Research Proposals for Faculty

The JHU + Amazon Initiative for Interactive Artificial Intelligence (AI2AI) solicits research proposals from faculty for advancing the state of the art in all aspects of interactive AI.

Topics of particular interest in Academic Year 2022-2023 are listed below.

  • Computer Vision: Visual representations for a wide variety of video and image understanding tasks, such as activity/action recognition, scene understanding, body pose estimation, etc., especially those capable of supporting few-shot learning.
  • Speech and Language: paralinguistic information from speech; speech recognition in highly challenging environments; dialectal, code-mixed and multilingual language understanding; robust language understanding for evolving vocabularies, entities, topics and domains; knowledge extraction, representation and injection into speech recognition and language understanding systems; reasoning on knowledge graphs; machine translation and massively multilingual processing; etc.
  • Green AI: Efficient learning via innovation in training and inference algorithms, in models (e.g., sparse models, retrieval augmented architectures), via knowledge distillation and hardware acceleration, and learning with limited resources (e.g. with less data or on edge devices).
  • Multimodal AI: Interactive, multi-turn, multi-modal retrieval with text and image inputs, learning from cross-modal context in multimodal settings.

Compelling proposals on other topics that address interactive AI are also welcome.

Eligibility: Full-time tenure-track and research-track faculty members with a primary appointment in the Whiting School of Engineering are eligible to submit proposals as principal investigators. Collaborative proposals led by WSE faculty with faculty from other JHU divisions are also welcome.

Note: Faculty who will be Amazon Scholars in AY 2022-2023 are eligible to submit proposals, but must adhere to  JHU Conflict of Interest policies and procedures.. These individuals are encouraged to consult with Laura Evans at [email protected] well in advance of proposal submission.

Preproposals and Information Session: Prospective proposers are strongly encouraged to submit a preproposal (abstract) of no more than 1 page by (COB) June 7th, so that Amazon scientists with matching interests may be identified. The “AI2AI Kick-off Meeting and Information Session” is scheduled for June 15th, wherein a set of presentations to describe the kinds of research AI2AI wishes to support will be made.  The presentations will be followed by breakout sessions with small groups of faculty considering a proposal submission and Amazon scientists from teams that wish to engage with them and receive feedback.

It is hoped that this exchange will serve as a matchmaking exercise, enabling the development of well-focused proposals that are aligned with the interests of the PI and Amazon.

Full Proposal Submission: The following documents should be submitted through the AI2AI portal.

Full Proposals are due June 30th

Format: The proposal format is single-spaced, 11-point font or larger, with no less than 0.5-inch page margins.

  1. Project Description (PDF, 3-page maximum)
    1. Title
    2. PI’s
    3. Executive Summary
    4. Technical description of the project
    5. Expected deliverables/outcomes, and milestones
  2. Budget and justification (Excel converted to PDF)
  3. References (unlimited)
  4. Biographies of the PI’s (up to 3 pages per PI in NSF Format)

Proposals currently under consideration by the Amazon Research Awards program should be noted to indicate concurrent submissions.  Proposals will not be selected for funding from both sources.

Important Dates:

  • June 7, 2022: Pre-proposals/Abstracts due (PDF, 1-page max, via the AI2AI portal)
  • June 15, 2022: AI2AI Kick-off Meeting and Information Session (Registration required)
  • June 30, 2022: Proposals due (see list above, via the AI2AI portal)
  • August 1, 2022: Award decisions made

The award period is nominally September 1, 2022 to August 31, 2023.

Award types, amount and number:  Two types of awards are available:

  1. Sponsored research awards, with terms comparable to those for other sponsored projects, are expected to involve direct collaboration with Amazon researchers. A few (1-3) awards with up to $100,000 in direct costs are expected to be given in AY 2022-2023.
  2. Gift-funded awards, are treated as unrestricted gifts and are expected to support research that is more exploratory in nature. Several (2-4) awards of up to $100,000 each are expected to be given in AY 2022-2023.

The application process for both types of awards is the same.  The award type will be decided in consultation with Amazon.  Applicable indirect charges will be added to the awarded proposals.

The application period for 2022 has closed.