HEMI Seed Grants 2022

Congratulations to our 2022 HEMI Seed Grant Awardees!

Prof. Yayuan Liu, Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering and Department of Materials Science and Engineering- “Designing Vascularized Porous Electrodes with Enhanced Ion Transport for Battery Extreme Fast Charging.”

Dr. Chao He, Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences – “Spectral signature of prebiotic molecules in Titan’s surface materials.”

Prof. Dimitris Giovanis, Department of Civil and Systems Engineering and HEMI Fellow – “Data Driven Uncertainty Quantification for Energetic Materials.”

2022 Seed Grant Information

The Hopkins Extreme Materials Institute is pleased to announce its annual HEMI Seed Grant Program.  The goal of this program is to provide seed funding to advance the fundamental science associated with materials and structures under extreme conditions.

While all directions related to the HEMI Mission will be considered, some directions of particular interest include:

  1. Structures in extreme environments, such as blast, extreme temperatures, impact/crash, natural hazards, disasters, nuclear events
  2. Materials behavior and performance in extreme environments
  3. High-power laser interactions with matter
  4. Materials and structures applications in planetary science, space science and geophysics
  5. Hypersonics and hypersonic applications
  6. Dual-phase combustion of metal powders and the generation of nano oxide particles
  7. Materials and structures for energy applications, including energy storage
  8. AI/ML applied to Extreme Environments


All faculty and researchers at the Johns Hopkins University, as well as Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) Staff, who can serve as Principal and Co-Investigators are eligible to apply. Existing HEMI fellows are encouraged to apply.


The total budget request for a faculty member or team may not exceed $25,000. The project period is up to one year. HEMI leadership anticipates funding at least one seed grant award.

Obligations of Award Recipients

Award recipients will be expected to:

  • Complete research within one year. No-cost extensions will not be offered and funds remaining at the end of the one-year period will be returned to the Institute.
  • Submit a proposal for external research funding through HEMI within one year of completion of the project.
  • Acknowledge the support of HEMI in publications or presentations as a result of this award.

Proposal Format

  • Title Page – Include proposal title, investigators, their departments, and e-mail addresses.
  • Narrative – Not to exceed 3 pages. Must include the following:
      • Statement of the Problem or Area of Investigation
      • Project Goals and Objectives – Include the research objectives and/or technique or tool developments that will be accomplished during the HEMI Seed Grant project phase.
      • Future Funding and Goals – State how this project will help the proposing team attract new or additional external funding following the HEMI Seed Grant project phase. Which funding agencies and programs will be approached with future proposals?
      • Impact – Describe how this project will impact HEMI and/or the broader JHU research community. If the proposal involves multiple investigators, one of the investigators must be designated as the Principal Investigator, with the remaining investigators as Co-Investigators.
  • Budget and Budget Justification – (Budget not to exceed $25,000 for a period up to 12 months). Facilities and Administrative costs cannot be charged to this grant.
  • Curriculum Vitae (one or 2 pages, standard NSF or NIH formats).

Deadlines and Evaluation

The proposal deadline 5 p.m. Monday, April 25, 2022. Please email the proposal as a single PDF document and the budget/budget justification in Excel to [email protected].

The HEMI Seed Grant Program Review Committee may seek budget adjustments before making final decisions around the beginning of June 2022. The Principal Investigator should ensure the proposal contains all required elements and is clearly written. Although reviewers are chosen who are familiar with some of the proposed areas of research, it is not possible to have an expert in every field represented by the proposals. Therefore, it is imperative that you make a convincing argument why this research is important in your field and should be funded at this time.

Please contact Katie Vaught if you experience technical difficulties completing your submission or need further help in preparing your proposal.

Past HEMI Seed Grant Awardees
2021 Due to Covid-19 and a University pause on certain expenditures, no seed grants were solicited or awarded in 2021.
Prof. Stavros Gaitanaros Department of Civil and Systems Engineering “Crushing of Architected Materials and Phase Transitions”
Prof. Emmy Smith Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences “Were there extreme climate conditions at the dawn of modern animal life?”
Dr. Feng Zhu Associate Research Professor and Fellow within HEMI “Data-driven Modeling of Dynamic Failure Behavior of Lithium-ion Batteries for Electric Vehicles”
Prof. Thomas Gernay Department of Civil and Systems Engineering “Modeling Ductile Fracture in Metals under Extreme Temperatures with Application to Structural Fire Computations”
Prof. Daniel Viete Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences “Planetary-scale Fracture Propagation”
Prof. June Wicks Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences “Bridging Accessible Strain Rates in the Lab to Recreate Meteorite Impacts”
Prof. Susanna Thon Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering “Defect Formation in Optoelectronic Nanoparticle Films Under Extreme Illumination Conditions”
Prof. Tyrel McQueen and Dr. Adam Phelan Department of Chemistry “Extreme Pressure Driven Discovery of Superconducting Quantum Spin Liquids”
Dr. Natalia Drichko Department of Physics & Astronomy “Tuning of ground state in strongly correlated electron materials by hydrostatic pressure”
Prof. Michael Shields Department of Civil Engineering “Structural Reliability Under Extreme Loads”
Prof. Mark Foster Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering “Compressive Imaging at Extreme Rates Beyond One Trillion Frames Per Second”
Prof. Erica Schoenberger Department of Environmental Health and Engineering “Extreme Collaboration”
Prof. Joelle Frechette and Prof. Margarita Herrera-Alonso Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering and Department of Materials Science and Engineering “Hydrofracture in Compliant Materials”