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Research Awards

The Fall 2023 cycle has closed

The Office of Global Affairs (OGA) offers seed funding to develop cross-college and cross-continent research collaborations through the Global Innovation Fund (GIF). Tier 1 Research Awards are for up to $5,000 and Tier 2 Research Awards are for up to $20,000.

OGA is especially interested in supporting proposals by new entrants and early-career faculty.

Applications which demonstrate consideration for the following will be given priority:

  • Cross-disciplinary collaboration
  • Diversity, equity, and accessibility
  • Environmental sustainability
  • Longevity of the program/project
  • Bi-directional relationships with global partners

Awards cannot support programs long-term, and applications will not be considered for more than two consecutive years. Contact OGA with questions at

Deadline: November 8, 2023 at 5:00pm PT


Research Awards

For Tier 1 Research Awards:

  • First-time GIF Research Award applicants only.
  • Early-career UW faculty members, research scientists, and non-faculty researchers, as well as post-docs from the Seattle, Tacoma, and Bothell campuses are encouraged to apply. Graduate students may apply with a faculty lead.
  • Tier 1 awards are intended for applicants who are in the early stages of a research project or those who are looking to expand their research globally.

For Tier 2 Research Awards:

  • UW faculty members, research scientists, and non-faculty researchers, as well as post-docs from the Seattle, Tacoma, and Bothell campuses are encouraged to apply. Graduate students may apply with a faculty lead.
  • Tier 2 awards are only available once every three years.

Note: In order to maximize the impact of GIF funds, we ask that you apply as a PI no more than once every three years (ex: If you received a GIF Research Award in 2020 or earlier you are eligible for this cycle). However, we will consider applications on a case-by-case basis.

Application deadline November 8, 2023
Awards announced End of December 2023
Award use period January 2024 – February 2025
Narrative reports due No later than March 15, 2025
Unused funds returned to OGA No later than March 30, 2025

Requests for funding may be considered outside of the regular award cycle for exceptional innovative proposals. Email to learn more.

To apply:

  1. Download application form
  2. Save all application materials as a single PDF. Please ask your department administrator if you need help combining multiple files into one PDF.
  3. Title the .pdf as follows:  LeadApplicantLastName_GIF_2023.pdf
    (for example: Mendoza_GIF_2023.pdf)
  4. Submit completed application via email to

Incomplete applications will not be considered.

Limited award funds are awarded via a competitive process. The most competitive applications will include:

  • Cross-college, cross-discipline, and multi-country collaboration
  • Proof of concept with clear outcomes
  • Sustainable funding models after the GIF award
  • Development and submission of a collaborative proposal for external funding
  • Development and submission of a collaborative scholarly publication, monograph, or an exhibition of research or creative work
  • Development of new collaborative curricular programs (degree programs, courses, faculty exchanges)
  • Increased engagement in regions of the world where the UW already has academic partnerships and collaborative activities.

Applications aligned with one or more of UW’s strategic initiatives receive higher priority:

  • Research collaborations with international universities and/or organizations
  • Cross-college and interdisciplinary conferences, symposia, and workshops
  • Visiting scholar support and faculty exchanges

For Tier 1 Research Awards, funding will be awarded up to $5,000. A 25% minimum cost share of the total project cost is strongly encouraged, but not required.

For Tier 2 Research Awards, funding will be awarded up to $20,000, though most awards are much smaller. Awards can cover up to 75% of the total program cost, with a 25% minimum cost-share.

Applications may be awarded at a lower amount than requested.

Funds may be used toward:

  • Academic student employees, postdoctoral fellows, and student workers
  • Marketing supplies
  • Contracted services abroad
  • Honoraria
  • Other program-/curriculum-related expenses (i.e. space reservation, cultural excursions)
  • Travel expenses, such as lodging, airfare, per diems, and transportation

Note: Travel expenses should not exceed $5,000 per traveler for Tier 2 Research Awards.

Funds may not be used to support:

  • The purchase of alcohol
  • Faculty or staff salaries
  • Dissertation research
  • Technical equipment

Departmental support and matching funds
All applicants must have the support of their college, school, or department. Departmental endorsement in the application process and/or cost-sharing demonstrates their support.

For Tier 1 Research Awards, a 25% minimum cost share of the total project cost is strongly encouraged, but not required. Applicants must demonstrate the support of their department chair through a signature on their GIF application.

For Tier 2 Research Awards, there is a 25% minimum cost share of the total project cost for all applications. Applicants must demonstrate the support of their department chair and dean through signatures on their GIF application.  

Matching funds can come from:

  • Lead and co-applicant departmental cost share
  • Other confirmed grant funding
  • External collaborator cost share will be considered (i.e. partner organization abroad)

Award funds will be disbursed to the lead applicant’s department, unless noted otherwise.

  • For awards disbursed to departments, budgets must accept revenue transfers.
  • Unused funds must be returned to OGA.

At the end of the award use period, awardees are required to submit the following materials to OGA at

  1. Brief narrative report
  2. Describe the project, outcomes, and next steps
  3. Outlines use and impact of funds
  4. Budget report reflecting actual expenditures.

Note: You can update the budget submitted with your application.

Please mention the Global Innovation Fund in any communications or news related to your project. OGA may follow up to do additional marketing and story-telling around each project.

Are there any other available funding sources?

I applied last year. Am I still eligible to apply again for a different project?

I was awarded last year and the project is going well, but I’m hoping to expand it even further. Am I allowed to apply for GIF funding again even though it’s the same project?

  • Even though this is part of the same project, we will consider proposals that are trying to improve the project in a different way that was not possible with your original award funds.

Do I need signatures or letters of support from international or non-UW partners?

  • No, support letters or signatures from international/non-UW partners are not required. However, if you already have them, please feel free to attach them with your application.

I am a postdoc researcher. Am I able to use some of my research funds toward the GIF project for the cost share?

  • That will be considered. Please include a signature from the department chair verifying that they are okay with you using your research funds toward this project.

I am not having success in securing funds from my department. Is it okay if the cost-share is 0%?

  • For Tier 1 Research Awards, we strongly encourage but don’t require that departments cost share at least 25% of the total project cost. For Tier 2 Research Awards, we ask that departments cost share at least 25% of the total project cost.
  • If you are having trouble securing funds, we encourage you to work with your department to identify other ways to find funding. Keep in mind that contributions from collaborating units on your project can also count towards the cost share.

For Tier 2 Research Awards, the website says “funding will be awarded up to $20,000” and that it will cover 75% of the project. Does that mean we will only be awarded a max of $15,000 (75% of $20,000)? How much can the total cost of a project be?

  • For Tier 2 Research Awards, the maximum amount that GIF will provide toward a project is $20,000. The total cost of a project can exceed that value, so long as the remaining costs are covered and there is at least 25% cost share. For example, a project can cost $26,666 and GIF will provide no more than 75%, or $20,000.

My project does not take place abroad, but aligns with some of the funding priorities. Am I still eligible?

  • A funded project typically involves partners and/or programming that are outside of the US that enhances the UW’s global engagement and reach. Given that, the review committee would look closely at your project’s connection to larger global phenomena.

Previously successful proposals:

Towards Universal Hearing Screening for Children in Kenya

Proposal: Pediatric hearing screening project to increase awareness of emerging screening technologies and review options for resource limited settings.

-Irene Njuguna, Sarah Benki-Nugent, Brent Collett, Shyam Gollakota, Grace John-Stewart

-Global Health, Psychiatry, Computer Science & Engineering, Pediatrics, Medicine

Sidewalk Accessibility in the US and Mexico Using Remote Crowdsourcing

Proposal: Develop new sidewalk data collection techniques that are fast, inexpensive, and reliable using remote crowdsourcing, machine learning, and online map imagery.

-Jon E. Froehlich, Qing Shen, Rebeca de Buen Kalman, Manaswi Saha

-Computer Science, Urban Design and Planning, Public Policy and Governance

Validation of a Screening Tool to Expand Mental Health Services in Cambodia

Proposal: Develop and validate a brief mental health screener and transdiagnostic assessment for improved access to care to provide culturally appropriate tools for larger efforts to adapt and evaluate evidence-based mental health interventions in Cambodia.

-Tracy Harachi, Lesly Steinman

-School of Social Work, School of Public Health