For more than two decades, the James S. McDonnell Foundation (JSMF) has supported both basic and applied research in cognitive neuroscience, cognitive psychology and cognitive science through targeted initiatives. In 2010, JSMF announced new guidelines for its Scholar Awards in Understanding Human Cognition program. With these new guidelines the Foundation is re-emphasizing the central role of cognitive psychology in advancing the understanding of neural and cognitive bases of behavior. JSMF is also re-iterating its commitment to research applying cognitive principles to problems in teaching, learning, and recovery from brain injuries.
Each year JSMF makes a small number of research awards in each one of its programmatic topic areas. In the past, JSMF has relied on an institutionally sponsored, investigator-initiated, and peer-reviewed proposal process and this approach is still serving the Foundation well in Brain Cancer Research. In light of the continual growth of the research in and the funding for the neural and cognitive sciences, JSMF has come to the conclusion that using other philanthropic approaches could be better for identifying the relatively small number of investigators and ideas best suited to JSMF’s philanthropic investment. The Foundation is trying what is, for JSMF, a novel way of soliciting applications.
JSMF is working in confidence with a broad network of senior scholars in cognitive neuroscience, cognitive psychology and cognitive science to help JSMF identify potential applicants. Selected applicants will be contacted and invited to submit proposals for review by the JSMF Understanding Human Cognition Advisory Panel.
Following review, applications recommended for funding will be presented to the JSMF Board of Directors for final funding consideration.
Up to 10 $600,000 Scholar Awards could be made each year. JSMF’s goal is to recognize and encourage serious efforts to study human cognition by supporting both basic research studies and research applying findings from cognitive neuroscience and psychology to research efforts aimed at improving education, training, and neuro-rehabilitation. For 2017, the focus of the Understanding Human Cognition Scholar Awards is on developmental science. The awards are intended to support research programs judged to be original and important to advancing the state of knowledge of the field.
The Scholar Award recipients are typically announced in late summer or early fall of each year.
2. Who are the nominators, and how are they chosen?
The nominator list is confidential, and we have requested that nominators not disclose their status as a nominator.
Each year we assemble a new, international pool of nominators to identify potential applicants whose work is important to the ongoing development of our understanding of human cognition.
The JSMF advisors to the Understanding Human Cognition program are not able to nominate potential applicants nor are they able to identify potential nominators. Please do not contact advisors.
3. I'd like to submit an application. How do I self-nominate?
Non-solicited applications will not be accepted. Nominations for the JSMF Scholar Awards in Understanding Human Cognition are being requested from our international pool of nominators. Researchers invited to submit an application will be contacted by email on or before April 5th.
4. I'd like to read about recent Scholar Award recipients and their research.
Here is a list of the 2016, 2015, 2014, and 2013 Scholars.