The has announced grants totaling more than $17.4 million through its .
In 2016, the initiative funded new research in two programs areas: understanding human cognition and studying complex systems. Scholar and collaborative awards in the area of understanding human and complex systems were awarded to researchers considered likely to continue making important theoretical or conceptual contributions to advance understanding of how neurological function enables cognition and behavior. Scholar awards in the area of studying complex systems supported scholarship and research on the development of theoretical and mathematical tools that can be applied to the study of complex, adaptive, and nonlinear systems, while postdoctoral fellowship awards enabled students to broaden their research experience and acquire additional skills.
Recipients of the 2016 21st Century Science Initiative Awards include , which was awarded $600,000 over eight years to better understand the computations underlying decisions based on perceptual evidence; , which will receive $1.4 million over three years to study defensive responses and clinical interventions related to understanding the mechanisms of anxiety; , which was awarded $1.4 million over three years to study the overlap between sleep and anesthesia to enhance human cognition; , which will receive $450,000 over four years to study the complex adaptive systems of social insect colonies; and the which was awarded $450,000 over four years to use an evolutionary framework to study robustness and predictive power of data-driven molecular regulatory networks.
"Support of research and applications of research findings to important problems remains a pivotal role for private philanthropy and for the McDonnell Foundation," said Susan Fitzpatrick, the foundation's president. "The foundation is committed to the ideal that having a diversity of private and public funders helps ensure that the most creative work will obtain needed support."