Open Call – Jamse S. McDonald Foundation, Understanding Human Cognition

Feb 19, 2021 | Awards & Funding, Research

To: All Divisional Faculty and Researchers
From: Office of Corporate and Foundation Relations
Subject: Funding Opportunity

The Office of Corporate and Foundations Relations is pleased to share this open call for funding from the James S. McDonald Foundation.  Please forward the call to interested faculty in your departments and divisions.

UCSC Contact:
Funder: James S. McDonald Foundation
Program DescriptionUnderstanding Human Cognition (UHC)
Application Deadline: April 9, 2021 15:59 CDT (20:59 UTC).
Funding:  $250,000 over 2 to 4 years



JSMF is internationally known for supporting research on cognition and behavior, and currently does so through its Understanding Human Cognition (UHC) program. JSMF is seeking to fund projects leading to new conceptual and empirical studies of cognition and behavior that

      • recognize the dynamic nature of cognition and behavior,
      • are situated in real world contexts
      • cross levels of analysis,
      • unite traditionally separate domains of inquiry (e.g. vision and speech),
      • embrace complexity, and
      • consider how behavior is influenced by interactions among individuals.

JSMF is encouraging researchers to pursue important questions using conceptual and methodological approaches that takes seriously the trajectories, biological and experiential, contributing to the ongoing development of cognition and behavior occurring across the lifespan.


Opportunity awards will not provide additional support for already established research programs.

Priority will be given to applicants requesting funds:

  • to support collaboration or to obtain training that allows new theories and new tools to alter the conduct of ongoing research.
  • to provide a researcher with supported time while acquiring the new skills and knowledge to alter future research design.
  • to pilot or test novel experimental approaches and to allow laboratories primarily using artificial laboratory constrained tasks to explore behavioral studies[SFP2] .
  • to refine and extend the data acquisition allowing for more dynamic assessments of how behavior unfolds over time.
  • to diversify and expand study populations.

Special Requirements

Please promptly submit your proposal intake form prior to the UCSC’s Internal Institutional Deadlines. For proposal support, or for any questions about institutional requirements, please send requests and questions to the research development team at A proposal development specialist will field your requests.

Original Call sent: February 16, 2021

The Office Corporate and Foundation Relations is a unit of University Relations. The CFR team creates and maintains mutually beneficial, long-term relationships with private organizations, matching grant initiatives with educational and research programs and centers. CFR supports faculty and staff to identify and approach these and other private foundations and corporations for funding, to assist in strategic positioning of the grant application, and to facilitate funder campus visits.

For a list of recent funding opportunities, please visit the CFR website.  CFR Calls for Funding

If you have any questions or comments, please contact