The Office of International Programs coordinates several grants for our faculty and staff to receive funding.

    ACES Grant Programs

    Seed Grants Program

    The International Seed Grants Program was initiated by OIP to stimulate and promote strong relationships between our faculty and international faculty. Each project was funded through the Arlys Conrad Endowment Fund.

    We are not currently accepting seed grant proposals. Check back in spring 2023.  

    View past seed grant program recipients

    Joint Research Program

    The International Joint Research Program is administered by OIP with the support of our Office of Research.

    View past joint research program recipients

    This program provides support to our faculty to work on projects abroad that are funded at a matching level to work on the same project. Our contribution will be made directly to the Illinois scholar and the matching support may be made to the collaborating researcher at the peer institution. Illinois researchers may request up to $20,000 to be used within 24 months. Collaborating researchers abroad must receive at least the same amount to work on the same project.

    Research Proposal Themes

    • Economic and Community Development
    • Food Security (Availability, Access, & Utilization of Food by at-risk populations)
    • Global Climate Change
    • Energy
    • Natural Resources and Sustainability
    • Nutrition and Human Health

    Pre-approved Peer Institutions

    • Belgium: Catholic University of Leuven (KUL)
    • Brazil: Federal University of Viçosa
    • China: Zhejiang University, China Agricultural University, Beijing
    • Ghana: University of Ghana at Legon
    • Mexico: National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), Autonomous University of San Luis Potosi (UASLP)
    • The Philippines: University of the Philippines at Los Baños
    • Singapore: Nanyang Technological University (NTU)
    • Taiwan: National Taiwan University (NTU)
    • International: IRRI, CIMMYT, ICRISAT

    Past Grant Programs


    Sponsor: Keeling Curve
    Closing Date: 02/10/2023

    The Keeling Curve Prize offers micro-funding and recognition to individuals or organizations with active or ongoing projects that reduce CO2 emissions or increase CO2 uptake. Each year, US$35 thousand will be awarded to up to 10 winners, chosen by internationally recognized climate scientists and energy experts, for innovative ideas that generate, conserve, or design clean energy solutions. This may include a concept, a plan, a product, a technology, or a strategy. Entries are accepted from anywhere in the world. 

    External Funding Opportunities

    Sponsor: USAID
    Closing Date: N/A

    This BAA serves to inform the public of the opportunity for possible funding from USAID for innovative applied research to address development challenges in Sub-Saharan Africa.

    Sponsor: USAID
    Closing Date: 11/14/2022

    USAID intends to issue three awards pursuant to this notice of funding opportunity. Subject to funding availability and at the discretion of the Agency, USAID intends to award up to 3 awards.

    Approximately twenty-five million dollars of funding is available for terrestrial activity, approximately fifteen million dollars of funding is available for the marine activity. Approximately two (2) million dollars of funding is set aside for a local entity restricted award. While we have a sense of budget, the finalization of that piece takes place after the co-creation workshop.

    Sponsor: USAID
    Closing Date: 12/22/2022

    The United States Agency for International Development (USAID)’s New Higher Education
    Activity will strengthen the Philippine higher education system to support broad-based, inclusive
    growth and become a key driver of development. It will do this by strengthening the innovation
    capacities and workforce development functions of Philippine higher education institutions
    (HEIs) in faculty development, curriculum improvements, and engagement with industry and
    international partners, as well as overall improvements in HEI management and administration.
    It will also support improvements in the regulatory environment to improve governance in the
    sector, support Philippine policies in strengthening human capital development, and provide a
    platform for convergence for local stakeholders to work together in achieving shared
    development goals.

    Sponsor: Nestle Foundation
    Closing Date: 12/31/2022

    The Nestlé Foundation supports research in human nutrition in low-income and lower-middle-income countries. In relation to agriculture, the Foundation will consider research on food policy, food production, and food technology if the intervention has a high potential for improved nutritional status and public health. The Foundation offers training grants, pilot grants, and full project grants. Priority is for proposals submitted by researchers in developing countries, or jointly with partners in developed countries. Letters of intent can be submitted at any time. 

    Sponsor: NSF
    Closing Date: 12/31/2022

    The National Science Foundation (NSF) invites investigators at U.S. organizations to submit proposals to conduct research about the Arctic region. Research proposals should advance the understanding of the Arctic’s rapidly changing natural environment, social and cultural systems, and improve the capacity to project future change. The Arctic Sciences Section maintains Arctic logistical infrastructure and field support capabilities that are available to enable research. Foreign organizations may submit cooperative projects involving U.S. and foreign organizations, but financial support will only be provided for the U.S. portion. Proposals are accepted anytime.

    Sponsor: Energy Foundation
    Closing Date: 12/31/2022

    The Foundation’s China Sustainable Energy Program makes grants for planning, policies, research, and training to improve energy efficiency and to reduce air pollution and carbon emissions in China. Grant eligibility extends to organizations in China and the USA. They include research institutes and foundations; universities; professional organizations, societies, and academies; energy technology centers; policy groups and think tanks; state-owned energy companies; regulatory agencies; and NGOs.

    Sponsor: USAID
    Closing Date: 03/11/2023

    This Broad Mission Announcement (BMA) seeks opportunities for the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to co-create, co-design, co-invest, and collaborate in basic and applied research and development that supports the Government of Ethiopia’s (GOE) reform efforts, to meet joint USAID/GOE Development Objectives, which are outlined in USAID/Ethiopia’s Country Development Cooperation Strategy. In accordance with additional Critical Problem Addenda that will be issued under the BMA, organizations and companies are invited to participate with USAID in activities, innovations, and technologies that further these Development Objectives.

    This BMA serves to inform the public of the opportunity for possible funding for innovations that support the GOE quest for improved development outcomes. Actual opportunities for funding and partnering will be issued as a Critical Problem Addenda to this BMA. No responses to the BMA will be considered until a Critical Problem Addendum has been issued. The terms of the BMA apply to each Critical Problem Addendum. Individual Critical Problem Addenda may have specific requirements for evaluation criteria and administrative information, such as the requirements for Expressions of Interest, Concept Papers, and response deadlines.

    This BMA is a competitive approach to consider applications that harness scientific research, specific expertise or experience, innovation, and partnerships to discover, test and scale breakthrough innovations to solve development challenges in the areas of development program management, disaster risk management, household and community resilience, private sector growth, essential service delivery (strengthening education and health systems as well as empowering communities), youth development and engagement, and citizen responsive governance. 


    Sponsor: University of Illinois System and the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM)
    Closing Date: 12/15/2022

    The University of Illinois System and the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM) have established a joint seed research grants program for one year, starting with the academic year 2022-23.

    This program will fund projects in three thematic areas: Food and Health; Water; Energy. The overarching goal is to contribute towards solving problems related to Poverty, the Environment, and Sustainable well-being. Transdisciplinary approaches will be particularly welcome.

    This Request for Proposals is soliciting proposals for funding under this joint program. Only joint proposals with at least one principal investigator from each university will be eligible to apply for funding under this program. Only tenure-track faculty can serve as principal investigators.

    All proposals will be evaluated by a joint review committee of faculty and scientists appointed by the President of the University of Illinois System and the Rector of the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México or their designees. Decisions of the joint review committee will be final. Both universities will have an equal number of members on this committee. Evaluation criteria will include:

    - technical quality,
    - relevance of the topic,
    - degree of collaboration and interaction,
    - evidence of prior collaborative work,
    - graduate and/or undergraduate student participation.

    Each institution is investing $100,000 dollars in this collaborative research program for one year. The seed funds are not transferable between institutions. Each university will fund only its principal investigators participating in the joint proposals selected by the joint review committee. A proposal can have a budget request of no more than $40,000 dollars jointly, resulting in 5 joint awards annually. The cap of $20,000 dollars awarded by each institution for each selected project must be used not later than December 31, 2023.

    The submissions should conform to the outline attached, including a timeline for the completion of various tasks related to the project. Applications will have a limit of four (4) pages, excluding the title page, references, and appendices.

    Proposals should be submitted by December 15, 2022 in English and Spanish as a single PDF document, to the e-mail and complete the webtools form The Illinois Mexican & Mexican-American Students Initiative (I-MMAS) and the Coordinación de la Investigación Científica of UNAM will jointly manage the entire request for proposal process.

    Results will be available by January 31, 2023. Funds will be available by February 2023.