OVERVIEW: Pershing Square prioritizes giving to cancer research.
IP TAKE: Pershing Square takes a “business minded” approach to its giving. It is willing to take risks, but expects big results. It does not accept unsolicited grant applications, but applicants for its Prize for Young Investigators in Cancer Research may submit a letter of intent.
PROFILE: The Pershing Square Foundation, established in 2006 by Bill Ackman and his wife Karen, is a New-York-based operation founded by Bill Ackman, head of Pershing Square Capital Management, and his wife Karen. The foundation operates both in the U.S. and internationally, and divides its giving into five focus areas: Arts and Urban Development, Economic Opportunity and Development, Education, Health and Life Sciences, and Social Justice.
The foundation facilitates disease-related grantmaking through its Health and Life Sciences program. The Pershing Square Sohn Cancer Research Alliance (PSSCRA) supports “innovative cancer research and [...] collaborations between academia and industry.” Among its initiatives is the Prize for Young Investigators in Cancer Research, which offers “$200,000 per year for up to three years [and] is awarded annually to at least five New York City-based scientists.” This award requires a letter of intent, after which some applicants might be selected to submit a full proposal. Eligibility is limited to M.D.s and Ph.D.s with 2-8 years of experience heading a lab and with “faculty appointments at academic research institutions...at the level of Assistant or Associate Professor” in the area of New York City, Long Island, and Northern and Central New Jersey.
The Pershing Square has been a steady funder of research into biomedical research, molecular biology, genomics, and other disease-related fields. Its grants tend to support large national cancer institutions and major research centers, such as the Harvard Medical School, the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, and Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory.
Grants range all the way from $25,000 to millions of dollars. A complete list of Pershing Square’s past grants and current partnerships is available in its Portfolio.
Unfortunately, the foundation does not accept unsolicited proposals.
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