Congratulations to the 2018 Dean’s Fund for Scientific Advancement Awardees

Dear Harvard Chan School community,

I am writing to celebrate the launch of the Dean’s Fund for Scientific Advancement (DFSA). In the program’s inaugural year, over $800,000 were invested to support twelve awards to individuals and interdisciplinary teams to advance innovation in research, pedagogy, and the development of cross-cutting scientific platforms.

The four funding mechanisms that comprise the Dean’s Fund are designed to create a pipeline of support that facilitates the exploration of early ideas, the development of strong interdisciplinary team science, and the creation of new transformative collaborations to advance the frontiers of science and pedagogy.

Dean’s Fund for Scientific Advancement Pipeline Program

In 2018, we competed three of the four mechanisms and were able to fund work in a variety of disciplines across the School. We would like to congratulate the following faculty members and interfaculty teams for their successful proposals in the inaugural year of the DFSA program:

2018 Activation Awardees

Activation Awards are designed to seed and support idea generation for primary tenure-track faculty. This year’s awardees include:

Joseph Allen, EH: The Case for Healthy Buildings

Margaret McConnell, GHP: The Human Element of Low-Quality Care: A Behavioral Economics Approach to Improving Postpartum Care in Kenya

Kristopher Sarosiek, EH: Mapping Cell Death Regulation in the Lung to Address Global Health Challenges

2018 Incubation Awardees

Incubation Awards represent the second component of the pipeline. These awards are designed to support innovative ideas of particular promise in addressing key public health challenges. This year’s awardees include:

Peter Kraft, EPI: The Genetic Architecture of Breast Parenchymal Textural Features and its Implications for Breast Cancer Risk

Jack Spengler, EH: Children’s Developmental Status in Relation to Solid Fuel Use in Low and Middle Income Countries

Wafaie Fawzi, GHP: Assessing Food Systems for Optimal Health and Environmental Sustainability in Ethiopia

Sara Bleich, HPM: Evaluating the Impact of Bike Sharing in Low-Income Populations: A Novel Discount Program in Metro-Boston

Jacqueline Bhabha, GHP: Tackling Violence against Children: A Radical Approach

2018 Acceleration Awardees

Acceleration Awards represent the third component of the pipeline and are designed to cultivate collaborative transdisciplinary research, develop cross-cutting research platforms, and support pedagogical innovation. This year’s four Acceleration Awardee teams are being led by the following PIs:

James Mitchell (PI), GCD; Majken Jensen, NUT; Rachel Carmody, FAS, Department of Human Evolutionary Biology:

Research Award, Limiting Dietary Protein Improves Markers of Healthspan: Accelerating Mechanistic and Translational Advances

Jukka-Pekka Onnela (PI), BIO; Karestan Koenen, EPI; Marc Weisskopf, EH; Archana Basu,EPI; John Torous, HMS:

Research Platform Award, Augmentation of the Beiwe Platform for Smartphone-based Digital Phenotyping

Giovanni Parmigiani (PI), BIO; Christine Choirat, BIO; Danielle Braun, BIO; Lorenzo Trippa, BIO; Timothy Rebbeck, EPI; Kevin S. Hughes, HMS:

Research Platform Award, Inherited Cancer Risk Knowledge Base

Sonia Hernandez-Diaz (PI), EPI; Nancy Turnbull, HPM; Dan Levy, HKS; Teddy Svoronos, HKS:

Public Health Pedagogy Award, Evidence-Based Teaching: Using Technology and Data to Create More Effective and Inclusive Classrooms

Transformation Award

The Transformation Award represents the fourth and final component of the Dean’s Fund for Scientific Advancement pipeline and offers a pathway for the institution to make large investments designed to take exceptional ideas to the next level. In 2020, we will announce the first competitive cycle for this award.

We plan to announce the 2019 Award cycle in the coming weeks. Please follow this link to the ORSD website for additional details on the background and structure of the Dean’s Fund for Scientific Advancement and for more information on application materials for each individual mechanism. The Office for Research Strategy and Development (ORSD) will be administering the award program and all questions should be directed to Heather Conrad (

Best wishes,

Michelle A. Williams, ScD
Dean of the Faculty, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
Angelopoulos Professor in Public Health and International Development,
Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and Harvard Kennedy School