William T. Grant Foundation: Grants for Mental Health

OVERVIEW: The William T. Grant Foundation funds mental health research grants for studies that prioritize disadvantaged and vulnerable youth, aged five to 25.

IP TAKE: Grant is an approachable foundation, but it warns that only a small percentage of applicants are invited to submit a full proposal. Grant seekers may do well to tie their research into one of the foundation’s other fields of support.

PROFILE: William T. Grant, owner of the once-booming W.T. Grant and Company department store chain, established the William T. Grant Foundation in 1936. The foundation seeks to support “research to improve the lives of young people.” Grant's stores would eventually shutter in what is often referred to as one of the largest retailer bankruptcies in history. However, the foundation continues to support Grant’s original grantmaking priorities. William T. Grant Foundation’s mental health related grantmaking supports research.

The foundation's grantmaking operates primarily through two initiatives, Reducing Inequality and Improving the Use of Research Evidence:

  • Reducing Inequality - This initiative supports studies that both seek to understand inequality and that develop interventions to reduce it. These grants typically range from $100,000 to $600,000 over two to three years. For this initiative grant seekers should consider how inequality can affect mental health, with reference to pathologies, diagnosis, and access to services, for example.
  • Improving the Use of Research Evidence - This initiative supports projects that capitalize on existing research to improve the lives of young people. These grants typically range from $100,000 to $1,000,000 over two to four years. This initiative is a good choice for anyone interested in using data to address mental health in young people.

The foundation also offers Youth Services Improvement Grants, which award $25,000 to organizations in New York City that provide services to young people, including those relating to mental health.

Research funded by the foundation must prioritize youth populations ages five to 25. Unsolicited letters of inquiry are accepted three times annually in January, May, and August.


  • Search for staff contact info and bios in PeopleFinder (paid subscribers only.)