James S. McDonnell Foundation Announces New 2020 Grants for The 21st Century Science Initiative Awards

$6 Million in Grants Continue the Commitment to Founder’s Vision

ST. LOUIS–(BUSINESS WIRE)–#GrantFunding–The Officers and Directors of the James S. McDonnell Foundation today announced more than $6 million in grants in their ongoing program, the 21st Century Science Initiative. Together with previously announced grants, the Foundation’s total 2020 commitment is more than $18.5M.

In 2020, JSMF inaugurated the Opportunity Awards funding new research studying human behavior across the lifespan using more naturalistic designs and dynamic measures better to reflect our day-to-day behavior.

Other 21st Century Science Initiative grants are listed below. Of note are Collaborative Awards investigating the neurological impacts of COVID-19 and studying how societal collective memories are formed and maintained. “The Foundation continues to fulfill James S. McDonnell’s vision of serving society by supporting the quest for new knowledge and its responsible application,” President Susan M. Fitzpatrick noted. “These new grants are pushing forward the Foundation’s agenda of supporting scientific research contributing solutions to important complex problems.”

JSMF supports research in two program areas: Understanding Human Cognition and Understanding Dynamic & Multi-scale Systems. The foundation also awards Special Initiative grants to projects closely aligned with its programmatic interests but are structured to allow JSMF to pursue unusual opportunities.

The McDonnell Foundation’s 2020 21st Century Science Initiative Awards are:

Opportunity Awards: Understanding Human Cognition

Temple University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Expanding the Horizons for Research at the Developmental Interface of Brain, Body, and Behavior,

Project Lead: Peter Marshall, $250,000 over four years

Tulane University, New Orleans, Louisiana

Origins of body knowledge

Project Lead: Jeffrey Lockman, $250,000 over four years

Universidad de los Andes, Bogotá, Colombia

Off the Rails: Moral Psychology Beyond Traditional Borders

Project Lead: Santiago Amaya, $250,000 over four years

University of California, Davis, Davis, California

Leveraging Virtual Reality to Unlock Interactions Between Visual Attention and Memory in Children and Adults

Project Lead: Joy Geng, $250,000 over four years

University of California, Davis, Davis, California

Examination of infant learning in naturalistic interactions

Project Lead: Lisa Oakes, $250,000 over four years

University of Cambridge, Cambridge, United Kingdom

Embracing Complexity in Neurodevelopment

Project Lead: Duncan Astle, $250,000 over four years

University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan,

Personalized Cognition in Context: An Ambulatory Assessment Study of Executive Function Dynamics Across Adulthood and Aging

Project Lead: Adriene Beltz, $250,000 over four years

University of Oxford, Oxford, United Kingdom

Does social support buffer fatigue? A Social-Developmental Approach

Project Lead: Emma Cohen, $250,000 over four years

Washington University in St. Louis, St. Louis, Missouri

Event Cognition in the Wild

Project Lead: Jeffrey Zacks, $250,000 over four years

Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut

Establishing Ground Truth About the Development of Episodic Memory in Infancy

Project Lead: Nicholas Turk-Browne, $250,000 over four years

Collaborative Activity Awards: Understanding Human Cognition

Weill Medical College of Cornell University, New York City, New York

COVID-19 Consortium for Recovery of Consciousness

Project Lead: Nicholas Schiff, $1,500,000 over three years.

Collaborative Activity Award: Special Initiatives

Ceibal Center for Educational Support of Children and Adolescents, Montevideo, Uruguay

Support for the 2020 Latin American School for Education, Cognitive and Neural Sciences

Project Lead: Alejandro Maiche, $50,460 over one year

Health Research Alliance, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina

In Support of Program Planning for the Re-imagining Biomedical Research Ecosystem Initiative

Project Lead: Maryrose Franko, $50,000 over one year

Washington University in St. Louis, Saint Louis, Missouri

Collective Memory Collaborative

Project Lead: Henry L. Roediger III, $750,000 over three years

Postdoctoral Fellowship Awards: Understanding Dynamic and Multi-scale Systems

Caitlin Cornell, University of California – Berkeley

Michelle Feng, California Institute of Technology

Artem Kaznatcheev, University of Pennsylvania

Christopher Lynn, The City University of New York

Sandeep Manjanna, University of Pennsylvania

Brandon Schlomann, University of California – Berkeley

Founded in 1950 by the late aerospace pioneer and founder of what would become the McDonnell Douglas Corporation, James S. McDonnell believed that science and technology gives mankind the power to shape knowledge for the future while improving our lives. “Mr. Mac’s” vision continues to be realized through the research these grants are supporting. Since the inception of the 21st Century Science Initiative in 2000, more than $350 million in funding has been awarded.


Susan Fitzpatrick, Ph.D.

Tel: (314) 721-1532

Email: susan@jsmf.org, or www.jsmf.org
Twitter: @jsmf

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