School of Medicine

Traditionally, the mission of the doctoral programs has been to train future university faculty; however, there is increasing enthusiasm among Ph.D. students to pursue careers in industry, entrepreneurship and consulting.  The JHU Department of Biomedical Engineering proposes to establish a new departmental center, BME EDGE.  This center will facilitate internship placements for current Ph.D. students and provide training opportunities to help students develop additional professional skills.

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