Three Rules for Landing a Human Cognition Grant From McDonnell

It’s a well-known fact that the St. Louis, Missouri-based firm the James S. McDonnell Foundation is a notoriously tough nut to crack. Their endowment is approaching half a billion dollars in worth, yet they only hand out about $30 million in awards each year. To complicate matters, the area in which they give the most money, Brain Cancer Research, is by invitation-only. Womp, womp. Better to focus, then, on the extremely selective, extremely prestigious Human Cognition Grants—up to $100K a year for six years. They only hand out a dozen (at most) per year, so you better do your homework if you want their consideration. Below, our top tips for landing one.
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What the McDonnell Foundation Wants to Know About Cognitive Aging

It happens to almost everyone, sooner or later: you forget your keys. You storm upstairs on a mission to find… what was it again, exactly? To address this emerging “cognitive epidemic,” the James S. McDonnell Foundation announces an upcoming Workshop on Cognitive Aging. The St. Louis, Missouri-based organization specifically wants to target questions about age-related memory decline that are still unanswered
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Does the McDonnell Foundation Have a Preference for International Initiatives?

Based in St. Louis, Missouri, the James S. McDonnell Foundation hands out around $30 million in awards each year, and it’s crazy selective about choosing who gets the money. A mere dozen (or even fewer) Human Cognition awards—which give out $600K over the course of six years—are presented each year, and only to the most worthy recipients. Approaching JSMF from that angle, it may seem like the longest shot in the history of grantwriting, but take a quick step back and reassess: JSMF has a clear preference for funding international projects.
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