Twenty research projects involving Washington University in St. Louis faculty and international collaborators were recently funded through the Global Incubator Seed Grant program, administered by the McDonnell International Scholars Academy, with additional support from the Office of the Provost.
The grants — totaling nearly $500,000 this round — are designed to help kick-start high-impact innovative projects, plus deepen connections and partnerships with researchers around the world.
This year, the funded projects focus on three priority areas — public health, the environment and digital transformation — in congruence with the research pillar of the university’s strategic plan, “Here and Next.”
The selected teams, which include partners from 16 different countries, each received up to $25,000 to begin their projects. The teams will address issues ranging from developing equitable cancer prevention and intergenerational health programs to improving air quality and stormwater management.
“We are proud to provide assistance and support to the Global Incubator Seed Grant program,” said Mary McKay, vice provost of interdisciplinary initiatives in the Office of the Provost. “Research excellence is a core commitment of the university’s new strategic plan. By strengthening our collective efforts and deepening collaboration opportunities with partners from around the world, we can help solve our planet’s toughest societal challenges.”
As the latest round of seed grant winners is announced, new figures show the impact that previous projects have made at Washington University and beyond. In the program’s first two years, 42 projects pairing WashU faculty with international partners were funded with an investment of $700,000. Since then, the projects have generated at least $4.1 million in external grants and funding, a six-fold return.
“It’s clear this support is serving as a catalyst to help our researchers advance toward substantive findings, recommendations and solutions,” said Vijay Ramani, vice provost for graduate education and international affairs and the Roma B. and Raymond H. Wittcoff Distinguished University Professor at the McKelvey School of Engineering. “We are pleased to now have more than 60 teams funded and engaged, and we look forward to monitoring their progress.”
“In 2020, the McDonnell Academy recognized the need to provide small amounts of funding to incubate new projects with global implication and international collaboration,” said Laura Benoist, director of the academy. “Using the McDonnell Academy partner institutions as the backbone of these projects has provided a platform on which Washington University can expand its research portfolio across the globe. We are thrilled to continue to fund these fledgling projects.”
The Global Incubator Seed Grant program was established with an initial gift from the Millard family. To learn more about this year’s winning cohort, visit the WashU Global website.