Visionary Circle

The Visionary Circle is a venture to build a renewable and continuing source of funding for I-O research and development.

Award not open for this cycle


How We Do It:

  • Collect venture philanthropic capital by recruiting Visionary Donors
  • Call for Visionary Grant proposals
  • Visionary Donors Select Visionary Grant Awardee(s)
  • Implement findings
  • Repeat every other year

Rapid advancement in I-O psychology and the organizational sciences now is surely needed. The mania about artificial intelligence systems and big data is at flood tide, with no shortage of need for critical and clear thinking about creating smarter workplaces. We face great challenges in the workplace from adapting to the changing nature of work to creating diverse, equitable and inclusive work environments. These issues stretch beyond companies and cultures and demand the best thinking, collaboration, and collective attention. I-O Psychologists have long supported each other’s work. The Visionary Circle is one means by which that can happen. Its purpose is to serve as a dependable and renewable source of grant funding for I-O research and development. The Visionaries are donors who want to improve the world of work dramatically by collectively supporting significant I-O psychology research and practice, projects that will have lasting impact in the workplace.

Two successful rounds have already taken place and here’s an update on what the grant recipients are doing:

2020 Visionary Circle Grant Recipients

Susan Ashford, Brianna Barker Caza, and Brittany Lambert, received the 2020 Visionary Circle Grant for their project titled “Working Off the Grid: Building Resilience in the GIG Economy.” This project proved to be particularly visionary given the hardships that GIG workers have faced during the COVID pandemic and its aftermath. Since receiving the grant this team has conducted a number of studies. Most recently, the team completed the data collection for a large-scale intervention study. The interventions were aimed at improving the quality of life for gig workers targeting the unique challenges they face. Next steps include a quantitative analysis of this intervention, its impact, and the experiences of these workers picked up through the researchers’ experience sampling methodology. In addition to this intervention study, they completed interviews of over 50 workers holding the same job, but doing those jobs either in traditional organizational settings or as independent gig workers. In the process of planning the projects above, Dr. Ashford’s team also reviewed the literature on interventions in management and published that review in the Academy of Management Annals. SIOP members can find this research under the citation Lambert, B. K., Caza, B., Trinh, E. N., & Ashford, S. J. (2022). Individual-Centered Interventions: Identifying What, How, and Why. Interventions Work in Organizational Contexts. Academy of Management Annals. For more information about this project visit This site is aimed at both gig workers and researchers studying gig work.

2022 Visionary Grant Recipients

Eleni Georganta, Anna-Sophie Ulfert, Myrthe Tielman, Shanee Honig, and Tal Oron Gilad received the 2022 Visionary Circle Grant for their project titled “We Are in This Together:

When an AI Agent Becomes Your Teammate.” Their project involves a multidisciplinary and multilevel empirical approach to investigate the trustworthiness of AI teammates, the trustworthiness reactions of AI agents, and interpersonal relationships between human and AI teammates on interpersonal trust and team trust. They will build a refined theoretical model and a computational framework of team trust in human-AI teams. The aim of this work is to guide the development of trustworthy AI teammates and the implementation of human-AI teamwork in organizations. This project is just beginning, so look for updates.

Please consider becoming a Visionary Circle Donor and keep a look out for the next call for Visionary projects!


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Networking to Find Additional Funding

The Foundation Trustees need your help.  We are seeking potential funding sources, especially corporate and private foundations, to which we can refer interesting and worthy projects (with the PDs consent, of course).  All four of the finalists’ projects are worth doing.  Indeed, that is true as well for the six semi-finalist proposals that did not make the cut.  Let us know at of people and institutions we might contact.