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BME Transition Generator receives $150,000 from JHU PII

March 21, 2013

BME Transition GeneratorTeam

BME Transition GeneratorTeam. Pictured: (left, front row) Iraj Hosseini and Shiva Razavi, co-team leaders; (left, back row) Chuck Montague, Cathy Schoonover, Youseph Yazdi (Advisor), Elliot McVeigh (Advisor) and Kunal Parikh. Not pictured: Hong Lan. Photo credit: Iraj Hosseini

JHU’s PhD Innovation Initiative (“PII”) awarded seed funding of $150,000 to support a new Biomedical Engineering (“BME”) PhD departmental center titled BME Transition Generator. The proposal, submitted by BME PhD students Iraj Hosseini and Shiva Razavi, was awarded this funding from the JHU Office of the Provost, as part of its PII to support bold, creative, culture-changing ideas for transforming PhD education at Johns Hopkins.

As was stated in the proposal abstract, “Traditionally, the mission of the doctoral programs has been to train future university faculty; however, there is increasing enthusiasm among PhD students to pursue careers in industry, entrepreneurship and consulting. As of 2012, about 26% of biomedical PhDs have tenured or tenure-track faculty positions, compared to 34% in 199.” To achieve this additional training, BME proposed “. . . establishing a new departmental center, the BME Transition Generator. This center will serve two primary functions: (i) facilitating internships for the current PhD students; (ii) providing additional training opportunities to address the need for developing professional skills.”

The winning proposal was the result of multi-faceted teamwork between BME PhD students, faculty and staff. Iraj Hosseini and Shiva Razavi, co-president of the BME PhD Council, led the efforts that shaped the proposal. Elliot McVeigh, PhD, BME Chair, Massey Professor and Director, and Youseph Yazdi, PhD, BME Assistant Professor and Executive Director of the Center for Bioengineering Innovation & Design, served on the advisory panel while BME staff Hong Lan, Chuck Montague and Cathy Schoonover played an instrumental role. Valuable feedback received from surveying the BME PhD student body was a basis for their success. More information on the new departmental center will be forthcoming as the team begins to launch the center’s implementation phase.

According to the JHU website, the PII program is the result of approximately 100 faculty, deans, program directors, and graduate students from across the university gathering last October for a Symposium on the Future of PhD Education, organized by the Doctor of Philosophy Board. The PhD Symposium generated energy and enthusiasm around the subject of PhD education. With the goal of invigorating PhD education and putting Johns Hopkins at the forefront of innovation in PhD education, the Doctor of Philosophy Board launched the PhD Innovation Initiative. For each of the next two years, JHU will invest approximately $1 million each year in support of bold new ideas in PhD education. The funds will be awarded on a competitive basis to proposals solicited from across the Johns Hopkins community.

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