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Leadership and Education in Academic Research and Networking for Enhancing Diversity (LEARNED)

Funding Opportunities

Travel Awards

The LEARNED Travel Award provide financial support for underrepresented PhD students and postdoctoral fellows to attend professional meetings. Each program participant may receive up to $800 during a program year to help cover the cost of registration, lodging, and economy travel to attend meetings. The aim is to help PhD students network and gain more experience with scientific presentation. Applications are accepted on a rotating basis and award notices will be sent within 3 weeks of application submission.


  • Must be presenting author for an accepted meeting abstract. Attendance is required for cost reimbursement.
  • Abstract must constitute high scientific relevance, as determined by a committee of reviewers.
  • Applicant must have attended at least 80% of LEARNED program activities.

Application Materials

  • Copy of the accepted abstract.
  • Statement regarding the impact that the presented research will have on science and the community.
  • Statement of the impact conference attendance and presentation will have on your career and/or learning experience.
  • Description of estimated expenses.
  • All applications must be submitted through the

Previous Awardees

  • Mudia Uzzi, PhD Student, Health Behavior and Society. Investigating violence disparities through an intersectional lens: Using additive interaction approaches to explore the relationship of redlining and racialized economic segregation on Non-Fatal Shootings in Baltimore City, Maryland. Society for Advancement of Violence and Injury Research, Washington, DC.
  • Kumba Seddu, PhD Student, Molecular Microbiology and Immunology. The role of sex hormone and sex chromosome in predicting sex differences in influenza vaccine-induced immunity and protection in mice. Gordon Research Conference (GRC) on Sex Differences in Immunity in Health and Disease, Ventura, CA.
  • Jason Haw, PhD Student, Epidemiology. Incident hypertension among young adults with perinatally-acquired HIV in the NA-ACCORD. 25th International Workshop on HIV and Hepatitis Observational Databases (IWHOD) meeting. Athens, Greece.
  • Verné Qaanaaq Boerner, PhD Student, Epidemiology. Indigenous Waters: Learning from Elders in a Qasriq (Community Hall), 25th Annual Alaska Forum on The Environment. Anchorage, AK.
  • Antoine S. Johnson, Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of History of Medicine. A History of Anti-Black Racism in Medicine. Organization of American Historians (OAH). Los Angeles, CA.
  • Sumayya Beekun, PhD Student, International Health. Establishing and addressing the burden of Staphylococcus aureus infections in Indigenous children. 10th International Meeting on Indigenous Child Health (IMICH). Tulsa, OK.
  • Melissa DeSantiago, PhD Student, Environmental Health and Engineering. Exposures to Pesticides in an Occupational Chilean Cohort. International Society of Exposure Science (ISES) 2023 Annual Meeting. Chicago, IL.
  • Lauren Deanes, PhD Student, Environmental Health and Engineering. Community-Driven Assessment of Fugitive Dust Emissions from a Coal Terminal in Curtis Bay, South Baltimore, Maryland. International Society of Exposure Science Annual Meeting. Chicago, IL.
  • Joelle Robinson-Oghogho, Postdoctoral Fellow, Health Behavior and Society. Structural Racism and Cancer Mortality: An Examination of US. 16th AACR Conference on The Science of Cancer Health Disparities in Racial/Ethnic Minorities and Medically Underserved. Orlando, FL.

Discovery Fellowships

The LEARNED Discovery Fellowship seeks to support and enhance training opportunities of students from underrepresented groups by providing funding to cover the cost of travel to gain hands-on training in a professional setting not affiliated with Johns Hopkins University (JHU) for up to 2 months. This fellowship will provide a total of four awards in the amount of $5000. Research must be conducted at an accredited university or research institution under the supervision of a highly qualified mentor with documented experience. The student must be physically present at the host institution of the mentor to carry out the proposed training during the fellowship period.


  • Applicant must be currently enrolled as a full-time PhD student.
  • Proposed training must take place at an institution that is not JHU-affiliated.
  • Applicant must have attended at least 80% of LEARNED program activities.
  • Proposed mentor must be employed full-time at the research institution where the training will be conducted.
  • Proposed mentor must have previous experience mentoring graduate-level trainees/students.

Application Materials

  • Cover letter with brief description of the proposed training and timeline, specific methods to be gained, and how this training will enhance your learning experience.
  • Letter of recommendation from a previous advisor, mentor, or supervisor.
  • Applicant's NIH formatted biosketch.
  • Selected mentor's NIH formatted biosketch.
  • Letter of support from the selected mentor including information on research background, previous experience mentoring graduate students, and statement of commitment. 

Previous Fellows

  • Aster Meche, PhD Student, Epidemiology. Institution: Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.