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Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences Venture Discovery Fund (VDF) RFA

The Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences (DPBS) announces the availability of three pilot grants in amounts up to $50,000 for projects to be completed over two years. These grants are intended to accelerate the development and translation of novel approaches to the treatment of patients with psychiatric and behavioral health conditions in accordance with the summary on the full RFA linked below. The Venture Discovery Fund (VDF), which is made possible by private philanthropy, will achieve its goals by supporting pilot projects emphasizing collaboration with other departments and fields at Johns Hopkins more broadly, or with the NIA and NIDA intramural programs on the Bayview campus. For 2016-17 the target field is cancer/oncology. The research may involve any type of translational research, from wet-lab to clinical.

ELIGIBILITY: These awards target faculty in the DPBS working in collaboration with investigators in the cancer field at Johns Hopkins or in the Johns Hopkins Bayview-based intramural programs of NIDA or NIA. The DPBS Principal Investigator must enlist a collaborating cancer investigator in a meaningful way. Establishing new and innovative collaborations with investigators not currently involved in this area of research is encouraged. Applicants need not be currently working in cancer research. Those not currently working in cancer research who wish to develop collaborations for such work are encouraged to apply. Full-time faculty members in the DBPS at all ranks are eligible to apply. The VDF will give priority to applications with a translational focus and potential for future funding from NIH, foundations, or pharmaceutical companies.

APPLICATION PROCESS: Provide a one-page cover letter to include project timeframes as well as the following sections in one PDF file (e.g., Jones_VDF2016.pdf):

  1. Specific aims, background, preliminary data (if appropriate), proposed research, future plans (3 pages)
  2. Details of the cross-departmental collaboration and its future potential (1 page)
  3. NIH Biosketches for key personnel
  4. NIH overall budget and justification
    • No F&A will be provided
    • Salary for faculty and staff in any JH Department may be included, consistent with the aims of the project
    • Equipment and supply costs up to $5,000 are allowed
    • The justification should clarify if there are other, specific sources of funding that will be utilized to complement and ensure the successful completion of the project

REVIEW PROCESS: Applications will be reviewed by a special committee appointed by the DPBS Director. They will be judged based on scientific merit and innovation, as well as likelihood of establishing long-range collaboration and obtaining outside funding.

EXPECTATIONS: Each awardee is expected to provide the DPBS with a three-page final report on the project no later than three months after the end of funding. S/he is expected to present the results of his/her project as a public scientific presentation within six months of the end of funding (e.g., the Psychiatry Research Conference). The collaborating investigator will be expected to participate in this presentation.

TIMELINES: Submissions due no later than October 31, 2016 with funding starting January 1, 2017

Click here to view the full RFA: Venture Discovery RFA

Email applications to: with subject line: Psychiatry Venture Discovery Application.


Kelsey Bennett