The Foundation offers Collaborative Activity Awards to initiate interdisciplinary discussions on problems or issues, to help launch interdisciplinary research networks, or to fund communities of researchers/practitioners dedicated to developing new methods, tools, and applications of basic research to applied problems. In each case the focus of the collaborative activity must meet the program guidelines for one of the following program areas:
With the Collaborative Activity Awards, JSMF continues and formalizes a funding mechanism the Foundation has used since 1987. Over the past decade or so, the Foundation has from time to time provided grants to support study panels and research networks. This has proven to be an effective way to encourage cross-disciplinary thinking and research on fundamental questions. Furthermore, these activities have contributed to the development of programs both at the Foundation and at other funding agencies. Collaborative Activity Awards developed from questions or topics discussed at JSMF-sponsored meetings may be initiated by JSMF Advisory Panel members, particularly when the outcome of collaborative discussions assists with Foundation program planning.
NOTE: Collaborative awards will not be awarded in support of large, program-project style research proposals.
Collaborative activity awards are by invitation only. Unsolicited letters of inquiry will be rejected by the Foundation.
JSMF has completed its grants-making for 2016 and will be announcing new strategic directions for its grants programs during 2017. Until those new strategic priorities are announced and described we will not be considering any new inquiries for collaborative activity awards. Please sign up on our website (link) to be alerted of JSMF updates.
James S. McDonnell Foundation
1034 S. Brentwood Blvd., Ste. 1850
St. Louis, MO 63117
JSMF Collaborative Activity Award applications are accepted via invitation only. The 21st Century Collaborative Activity Awards are awards for multidisciplinary and multi-participant projects that address questions and topics relevant to the Foundation's core and complementary program areas.
The budgets for collaborative activities will vary greatly depending on the scope of the proposed problem or project and on the number of people involved. The Foundation recognizes that funding must be appropriate to an activity's specific scope and needs. It also recognizes that organizing and implementing such an activity can be exceedingly time consuming.
Budget requests for collaborative activity awards submitted to JSMF can include a line item requesting up to ten percent (10%) of the total costs of the collaborative subcontract budgets to help defray the administrative costs of managing the collaborative activity award and the subcontracts. A justification for the request detailing how the funds will be used must be provided in the accompanying budget justification narrative. The administrative budget line item is not to be considered a negotiated indirect cost recovery. JSMF is allowing this particular administrative request in recognition that administering subcontract awards and administering collaborative activities do require institutional resources.
Upon invitation from the Foundation, applicants for Collaborative Activity Awards should submit a letter of inquiry. Letters of inquiry can be submitted at any time during the year, and must be submitted electronically to: firstname.lastname@example.org. There are no application deadlines for these grants. Applicants can expect an initial response to their letters within 2-3 weeks of receipt. The letter of inquiry must include:
Collaborative Activity Award letters of inquiry are subject to the "Once-Every-Three-Years" Eligibility Policy.
Foundation staff, in consultation with its Advisory Panels, will review the letters of inquiry for their relevance to the Foundation's program interests, the significance and importance of the activity, and likelihood that the Foundation could provide the necessary funding for the proposed duration of the project.
Foundation staff will contact applicants whose initial inquiries receive favorable review to request additional information and to provide guidance on the preparation of a full proposal. Staff and Advisory Panels will also review the full proposals. Full proposals that receive a favorable review will be presented to the Foundation's board for consideration.
Interested in applying for a JSMF grant? Review and understand these policies before applying for a grant.