Eiffeltower and Paris urban landscape

Dr. Cécile DeWitt-Morette France-UT Endowed Excellence Fund

The France-UT Endowed Excellence Fund supports scholarly collaborations in all disciplines between The University of Texas at Austin and institutions of higher learning in France.

At a Glance

Program Features:

Seed funding for bi-national collaborations


The Embassy of France in the United States


Laurie Young
Director of Special Initiatives


Red white and blue squared logo with side view of face and text saying France in the United States.


The endowment fund has a two-fold mission:

  • To support research collaborations between faculty at UT Austin and institutions in France; and
  • To facilitate awareness and connections across the UT Austin community for French culture, workforce, and education.


The France-UT endowment is named in honor of Dr. Cécile DeWitt-Morette. Dr. DeWitt-Morette’s storied career, her efforts to improve global relations for the scientific community, and her reputation as a determined innovator embody the spirit of the Dr. Cécile DeWitt-Morette France-UT Endowed Excellence Fund. This endowment solidifies the commitment between France and The University of Texas at Austin to support faculty and students who exemplify some of Dr. DeWitt-Morette’s finest qualities: creativity, determination, passion, and vision. These individual qualities, supported by the rich cultural heritage of innovation and the resources provided by the endowment, will lead to generations of joint discoveries and deeper ties between the people of France and Texas.


Faculty and researchers may apply for one of six awards of up to $10,000 in seed funding for bi-national collaborations. All fields of study are welcome in both themes A and B (e.g.: qualitative and/or quantitative analyses, mathematical modeling, computer simulations, multi-disciplinary and integrative approaches).

2020-2021 Themes

The Environment and Global Health

In response to France’s “Make our Planet Great Again” initiative and UT’s “Bridging Barriers: Planet Texas 2050”, we seek applicants interested in submitting proposals that address topics such as:

  • Meeting basic needs for a growing human population in a stressed ecosystem
  • Human health and well-being, demography, economic strategies and their associations with sustainable production and consumption, urbanization, new technologies and processes, energy and governance for global sustainability and climate change induced stress
  • Concepts associated with the flexibility of population/economic needs and consumption habits in the perspective of an accelerated energy transition
  • Aging populations and societal impact
  • Use or development of adaptive technologies to overcome social barriers to health access

The Future of Democracy

As we enter a new decade, we are poised to reflect on past representations of democracy and its current trajectory. Interdisciplinary proposals focused on the connection between the preservation of democracy and the following topics will be considered:

  • Human Rights
  • Civic Engagement
  • Economics
  • Technological Advances
  • Communication Trends and Privacy
  • Optimizing Democratic Processes


  • This opportunity is open to all tenured and tenure-track faculty as well as permanent researchers with UT Austin PI status
  • UT Austin PI must collaborate with a professor, associate professor, or permanent researcher at a public research institution or institution of higher learning in France
  • Each UT PI may submit a maximum of one application per funding round

Activities Supported

Proposals must foster research and academic cooperation between The University of Texas at Austin and institutions of higher learning in France. Activities do not need to take place in the United States or France. However, proposed research should intersect with US/French-related materials, entities and individuals.

Eligible activities include:

  • UT faculty/student travel to access primary sources and/or collaboration opportunities
  • Joint research projects between UT faculty/students and faculty/students from higher education and research institutions throughout France
  • Workshops or symposia development
  • Public lectures
  • Travel and meeting costs to facilitate international projects and collaboration

Ineligible Activities

  • Faculty development – activities such as learning a new technique, language, methodology or completing a thesis or dissertation
  • Public service and consulting
  • Departmental curriculum development, such as the preparation of curriculum materials, curriculum modifications, and student interest surveys


Request for proposals is closed for the 2020-2021 competition. The next cycle will be announced in fall 2021.