Regionally and beyond, the Biogen Idec Foundation is well known for its support of STEM education initiatives and science education accessibility. Greater Boston and Research Triangle Park, North Carolina are the focus of U.S.-based grantmaking; however, this funder isn’t opposed to stretching its support out a little wider.
This science-focused foundation recently announced a major grant that brought it right back onto our radar. The Biogen Idec Foundation committed $1.5 million to Citizen Schools, which is currently targeting seven states—including Massachusetts.
Not surprisingly, this $1.5 million grant will be going to Citizen Schools’ STEM education programs. It’s also one of the funder’s most significant contributions in its grantmaking history. Google, Fidelity Investments, and Cisco have also been big supporters of Citizen Schools over the years.
However, this isn’t Biogen’s first involvement with Citizen Schools. The Cambridge-based company, Biogen Idec, has given the organization $250,000 over the past seven years and some of the company’s employees lead apprenticeship programs for middle school students. Boston-based law firm funder the Jones Day Foundation also recently contributed to Citizen Schools, and its employees have been teaching law apprenticeships to sixth grade students at Boston’s Edwards Middle School.
Citizen Schools’ seven locations are Massachusetts, North Carolina, California, Illinois, New Jersey, New York, and Texas. Low-income middle school students in public schools are the focus of the Massachusetts program, and although the Massachusetts State Office is located in Boston, local school partners are scattered in Dorchester, Charlestown, Roxbury, Chelsea, and Roslindale.
Although Massachusetts is a big priority for Biogen, this massive grant will be spread across the U.S. to expand STEM curriculum. The money will also pay for an Abt Associates study that will determine whether these STEM apprenticeships in which Biogen employees participate actually boost student interest in math and science.
In addition to the foundation’s standard U.S. grants program, it also has an Ignite the Power of STEM program, which is open to just teachers and schools in Massachusetts and North Carolina. This program typically awards around $50,000 in grants annually and expands the age demographic to include elementary and high school projects as well.
The deadline for all Biogen Idec U.S. grants this year is September 28. So if your Boston-area nonprofit has anything to do with STEM, this deadline should be on your calendar. Start with the foundation’s eligibility quiz or reach out to the executive director, Karen DiGiacomo at firstname.lastname@example.org or 617-679-2617.