Global Health Seed Grants

Our Global Health Seed Grant program fosters interdisciplinary collaborations to advance new global health research.

Every spring, we request proposals for annual awards of up to $25,000 to catalyze innovative global health research projects. We support projects where we are actively exploring opportunities to advance new research opportunities, particularly in Africa, Asia, and Latin America/Caribbean. Our Global Health Seed Grant program has awarded funding to 45 research projects since 2016. 



Discover How to Apply

Our Global Health Seed Grant program plants seeds to grow larger studies and international partnerships. Find full details on the application process in this year's Request for Proposals. 

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Grants are available to faculty at the University of Minnesota. Each application must have at least one UMN faculty as Principal Investigator (PI) and a PI or co-investigator at the collaborating site who has agreed to work on the project. 

Please note that students, PhD candidates, post docs, and medical residents cannot apply as a PI for this funding. Projects must propose health sciences research studies. Prior global health research experience is not required.



  • Applications must focus on health research studies. Health research does NOT include projects that primarily focus on capacity building, education, training, or project implementation (see CGHSR Global Engagement Grants for additional opportunities). Only research studies will be considered for Global Health Seed Grants. 
  • Proposed studies should take place in Africa, Asia, Latin America, or the Caribbean.
    Research projects must be in alignment with CGHSR’s policies on ethical research (see
    CGHSR guiding principles
  • Applications should include interdisciplinary investigators.

Preference is given to proposals that include:

  • Interdisciplinary studies – PI and co-investigators with diverse expertise from a variety of health science disciplines
  • Locally relevant research – Greater potential for impact on health issues of significance in the partner country
  • Long-term prospects – Pilots, or preliminary studies, with the goal of gathering data for larger, long-term studies
  • Student involvement – UMN and/or host-country student(s) in research activities (student travel allowable, but not required)
  • Topic areas for 2024 – This year, in addition to general global health topics, CGHSR is
    particularly interested in research that focuses on air pollution or the intersection of
    human health and climate change.

Application Process

Application Process

Please review the Request For Proposals (RFP) document for details on 2024 Seed Grant application requirements.

  • Interested applicants should submit a letter of intent by April 26, 2024 (at 11:59 pm CDT). Letters of intent are not required, but are strongly preferred in order to provide feedback about eligibility. Proposals submitted without a letter of intent may risk being excluded from review due to potential ineligibility. Letters of intent will receive a reply if the proposed project meets minimum criteria no later than May 3, 2024. Submit letters of intent here.
  • Full proposals are due by May 17, 2024 (at 11:59 pm CDT). Submit full proposals here.
  • Proposals will be selected through a competitive peer-review process.
  • Applicants will be notified by July 9, 2024.
  • Funding will be available in July 2024.

Proposal Format

Proposal Format

Seed Grant proposals must include a cover page, details of the research proposal, timeline, NIH biosketch, and budget. Please see the 2024 Seed Grant RFP document for the full proposal format.


Program Strategic Goals

  • Stimulate interdisciplinary research that lays the foundation for the advancement of science;
  • Promote new global health research studies by UMN faculty that have the potential to attract future funding from external sources;
  • Foster new collaborations or expand on existing partnerships between UMN faculty and global institutions;
  • Create a mechanism to involve students in faculty-led international research studies;
  • Promote equitable research collaborations.


Global Health Seed Grant Program Spotlight

Planting Seeds to Grow Global Collaborations

In 2016, Nicole Basta (UMN School of Public Health) along with co-investigators Cecily Banura (Makerere University), Shalini Kulasingam (UMN School of Public Health), and Hee Yun Lee (UMN School of Social Work) were awarded a CGHSR Global Health Seed Grant to form a new research team to study the uptake of and barriers to human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination among adolescent girls in rural Uganda. The success of their partnership led the team, along with additional collaborators, to secure a Grand Challenges Exploratory Research Grant. This new funding supported the addition of School of Public Health PhD student Kim Bonner to the team to conduct additional research needed to improve HPV vaccine coverage in low-income, high-burden settings.

Learn how the CGHSR grant recipients are unlocking vaccination barriers.

A dirt road angle across the photo with trees and mountains in the background

Global Health Seed Grants Around the World

These projects forge collaborative research efforts between the University of Minnesota faculty and their colleagues around the world while building on the strength of ongoing studies and paving the way for increased student engagement in research.

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2023 Global Health Seed Grants

Global Health Call

Mahsa Abassi, DO | UMN Medical School | Etiology and Management of Hyponatremia in Cryptococcal Meningitis

  • Co-investigators, Uganda: Laura Nsangi, MBChB, Infectious Diseases Institute, Kampala, Uganda

Peter Larsen, PhD | UMN College of Veterinary Medicine | In Situ Zoonotic Disease Surveillance in Pakistan Using Portable and Accessible Molecular Technology

  • Co-investigators, UMN: Jonathan Oliver, PhD, UMN School of Public Health
  • Co-investigators, COMSATS University Islamabad: Haroon Ahmed, PhD 

Sarah Lofgren, MD | UMN Medical School | Validating A Biomarker For Recent Alcohol Use In People With HIV And A Case-Control Study To Determine If Heavy Alcohol Use Is Linked With HIV Viral Non-Suppression

  • Co-investigators, UMNDavid Boulware, MD/MPH, UMN Medical School; Mustafa al'Absi, PhD, UMN Medical School
  • Co-investigators, Makerere UniversityRaymond Odokonyero, MMed

Kumi Smith, PhD | UMN School of Public Health | Reducing HIV-related Harms of Substance Use in Chinese Men who Have Sex with Men: From Research to Practice

  • Co-investigators: Danyang Luo, MA, The Zhitong LGBT Center, Guangzhou China; Shujie Huang, PhD, Guangdong Center for STD Control & Prevention

Special Interest Call: Women's Health

Robin Austin, PhD, DNP, DC, RN-BC, FAMIA, FNAP | UMN School of Nursing | Examining Whole-Person Health and Resilience of Aging Women in the United States and Turkey

  • Co-investigators, UMN: Sripriya Rajamani, MBBS, PhD, MPH | UMN School of Nursing
  • Co-investigators, Istanbul University — Cerrahpasa: Selda Secginli, PhD, RN; Merve Altiner Yas, PhD, RN

Sarah Hoffman, PhD, MPH, MSN, RN | UMN School of Nursing | Gender-Based Violence (GBV) & Barriers to Post-Physical Assault Care: An Exploratory Study in Montero, Bolivia

  • Co-investigators, UMN: Lucy Mkandawire-Valhmu, PhD, RN, FAAN, UMN School of Nursing; Christie Martin, PhD, MPH, RN, UMN School of Nursing; Vanessa Voller, MDP, BA, PhDc, UMN College of Education and Human Development and School of Public Health
  • Co-investigators, Etta Projects: Dino Maccari, MA, Etta Projects; Veronica Pellizzari, Masters in Law, Etta Projects; Caterine Senzano, Doctor of Family Medicine, Etta Projects

2022 Global Health Seed Grants

Kathryn Cullen, MD, UMN Medical School. Creativity and Inspiration to Promote Mental Health and Resilience in Young Adults in Japan. 

  • Co-investigators, UMN: Yuko Taniguchi, University of Minnesota Rochester; Bonnie Klimes-Dougan, UMN College of Liberal Arts; Boris Oicherman, UMN Weisman Art Museum; 
  • Co-investigators, Akita International University, Japan: Naoko Araki, Naeko Naganuma, Pamela Taylor, Kaeko Chiba, Joel Friederich

Beth Thielen, MD, PhD, UMN Medical School. Improving Diagnosis and Management of Viral Infections among Ugandan Children Undergoing Cancer Chemotherapy through Use of Next-generation Metagenomic Sequencing.

  • Co-investigators, UMN: Kristen Bastug, UMN Medical School; Alice Lehman, UMN Medical School; Svatava Merkle, UMN Medical School; Alison Woods, UMN Medical School
  • Co-investigators, Uganda: Benigna Gabriela Namara, Makerere University; Nixon Niyonzima, Uganda Cancer Institute

2021 Global Health Seed Grants

Boyen Huang, DDS, MHA, PhD, UMN School of Dentistry: An mHealth model for remote emergency assessment and support of traumatic dental injuries: The Thailand project of a multicenter feasibility study. Co-Investigators: Patimaporn Pungchanchaikul, Oral Health Care Center for Geriatric and Special Needs, Khon Kaen University, Thailand; Karin Quick, UMN School of Dentistry; Sarbin Ranjitkar, University of Adelaide, Australia; Mohamed Estai, Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, Australia

Barbara McMorris, PhD, UMN School of Nursing: Riksiri: A Digital Comprehensive Sexuality Education Platform for Indigenous Adolescents during COVID-19 Pandemic. Co-Investigators: Gabrielle Bustamente, UMN Medical School; Ivan Palacios, College of Health Sciences, Universidad San Francisco de Quito (USFQ), Ecuador; Allpa Tituaña, College of Health Sciences, USFQ, Ecuador; Ana María Viteri, College of Health Sciences, USFQ, Ecuador

Sunil Mor, BVSc & AH, MVSc, PhD,  UMN College of Veterinary Medicine: Molecular epidemiology of high consequence animal pathogens in the northern regions of Cameroon. Co-Investigators: Victor Ngu Ngwa, School of Veterinary Medicine and Sciences, University of Ngaoundere, Cameroon; Vikash Singh, UMN Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory; Sagar Goyal, UMN Institute for Molecular Virology

Olihe Okoro, PhD, MPH, MPharm, UMN College of Pharmacy: A Cell phone-based treatment Adherence and REtention (CARE) intervention to optimizing HIV care in Ugandan fishing communities. Co-Investigators: Tom Ngabirano, Department of Nursing, College of Health Sciences Makerere University, Uganda; Charles Osingada, Department of Nursing, College of Health Sciences Makerere University, Uganda and PhD Student, UMN School of Nursing

2020 Global Health Seed Grants

Melissa Saftner, PhD, APRN, CNM, FACNM, UMN School of Nursing: Adapting the STARx Transition Readiness Questionnaire for Ugandan Young People Living with HIV/AIDs (YPLHIV) and their Parents. Co-Investigators: Linda Barlow-Mosha, MD, MPH, Makerere University-Johns Hopkins Research Collaborative, Kampala, Uganda; Annie-Laurie McRee, DrPH, School of Medicine, University of Minnesota

Claudia Munoz-Zanzi, DVM, PhD, UMN School of Public Health: Developing a decision support system for an integrated leptospirosis control program in vulnerable areas. Co-investigators: Piedad Agudelo, PhD, Universidad CES, Medellin, Colombia; Margarita Arboleda, MD, MSc, Instituto Colombiano de Medicina Tropical (ICMT), Universidad CES, Apartado, Colombia

Natasha C. Wright, MS, PhD, UMN College of Science and Engineering: Design of a peritoneal dialysis fluid compounding device for dialysis providers in Lagos, Nigeria using participatory design methods. Co-investigators: Babawale T. Bello, MB.ChB(Ife), MRCP(UK), FMCP, Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), Lagos, Nigeria, Department of Medicine, College of Medicine, University of Lagos; Michelle Rheault, MD, UMN Medical School; Ibrahim Yekinni, MBBS, UMN College of Science and Engineering

Jennifer Rickard, MD, MPH, UMN Medical School: Extended-spectrum beta-lactamase carriage and development of surgical site infections in Rwandan surgery patients. Co-investigators: Christophe Mpirimbanyi, MD, Department of Surgery, Kibungo Hospital; Susan Kline, MD, UMN Medical School; Faustin Ntirenganya, MD, University of Rwanda; Emile Musoni, MD, University Teaching Hospital of Kigali

2019 Global Health Seed Grants

Peter Larsen, UMN School of Veterinary Medicine: Molecular epidemiology of enteric pathogens associated with the peridomestic rodents of Sarawak, Borneo. Co-PI: Faisal Ali Anwarali Khan, University of Malaysia, Sarawak, Malaysia (Borneo).

Richard MacLehose, UMN School of Public Health: Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias (ADRD) and Cognitive Practices among Tibetan Buddhist Monks. Co-investigators: Gelek Gyatso, Drepung Loseling Monastery, Mundgod, Karnataka, India; Bryce Johnson, Science for Monks, Dharamsala, India; Dedra Buchwald, Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine, Washington State University; and Mathew Varghese, National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences, Bangalore, India.

Erica Schorr, UMN School of Nursing: Use of a wearable device to examine the relationships among physical activity, sedentary time and glycemic control in adults with type 2 diabetes in Thailand: A pilot study. Co-PI: Wantana Maneesriwongul, Faculty of Medicine, Ramathibodi Hospital, Mahidol University. Bangkok, Thailand.

Kelly Searle, UMN School of Public Health: Malaria risk, prevention, and health seeking behaviors in Sussundenga, Mozambique. Co-investigators: João L. Ferrão, Faculty of Engineering, Catholic University of Mozambique in Chimoio, Mozambique.

Reuben Harris, UMN College of Biological Science: A Role for Cellular APOBEC Enzymes in Protection from HBV Infection. Co-PI: Zhongliao Fang, Guangxi Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, China.

Kumi Smith, UMN School of Public Health: Standardized Patients to Measure and Address HIV Stigma in China. Co-investigator: Ligang Yang, Chang Wang, Ryan Luo, Guangdong Center for STD Control & Prevention, China.

Ruby Nguyen, UMN School of Public Health: The 30 Years Cohort Study on the Relationship Between Low Birth Weight and Metabolic Syndrome. Co-PI: Kittipan Rerkasem, Research Institute for Health Sciences (RIHES), Chiang Mai University, Thailand.

2018 Global Health Seed Grants

Ryan Demmer, UMN School of Public Health: Cardiovascular disease risk factors among transgender persons in Thailand. Co-investigators: Kanokwan Kulprachakarn, Kittipan Rerkasem, and Sakaewan Ounjaijean, Chiang Mai University, Thailand.

Eva Enns, UMN School of Public Health: Cost-effectiveness analysis of antiretroviral treatment initiation strategies in the presence of efavirenz resistance in HIV-positive individuals in Mexico. Co-investigators: Fernando Alarid-Escudero and Yanink Caro-Vega, National Institutes of Health, Mexico.

Keith Horvath, UMN School of Public Health: A Pilot Test of a Technology-delivered HIV Self-Testing Intervention in Kampala, Uganda. Co-investigators: Agnes Kiragga, Makerere University, Uganda; John Mark Bwanika and Davis Musinguzi, The Medical Concierge Group Limited, Uganda.

Jonathan Kirsch, UMN Medical School: Improving primary care diagnosis and classification of dengue fever with bedside ultrasound: a pilot study. Co-investigators: Lyda Osorio, Universidad del Valle, Colombia; Katie Anderson and Stephen Dunlop, UMN Medical School.

Andres Perez, UMN College of Veterinary Medicine: Comparison of the environmental characteristics associated with human Leptospirosis in Sri Lanka, Kenya, and Argentina/Uruguay. Co-investigators: Chandika Gamage, University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka; Eric Fèvre, University of Liverpool, UK and International Livestock Research Institute, Kenya; Bibiana Fel Brihuega, Instituto Nacional de Tecnología Agropecuaria, Argentina; Andres Gil, Universidad de la Republica, Uruguay.

Charles Salmen, UMN Medical School: Health Navigation for Emergency Referral Coordination: A 12-month implementation study to assess impact and feasibility of a sustainable maternal health model for remote island communities of Lake Victoria, Kenya. Co-investigator: Louisa Ndunyu, Maseno University, Kenya.

Beth Virnig, UMN School of Public Health: Building the evidence base to ensure achieving UHC drives healthy ageing. A pan-Asian ageing and health data harmonization project. Co-investigator: Paul Kowal, Chiang Mai University, Thailand.

2017 Global Health Seed Grants

Kaylee M. Errecaborde: Identifying opportunities to improve the effectiveness of rabies control programs in Thailand using geographical analysis and multi-sectoral policy engagement tools. Co-investigators: Anuwat Wiratsudakul, Faculty of Veterinary Science, Mahidol University, Bangkok;  Ong-orn Prasarnphanich, USAID EPT2: One Health Workforce Project; Andres Perez, Department of Veterinary Population Medicine, University of Minnesota.

Katie Anderson: Seroprevalence of flaviviruses and risk factors for infection among long-term expatriates in Thailand. Co-investigators: Watcharapong Piyaphanee, Travel Medicine Research Unit, Faculty of Tropical Medicine, Mahidol University, Bangkok; Parichat Salee, Department of Internal Medicine, Infectious Disease, Chiang Mai University.

Jose Debes, UMN Medical School: Assessment of immune response during hepatitis B and HIV coinfection. Co-investigators: Andre Boonstra, Erasmus MC, and Ponsiano Ocama, Makerere University, Kampala

Claudia Munoz-Zanzi, UMN School of Public Health: Leptospirosis-associated neonatal sepsis in Uganda. Co-investigators: Joel Bazira, Mbarara University of Science and Technology and Mark Schleiss, UMN Center for Infectious Diseases and Microbiology Translational Research (CIDMTR)

Sandra R. Montezuma, UMN Medical School: Improving Eye Health in Patients with Cryptococcal Meningitis and Systemic Cytomegalovirus Infections at Mbarara Regional Referral Hospital: a Formative Study. Co-Investigators: Simon Arunga, Mbarara University of Science & Technology; David Boulware, UMN Medical School; Conrad K. Muzoora, Mbarara University of Science & Technology

2016 Global Health Seed Grants

Nicole Basta, School of Public Health: Uptake of and barriers to human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination among adolescent girls in rural Uganda. Co-investigators: Cecily Banura, Child Health and Development Center, Makerere University; Shalini Kulasingam, University of Minnesota School of Public Health; and Hee Yun Lee, University of Minnesota School of Social Work

Melanie Nicol, College of Pharmacy: Assessing antiretroviral distribution in CNS reservoirs using IR-MALDEI mass spectrometry imaging. Co-investigators: Robert Lukande, Department of Pathology and David Meya, Infectious Diseases Institute, both at Makerere University.

Louis Mansky, Institute for Molecular Virology, University of Minnesota and Zhongliao Fang, Guangxi Center for Disease Prevention and Control (Guangxi CDC): Novel therapeutic treatment of hepatitis B virus infection. Drs. Mansky and Fang will work with Morgan Meissner, a PhD student at Institute for Molecular Virology, and a team of co-investigators from Guangxi CDC and Guangxi Medical University.

Guisheng Song, Medical School, University of Minnesota and Zhongliao Fang, Guangxi CDC: Differential miRNA profiles between HCC cases and controls, among individuals infected with HBV with BCP double mutations. Drs. Song and Fang will work with a team of co-investigators from Guangxi CDC and Guangxi Medical University.

Irina Stepanov, School of Public Health, University of Minnesota and Wenkui Geng, Guangxi Health and Family Planning Commission (Guangxi HFPC): Secondhand smoke exposure and carcinogen uptake in elementary school children in Nanning, Guangxi. Drs. Stepanov and Geng will be working with Dorothy Hatsukami (Masonic Cancer Center), Samir Khariwala (UMN Medical School), and two co-investigators from Guangxi CDC and Guangxi HFPC.

Fang Yu, School of Nursing, University of Minnesota and Zhaoyong Huang, Institute of Nutrition and School Health, Guangxi CDC: Factors associated with longevity in Guangxi, China. Drs. Yu and Huang will be working with a team of co-investigators from Guangxi HFPC and Guangxi CDC.