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Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the in-person proceedings of the 8th International Symposium will be postponed to fall 2021. We will, however, hold a virtual session on the original dates this October 2020. Please check back regularly for the most current information.

General Information 

  1. Workshops – the RFP is designed to create the workshops that are to be the core of the McDonnell Academy Symposium.  We want workshops that showcase promising research that has international collaboration.  Each workshop will run concurrently to be the foundation of the 2-day symposium. 
    The goal of these workshops is to create new collaborative research projects or to advance existing collaborations. 
  2. Seed funding – the most promising 3-5 international collaborative projects that come out of the symposium will be funded with seed grants to help set them up for success.  This will be determined after the symposium.  
  3. Travel grants – the travel grants are designed to bring our collaborators to St. Louis for the symposium.  If the McDonnell Academy international faculty collaborator can fund their own travel here in October 2020, then it could be possible to use the travel grant in preparation for the workshop with that faculty member using their university’s funds to travel to St. Louis for the main event.  The travel grants will be awarded prior to the symposium. 
  4. Deadline – the deadline for submission for workshop proposals and travel grants has been extended to November 15th, 2019.  We look forward to your proposals. 


What information should be included in the proposal? 

Essentially, the proposal is to produce a workshop that forms the core focus of the McDonnell Academy Symposium.  Each workshop is meant to include a McDonnell Academy partner, a Washington University collaborator and ideally graduate students who are discussing and working on the best research on that particular subject – which aligns with the overall symposium theme.  If you are seeking a travel grant, please include in your proposal why this is important.  

Is the call for proposals restricted only to partner institutions or can other faculty members from other universities send proposals and receive funding?  

In order to be eligible for funding and participation in the symposium, your proposal would need to include researchers from Washington University and also from a McDonnell Academy partner.  We are looking to further connect the network between Washington University and our partner institutions through sharing collaborative research at the symposium.  While the funding is restricted to WashU/McDonnell Academy partners, all collaborators both domestic and international are welcomed and encouraged to participate. 

I work with two faculty colleagues, each at a different international university, and neither at a McDonnell Partner University, on a research project. Per the proposal guidelines, my colleagues cannot apply and I am not a faculty member at Washington University, however I work at Washington University as a staff member. How can we participate in this Symposium? 

In order to participate in the symposium, you will need a faculty member from Washington University to help spearhead the workshop.  As a staff member, you could easily do a great deal of the coordinating.  Additionally, while the other faculty are not associated with a McDonnell Partner, we do have many relationships throughout our network, we may be able to help connect interested faculty member to help implement the workshop.  

What is the focus of the workshop programming?  

These workshops are meant to be productive “working sessions” designed to advance the research, and will be focused on a fairly narrow topic.  These sessions will likely be granular in detail. 

Who should be invited/attend the workshops? 

The workshops are likely to be attended by those in a particular research field or researchers with interest in knowing what is cutting edge for that particular topic.  We welcome all domestic and international participants that have an interest in the workshop to participate and attend. 

What are some examples of the workshop programming?  

The workshop programming is going to be based on what you want to achieve as the workshop leader.  An example of a framework for a workshop is one researcher introduces the topic – with the history or key challenges, another introduces the latest research or information on that topic, a panel could be held with collaborators or graduate students that talks about the key challenges in that topic or key discoveries, etc.  Identified gaps for new research projects might be discussed and just like that a new research collaboration begins. 

How long should a workshop last? 

Each workshop will be between 3 and 6 hours and will run concurrently as the foundation of the 2-day symposium.  As faculty members, you are in the best position to know what is worthwhile in that particular topic/field.  

How are the travel grants utilized?  

The travel grants are available to help bring those international researchers to Washington University for the October 2020 symposium.  Funding is restricted to McDonnell Academy Partners, but all collaborators both domestic and international are welcomed and encouraged to participate in the Symposium. 

If I have more than one international collaborator that is a McDonnell Academy partner, can I submit for more than one travel grant within my proposal? 

No, only one travel grant will be awarded per proposal.  You may share the award across multiple partners, not to exceed the $3500 award. 

Who will receive seed funding? 

The seed funding is designed to be awarded to the best collaborative research that was advanced or created at the symposium.  We will award this funding after the October 2020 symposium.  Should you want to be considered for this seed funding, an updated proposal outlining the next steps for which you want funding, collaborators, key goals and metrics and how the seed funding will be used in this project must be submitted by November 30, 2020 to be considered. 

Can I use the seed funding to create my workshop? 

No, the seed funding will only be awarded after the October 2020 symposium.  The seed funding will be awarded to the best 3-5 research projects that were advanced or created at the symposium.