John Templeton Foundation: Grants for Diseases

OVERVIEW: This funder backs scientific research in a range of sectors, including genetics, biological sciences, and neuroscience. It awards grants both nationally and internationally.

IP TAKE: This funder likes to address both the spiritual and scientific applications of research. Consider pitching a disease research program that involves genetics, biology, or neuroscience to improve the mental and physical health of disease sufferers.

PROFILE: The John Templeton Foundation, established in 1987, describes itself as “a philanthropic catalyst for discoveries relating to the Big Questions of human purpose and ultimate reality.” It further explains that its motto, “'How little we know, how eager to learn,' exemplifies our support for open-minded inquiry and our hope for advancing human progress through breakthrough discoveries.” Its endowment is significant, reported at close to $3.5 billion and about $100 million in total awards in a recent year. Templeton has a wide range of focus areas, including Science and the Big Questions, Character Virtue Development, Individual Freedom and Markets, Exceptional Cognitive Talent and Genius, Genetics, and Voluntary Family Planning.

Much of Templeton’s support for disease research comes through its Genetics program, which “seeks to advance genetics research by supporting novel approaches and contrarian projects, especially research that is undervalued by traditional funding sources.” Past disease-related grants in this focus area include research funding for “epigenetic diagnostics for preventative medicine,” “novel paradigms in cancer etiology,” and “decoding meaning in epigenetics and endocrine disruption.”

The Templeton Foundation’s grants may range form $100,000 to several millions of dollars. Grantseekers may explore the foundation’s Grants Database for more information on what kind of projects it supports.

Templeton’s application starts with an Online Funding Inquiry, followed by a full proposal if invited. Review the foundation’s Grantmaking Calendar for more information on application deadlines. Note that the foundation has different procedures for small and large grants (under or over $234,800).

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