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The Cohen Translational Engineering Fund

Established through a generous multi-year gift from the Neil Cohen ’83 and his wife, Sherry, the Cohen Translational Engineering Fund provides up to $200,000 seed funding to support the initial stage of innovation that moves research out of the laboratory, including the development of new WSE patents, and a range of critical needs—from materials and supplies to graduate student stipends and tuition. Recipients are awarded $25,000 to $100,000 to conduct work over a period of up to nine months.

Applications are due no later than midnight of January 31, 2020. Applications received after this deadline will not be considered.

For questions, please contact: Brian Stansky (Senior Director, FastForward)

Submit an application


To be considered, your application must meet the following criteria:

  1. Your technology must be formally disclosed to the Johns Hopkins Technology Ventures office and assigned a case number (e.g. C12345). Disclose an invention here:
  2. The invention must not be subject to any pre-existing exclusive licenses, non-exclusive licenses, or
  3. Applicants must be a Whiting School of Engineering faculty member.


Application Process

The Cohen Fund online application form comprises three sections.

    • The principal investigator’s contact information
    • Title of the project
    • The JHTV case number(s) for the technology (ex. C12345 or C12345, C12677)
    • Total amount of funding received to date
    • The total amount of funding requested
  • The project proposal cannot exceed five pages including citations. The cover page and letters of support do not count toward the 5-page proposal limit.


    • A detailed description of the associated Technology should be provided. The description should focus on how the Technology is unique/novel in its approach to solve an important problem relative to other approaches in the scientific literature and other commercial products.
    • Describe the status of the Technology’s development including the studies completed and the conclusions derived.
    • Any preliminary data or other results suggesting that the Technology is likely to work as predicted should be included.
    • Describe the intellectual property secured for the Technology and strategies for strengthening the Technology’s intellectual property portfolio.


    • Describe potential commercial products or services that could be based on the technology.
    • Describe how these products will solve a problem in the market  and describe the overall importance of solving that problem.
    • Include a description of the customer who will buy the product or service and a brief summary of the size of the market opportunity that these customers represent.
    • Include a description of the value proposition (ideally in dollars) that these products will bring to customers – cost savings, time savings, convenience, improved outcomes, etc.
    • Outline a general description of the technology’s competitive advantages over competing products and services. If possible, include a chart that compares key features of your product with competing products that are either on the market or in development.


    • Provide an overview of the overall steps/milestones needed to commercialize the Technology (beyond the funding) including how long it will take and how much it will cost to achieve key milestones.
    • Describe how you see the technology being licensed, such as via a startup company or a license to a corporate entity. In either case, identify potential commercial partners and provide any information available about the interest of those partners in the technology.
    • Describe the major risks of failure (beyond the proposed project, e.g., technology risk, market risk, etc.) along with the applicant’s plans to manage that risk, i.e., what would be done if the proposed commercialization approach was not successful?


    • Include a summary of the proposed project, the anticipated milestones and a clear timeline. The project timeline should not exceed 9 months.
    • Describe how each of the milestones leads to a clear demonstration or validation of the technology for the proposed commercial purpose and/or significantly advances the technology along the commercialization pathway. Milestones must be quantifiable and measurable so it will be obvious when they have been successfully, or unsuccessfully  met.
    • A detailed budget of the costs required to conduct the project should be provided.
    • A justification of significant project costs should be provided.
    • Please note that if the research plan is slated to be conducted during the regular academic year, you may not include faculty salary support. Additionally, indirect costs are not covered by the Cohen Translational Engineering Fund and should not be included in the proposal’s budget.
  • Industry/investor support letter(s) are recommend but not required. Please submit these as part of the PDF application.

    • Confirm the technology as impactful and leading edge
    • Validate a commercial market need
    • Indicate a specific willingness to assist, use, license or fund
    • Indicate an increased likelihood technical success and commercialization

Please note: The Cohen Translational Engineering Fund is an evergreen fund. When Cohen-funded technologies are successfully licensed, a portion of the Hopkins’ license revenue (1.5X the award amount) is used to replenish the Cohen Translational Engineering Fund to support future projects. Therefore, if a technology receives a $100,000 award, $150,000 is repaid to the Cohen Translational Engineering Fund before any revenues are distributed to Johns Hopkins, including inventors.


Review Process

All applications will be reviewed by a committee comprising relevant industry members as well as faculty and staff. Finalists will be notified in February and must prepare for an in-person presentation in March each year. The projected award date is late March. Please plan availability and project timelines accordingly.


Reporting Requirements

Award recipients will be required to prepare a midterm report in October on project activities and results to date, progress toward meeting midterm milestones, accounting of expenditures charged to the award and details on the proposed commercialization plan. The midterm report will include an in-person review meeting in October. A final report will be due within 30 days of completion of the project in the form of a 2-page summary of results and commercialization efforts to date. Annual post-award updates are expected as the technology progresses toward commercialization.

Click here to apply!
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