Johns Hopkins-GlaxoSmithKline Scholars Program Announcement

Opportunity Summary

The Johns Hopkins University’s Center for Innovation in Graduate Biomedical Education has pioneered a new model for biomedical graduate education that provides Ph.D. students with the opportunity to conduct collaborative thesis projects with the industrial sector in the local area (for more information, see As part of our ongoing efforts to expand this first-of-its-kind PhD training program driven by academia-industry collaboration, we are soliciting proposals from Johns Hopkins investigators interested in working with investigators at GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) Vaccines (Rockville, MD) to mentor JHU graduate students pursuing a Ph.D. degree in the biomedical sciences with relevance to the following research topics:

  • Alternatives to intramuscular administration of vaccines
  • Applications of artificial intelligence to vaccine discovery or development
  • In silico modeling of immune responses to infection or vaccination
  • Innovations in human in vitro mucosa models and assays (e.g., "organs on a chip")
  • Lipid nanoparticles
  • Microbiome function and impact on immune responses
  • Nanoparticles for vaccine delivery
  • New production process technologies (e.g., biosensors, microfluidics)
  • Novel approaches to immune profiling
  • Novel approaches to modulate the immune system; new immunization strategies and approaches
  • Relationship between infections and non-communicable chronic diseases (e.g., neurological/cardiovascular diseases, cancer)
  • Stability of long nucleic acids

Benefits of the Program

While the main objective of the program is to provide students with broader exposure to translational research by collaborating with one of the leading pharmaceutical companies in the world, getting involved in the program as a mentor will bring a range of benefits that would allow JHU investigators to:

(i). grow existing research projects into a new direction;
(ii). access resources and technologies that are not available at Johns Hopkins;
(iii). gain knowledge about the current landscape of pharmaceutical research and development;
(iv). expand scientific networks outside the academic sector;
(v). engage in multidisciplinary research to tackle bigger challenges in health science;
(vi). receive financial support during the period of collaboration


Johns Hopkins investigators affiliated with at least one Ph.D.-granting program at any of the schools of the Johns Hopkins University are eligible to apply. Investigators who do not currently mentor graduate students are also encouraged to apply as long as they are eligible to mentor Ph.D. candidates.

Proposal Format

Use the template linked below to provide two key elements required in the proposal: (i) a brief overview of research interests pursued by your lab and their potential relevance to areas of interest to GSK Vaccines; (ii) a brief description of potential Ph.D. thesis projects that you can envision for a JH-GSK scholar in your lab.

Submit a completed form and your NIH-format biosketch as attachments to

Proposal Deadline

Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until the program reaches capacity.

Review Process

Proposals will be reviewed by GSK Vaccine R&D leaders based on (i) relevance to GSK Vaccine’s research priorities; (ii) potential for synergy; (iii) availability of a qualified GSK mentor; and (iv) potential to develop a workable Ph.D. thesis project. Qualifying applicants will then be contacted by GSK to initiate in-depth discussions with potential co-mentors at GSK and to formulate a joint Ph.D. thesis project proposal. A final decision to move forward with a joint thesis project proposal will depend on the availability of funds within GSK.

For any questions about the proposal, please contact Takashi Tsukamoto (