The McDonnell Academy supports collaborative research projects with seed funding and helps identify additional funding opportunities from other sources.

When available, seed funding is distributed through open calls for applications published on this page. Seed grants typically support research projects that involve at least one collaborator from WashU and international collaborators from the Academy’s partnership network. To receive information about future calls, please email to be added to our mailing list.

By the Numbers

The McDonnell Academy Seed Grant awards are in partnership with the Office of the Provost and aligned with “Here and Next“, the Washington University in St. Louis  strategic plan.

WashU faculty comment on the impact of McDonnell Academy seed grants.

A number of other resources help identify and manage new funding opportunities for Washington University researchers. Please visit the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research for more information.

Recent Grant News

Global health seed grants funded

The key objective of the Global Health Seed Funding effort was to help stimulate new global health research collaborations, strengthen existing partnerships and projects, and help faculty become more competitive for larger, extramural grant opportunities. 

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McDonnell Academy Global Incubator Seed Grants Awarded

Launched with the goal to stimulate high-impact research projects, the new McDonnell Academy Global Incubator Seed Grants Fund has its 2021 recipients. Fifteen research teams from five WashU schools working across different disciplines have been selected to receive funding.  The program aims to stimulate high-impact research initiatives linking WashU faculty and international collaborators. These projects are expected to lead to next-stage funding, publications, and deeper ties between WashU and our partners around the globe.

Addressing Covid-19 through AI, technology and big data

For a second year, the McDonnell Academy and the Social Policy Institute partnered to provide seed grants for international research. The previous round supported three international social-policy focused projects. This year’s focus was on addressing the challenges of COVID-19 through artificial intelligence, technology, and big data. Three new projects were selected to receive seed funding of up to $30,000 each. The recipients include researchers from both Washington University and McDonnell Academy partner institutions in China, India andIsrael.

Funding provided in part by the Mastercard Impact Fund, in collaboration with Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth.

Learn more about the Social Policy Institute at Washington University in St. Louis and the Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth.

Seed grants for COVID-19-related research awarded

The most recent applications cycle awarded $250,000 in seed funding to eleven research teams working on collaborative projects related to infectious diseases and the societal impact of Covid-19.

The funded teams now will get to work tackling far-reaching COVID-19-related issues, including the pandemic’s impact on the retirement process in the United States, South Korea and Australia; HIV care in Ghana, Brazil and the United States; and intimate partner violence in St. Louis, Uganda and Chile. The teams expect to gain more insight into these problems by studying the phenomenon in multiple countries and by drawing on top experts from around the world.

Seed grants for social policy projects awarded

The McDonnell International Scholars Academy and the Social Policy Institute partnered to provide support for three international policy-focused proposals. Each project received $10,000 in seed grants.

The selected projects will develop research that fosters international collaboration on policy issues and includes faculty from both Washington University and an international university. Each of the three research projects supports the overarching missions of both the McDonnell International Scholars Academy and the Social Policy Institute.

Grants support research arising from International Symposium

Travel and seed grants were made available to advance collaborative efforts arising from the 8th International Symposium on topics related to the theme of ‘Forces Reshaping the World.’

In 2019, we re-envisioned the McDonnell Academy’s signature event as a research-focused conference with faculty-driven workshops at its core. Through an open call, we solicited workshop proposals and offered support in the form of travel and seed grants to help incubate innovative research involving McDonnell Academy partner institutions as well as other international collaborators.

The response to the call was overwhelming. We received 40 workshop proposals from 25 partner institutions and 30 departments from every WashU school. We selected 30 workshops that represent varied disciplines and geographic areas.

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the in-person proceedings of the Symposium have been postponed to 2021, but we remain engaged with our global partners through a series of virtual events.

View the original Call for Proposals

Are you interested in future proposal calls?

To receive information about future calls, please contact the McDonnell International Scholars Academy to be added to our email list by using the link below.

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