The Student Initiatives Fund is accepting applications. The deadline to submit an application is COB Sunday, November 6, 2022. Applicants will be notified of their application status by December 2, 2022.


The Student Initiatives Fund is open to project teams consisting of a Johns Hopkins Engineering student lead (undergraduate or graduate), and team members who are JHU students in any school (undergraduate or graduate).

Awardees will be given a liaison from the review committee to keep appraised of their progress throughout the spring semester. Awardees will be required to provide a short video and final report on their project. The final report will include a summary and photos of the project. Awardees may also be asked to present on their project at a future Hopkins Engineering Alumni Leadership Committee meeting.

Successful Proposals Projects

  • Create opportunities for students to build practical, hands-on applications that may solve real-world problems or are provide fun application of engineering knowledge;
  • Are innovative, creative, and self-motivated (i.e., not part of a course or sponsored faculty research);
  • Foster a collaborative environment across Johns Hopkins divisions or build community in the Engineering School, the university, or in the greater Baltimore community.

The Fund Will Not Support

  • Research in your professor’s lab
  • Projects that are required for a course (including senior design, unless as an extension of a required project) or are eligible for academic credit
  • Travel expenses
  • Events comprising a purely social component
  • Student groups’ operating budgets (must be for a specific project or initiative)

Individual students may apply for funding, but preference will be given to group projects. The total funding amount varies each academic year. Projects will receive up to a $2,500 grant; however, proposals with higher budgets may be considered. Students may apply for more than one project per cycle, but only one project per applicant or group will be funded. Students must obtain the support and signature of a faculty adviser.

For questions regarding the fund, please contact [email protected].

Submit Your Application Today

The fund allows engineering students to apply the skills they’ve honed in classrooms and labs and while also using their creativity and problem-solving abilities to pursue new areas of interest.

Past SIF Awardees


A team of computer science students from the Johns Hopkins Whiting School of Engineering and the Georgia Institute of Technology created a custom search engine—Searchin’—to provide young students with age- or education-appropriate information.


JHU Deliver Bot

Students will design and build an autonomous food delivery robot for use on the Johns Hopkins Homewood campus. The robot, which will consist of entirely student-designed systems and software, will conveniently deliver meals to busy students.



Students will attempt to break the world record for the furthest throw of an object by a human (not self-propelled). To accomplish this, they will apply engineering principles in aerodynamics, kinematics, rotational dynamics, as well as computational fluid dynamics and materials selection software, to design an object optimized for human throw.



A team is developing a low-cost, noninvasive patch capable of monitoring opioid levels in sweat.



A group of six third-year undergraduate students at Johns Hopkins University is designing a leak-proof mask that can be used with ordinary CPAP machines to deliver breathing relief to hospitalized COVID-19 patients.


GreenHacks is the first and only sustainability hackathon at Johns Hopkins. The hackathon offers a platform for competitive ideation and creativity to spark innovative and sustainable solution design. Their first virtual, multi-day mini-hackathon was held in May 2020. The hackathon had nearly 60 individuals in attendance, with 12 different teams competing  from JHU and around the world.


Design, Build, Fly at Johns Hopkins

The Design, Build, Fly team planned to build a remote-controlled airplane to fly in the annual American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Design/Build/Fly intercollegiate design competition, which was scheduled to be held in April 2020 in Wichita, Kansas. In response to the pandemic, the competition shifted to a virtual format and instead judged teams based on their design reports. The JHU team placed 17th out of 101 official submissions.



Bioswift is a student-led design team comprising students from the Whiting School of Engineering and the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. The team developed FlowMate, an attachment for dry powder inhalers that ensures pediatric patients, as well as adults with limited lung capacity, receive their full dosage of medication in order to alleviate chronic respiratory symptoms



The AstroJays rocketry team is a multidisciplinary group of students that design, build, and launch high-powered rockets. The team is divided into four main subsystems—avionics, propulsion, recovery, structures—that each work on one major sector of the rockets, which are then integrated with each other to produce a finished product.


Through Mini-MedHacks, Baltimore City high school students who are part of MERIT Health Leadership Academy learn about technology in medicine by participating in a one-day simulation of a medical hackathon. Mini-MedHacks is part of MedHacks, a student-run annual hackathon.


Engineers Without Borders at Johns Hopkins

Students in the Johns Hopkins chapter of Engineers Without Borders partner with low-resource communities to improve their daily quality of life through the implementation of environmentally and economically sustainable engineering projects while developing internationally responsible engineering students. The EWB-JHU team worked on projects in Guatemala and Ecuador—focusing on a bridge, water, and the social needs of several communities.


Hopkins AI Robot Squad

A team of student robotics experts put their artificial intelligence skills to the test at the 2019 International Conference on Robotics and Automation in Montreal. Students equipped robots with LIDAR and camera sensors to follow the location of “enemy” robots and demonstrate more precise aiming and targeting of armor packs.