Global Health Seed Grants

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

Through our Global Health Seed Grants program, we have fostered new interdisciplinary research collaborations to advance new global health research since 2016. Every spring, we request proposals for annual awards 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.


    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


    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;
    • Support new 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 Grants Around the World

    These projects forge new 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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    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.




    A Catalyst for Global Research Partnership

    In 2016, two researchers shared the same question: what is the uptake of and barriers to human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination?



    Discover How to Apply

    Our Global Health Seed Grant program plants seeds to grow larger studies and international partnerships. The program also provides a unique entree for UMN students into global health research with invaluable hands-on experiences. We have also seen demonstrated success through long-term outcomes like advancing equitable international research collaborations and effective and innovative interdisciplinary health science research. We accept proposals for the program each Spring. 

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    Grants are available to Lecturers, Instructors and Assistant, Associate, and Full Professors at the University of Minnesota from within and beyond the health sciences. Prior global health research experience is not required. Each application may have a single UMN PI or a team of two or more co-PIs consisting of at least 1 UMN faculty member. In the case of a single UMN PI, there must be at least one international co-investigator. Each faculty member may submit only one application as a PI. However, there is no limit to the number of applications on which a faculty member could participate as a co-investigator.


    Required Elements of the Proposal

    • Health research activities that take place in Africa, Asia, or Latin America/Caribbean
    • Include interdisciplinary investigators

    Preferred Elements of the Proposal

    • PI and co-investigators with diverse expertise from a variety of health science disciplines
    • Investigators who are new to research or partnerships in region of application
    • Potential for impact on health issues of significance in the partner country
    • Preliminary data gathering for larger, long-term studies
    • UMN and/or host-country student(s) in research activities (student travel allowable, but not required).

    Application Process

    Application Process

    • Interested applicants are required to submit a letter of intent by April 30, 2021.
    • Proposals are due May 21, 2021 and should be submitted via the online form.
    • Proposals will be selected through a competitive peer-review process.
    • Applicants will be notified of their funding by the end of June 2021.
    • Funding will be available July 2021.

    Proposal Format

    Proposal Format

    See the full Seed Grant RFP for Proposal Format.