John Templeton Foundation: Grants for Disease

OVERVIEW: This funder backs scientific research in a range of sectors, including genetics, biological sciences and neuroscience. Grants are awarded 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 supports research on a wide range of “human purpose and ultimate reality” questions regarding evolution, creativity, free will and love. The foundation was established by Sir John Templeton in 1987. His Wall Street career began in the late 1930s, and he had a hand in creating some of the era’s largest international investment funds. In the mid-1950s, Templeton founded the Templeton Growth Fund, which would eventually be sold to the Franklin Group, in 1992. In 1987, just a few years prior to the sale of his company, John Templeton established the Templeton Foundation.

The foundation is based in West Conshohocken, a suburb of Philadelphia; it awards grants nationally and internationally and “serves as a philanthropic catalyst for discoveries related to the Big Questions of human purposes and ultimate reality.”

Much of Templeton’s support for disease research comes through its Genetics program, a core funding area for the foundation. According to Templeton, this is still a relatively new area of funding and it hopes to broaden its grant portfolio in the coming years.

So far, the foundation’s funding interests in this space appear to be relatively broad, as it has awarded some sizable grants to support multiple fields of genetic research. For example, Templeton has awarded grants for cancer treatment and prevention, inherited diseases and rare diseases. To learn about other genetics grants Templeton has funded, check the Grant Search: Genetics page. Many of these grants have been between $150,000 and $3 million.

The Templeton Foundation also awards a few disease-related grants through its Life Sciences program. A subprogram of its Science and the Big Questions program, another core funding area, Life Sciences supports projects about the evolution and fundamental nature of life, human life and the mind as they relate to our meaning and purpose. Projects supported have been in the fields of the biological sciences, neuroscience, archeology and paleontology. To learn about other genetics grants Templeton has funded, check the Grant Search: Life Sciences page. Most of these grants have been between $100,000 and $2 million.

Interested nonprofits and researchers can submit an online funding inquiry to get started. Templeton assigns inquiry deadlines throughout the year. Those dates are listed on its Grantmaking Calendar. Full proposals are accepted by invitation only.

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