Robertson Foundation: Grants for Diseases

OVERVIEW: The Robertson Foundation supports scientists and leadership efforts to advance the field of medical research.

IP TAKE: This foundation takes a business-like approach to its grantmaking and expects measurable results in the immediate and long terms.

PROFILE: Hedge fund manager Julian Robertson, his late wife Josie, and the Robertson family established the Robertson Foundation in 1996 to “utilize a proactive, disciplined grantmaking approach to measurably affect significant social change.” It claims to take a “targeted, businesslike, results-oriented approach that is modeled more closely on private equity investing” than traditional philanthropic models. Its three main grantmaking areas are Education, Environment, and Medical Research, though it often awards Other Grants in unrelated fields.

The Robertson Foundation’s Medical Research program does not have any stated disease priorities. Its grantmaking is designed to “facilitate cutting edge research by supporting scientific leadership and talent.” To that end, it has made “significant investments in young investigators, junior faculty, and fellowships in many disciplines.” Past grantees include the Cancer Research Institute and the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.

Robertson’s grant amounts range from $1,000 to over $3 million, although most fall between $5,000 and $50,000. The Robertson Foundation is not currently accepting unsolicited applications or requests for funding.

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