Grants News Research

COVID-19 Seed Grant Initiative: One Year Progress Report

The McDonnell Academy COVID-19 Seed Grant Initiative reports positive outcomes in the first year since the project’s launch in October 2020. The initiative awarded $250,000 total to kick-start 10 research projects chosen from a highly competitive applicant pool, which included 34 WashU teams from six of the university’s schools and 23 partner institutions. The projects address the international social, economic, and public health ramifications of the COVID-19 outbreak and lessons for future pandemics. 

Advancing Collaborative Research

Each research team includes a principal investigator (PI) from WashU and at least one international collaborator. These collaborations further solidify international partnerships between WashU researchers and colleagues across the globe. The initiative produced 10 international collaborations across 14 countries and 23 international universities, including cross-disciplinary projects across all seven WashU schools.  

Immediate Outcomes

An overview of the initiative’s progress over the last year reports over 20 research papers published or in preparation, 8 new external funding applications, 70+ presentations, and national media coverage.

Based on feedback from research teams, the extensive data collected is paving the way for future research directions, funding applications, and clinical interventions that would not be possible without the connections forged through this initiative.

“We really could not have done this work without the seed grant; it did indeed allow me to broaden my area of expertise, work with new partners, and build a wonderful international team that I know will be working together on this and many other international governance issues in the future. It also allowed many of our students to be involved both as direct researchers and participants.”

Leila Sadat

Within a rapidly shifting global environment, researchers navigated challenges and found ways to collaborate internationally. Many of the projects are ongoing, and teams continue to conduct research, analyze findings, and explore policy effects. The McDonnell International Scholars Academy continues to leverage its international partnership network to advance collaborative, cross-disciplinary research projects across the globe.