2015 Call for Workshop Proposals (Closed)

We invite proposals for workshops that will bring together scholars from across different disciplines and different units of the University who, through their collaborations and interactions, will generate novel insights into existing topics and issues or address wholly new questions in the science of learning. The workshop grant program is open to full-time faculty members of JHU. Applications are due March 16, 2015 at 11:59 EST.

Deadline: 03/16/2015

The mission of the Johns Hopkins Science of Learning Institute (SLI) is to understand the nature of learning at all levels of scientific inquiry, from changes at the level of synapses to the nature of cognitive change over the life-span and the implications of these for education and learning in formal and informal settings. The SLI seeks to create an integrated understanding of the cellular and molecular mechanisms of learning, how learning varies as a function of basic learner characteristics (e.g. over the life span, among the typically developing child, the challenged learner, the gifted student), how these characteristics interact with different environments and learning settings to produce variation in learning outcomes, and how interactions with intelligent artificial learning systems can enhance and optimize human learning. The institute's grant portfolio will focus broadly on these four areas.

A crucial part of the Institute's mission is to promote discussions and collaborations that cross traditional disciplinary boundaries and push traditional levels of analysis that range from the molecular and neural basis of learning to educational intervention and outcome research. Therefore, this call invites proposals for workshops that will bring together scholars from across different disciplines and different units of the University who, through their collaborations and interactions, will generate novel insights into existing topics and issues or address wholly new questions in the science of learning.        


We invite workshop proposals for funding up to $20,000 in funding. Workshop organizers must be full-time faculty members at JHU. The organizers must be from (a) at least two different disciplines and (b) two departments or divisions from Johns Hopkins University. We especially welcome proposals that include organizers who are in the early stages of their careers. Organizers who were funded in the first two rounds (2013, 2014) are not eligible to apply.


Priority will be given to proposals that are strongest in meeting the following criteria:

  1. Innovation:  The workshop addresses a novel question in the science of learning or will generate novel insight into an existing topic or issue.
  2. Interdisciplinarity:  The workshop includes participants that are drawn from a range of disciplines and are likely to attract broad participation, including faculty from within and outside the University, postdoctoral fellows, graduate and undergraduate students. The proposal clearly states how new collaborations and interactions in the science of learning will be fostered among participants through the workshop, and how they will generate novel, interdisciplinary insights into the topics, issues, or questions addressed.
  3. Breadth of Reach:  The workshop pushes traditional boundaries on the dimension that ranges over levels of understanding, from cellular/ molecular through cognition and educational application. Projects that include innovative dissemination plans designed to enhance scientific, technical, and/or practical understanding are encouraged.
  4. Product(s):  Workshops yield a specific product(s) of value to the science of learning, such as a review article, a white paper, or an outline of a demonstration project.
  5. Strength of Program:  The workshop program represents a logical flow of events and/or activities (e.g., presentations, breakout groups) that are appropriate to the aims of the workshop and development of final product(s).
  6. Strength of Organizers and Workshop Team: The Organizer and team members display content knowledge and methodological expertise to organize and facilitate the workshop, produce high quality final product(s), and disseminate information to appropriate target audiences. Team members are uniquely qualified to create new synergies across traditional disciplines.


A. 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 Times New Roman font, and consistent with the professional style guidelines of the applicant’s field. Please adhere to the specified page limit for each section (listed in parentheses below).

B. Proposal Materials

Workshop proposals should include the following items:

1. Project Abstract:  A short description of the project in 300 words or less.

2. Workshop Description (6 pages maximum): This document must contain the following sections:

  • Specific Aims (1 page):  This should be a succinct statement describing the background, the major issues or questions to be addressed, and the goals or objectives of the workshop.
  • Significance (1 page):  This section should include 4 clearly-labeled subsections that briefly describe how the project addresses the innovation, interdisciplinarity, breadth of research, and products evaluation criteria listed above.
  • Proposed Participants (1 page):  This should include the major participants (i.e. speakers, session leaders), and the broader audience that might be expected to attend the workshop. Participants should be listed by name; these may include people within JHU or from other universities and industry.
  • Program (1 page):  This should include a preliminary description of events and/or activities that will occur during the workshop.
  • Workshop Timeline (1 page):  This section should include a brief workshop planning timeline (table format preferred) that identifies major activities and their projected completion dates (e.g., program planning, equipment/contractor planning, speaker recruitment, marketing, online registration, event launch, product completion).


  • References (1 page)

3. Budget and Budget Justification (1 - 2 pages): Funds may be requested for venue, custodial services, A/V support, travel accommodations for speakers, refreshments and meals for participants, and administrative support.

4. Brief Biographical Sketch of Organizer, Co-Organizer(s), and other Key Personnel: Include a brief, 2-page statement summarizing each individual’s qualifications for the proposed workshop as well as a list of their existing funding related to the workshop. Please download the biographical sketch template and instructions.

C. Application Deadline and Timeline for Review

Applications are due at 11:59pm EST, March 16, 2015, and should be submitted via the Science of Learning Institute’s grant application and review website, which will open for submissions starting February 9, 2015 (https://jhupiter.fluidreview.com/).  Evaluation of proposals will be carried out by a team of internal evaluators who are experts in the science of learning. Funding is expected to start on July 1, 2015. A progress report will be due 6 months into the funding year, and a final report will be due upon completion of the workshop.

IV. Questions?

Applicants who wish to discuss their project before applying are encouraged to contact Barbara Landau, Kelly Fisher, or members of the steering committee with the most relevant expertise.

Download the PDF of this announcement.