Broad Foundation: Grants for Science Research

OVERVIEW: Eli and Edythe Broad have pledged to give away 75 percent of their massive fortune, and science and medical research is one of their main targets. The Broad Foundation does not have a general science research grantmaking program but it does support human genome and stem cell research to further clinical therapies for major diseases, and gives major support for research on irritable bowel diseases.

IP TAKE: A major player in science and medical research, Broad is taking on some of the worst and most challenging threats to human health. The foundation is not particularly accessible, but California-based proposals have an edge.

PROFILE: The Broad Foundations are a combo of the Eli & Edythe Broad Foundation and The Broad Art Foundation. The Broads made their wealth from Eli Broad's two successful companies in real estate and insurance, and they are one of the wealthiest families to commit to the Giving Pledge, with the intent to donate 75 percent of their fortune.

The Broad Foundation’s main interests related to science research include: Genomic medical research, stem cells, cardiology, and inflammatory bowel diseases.

Funding for genomics is mostly through the Broad Institute, a partnership with MIT, Harvard, and the Whitehead Institute that aims to use the human genome to benefit clinical medicine.

As for stem cell work, the foundation mainly backs research centers at USC, UCLA, and the University of California, San Francisco. The Broads founded two of these centers, and their support has gone to facilities, equipment, and faculty directed to turn the study of stem cells into therapies for the biggest and baddest of diseases, such as cancer, AIDS, and Parkinson's.

Broad’s cardiology funding is currently limited to work conducted at the Edythe L. Broad Women’s Heart Research Fellowship at Cedars-Sinai’s Heart Institute.

Finally, the funder has a niche interest in curing and treating inflammatory bowel diseases such as Crohn's and ulcerative colitis. While this may sound very specific, IBD affects an estimated 1.4 million Americans, including one member of the Broad family. The symptoms range in severity but can be quite debilitating.

To combat the disorders, the foundation established the Broad Medical Research Program for Inflammatory Bowel Disease in 2001. In 2014, the Broad Medical Research Program merged with the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America. This area appears to be the most open for grantseekers; for funding of IBD research projects, review the application process before sending a letter of interest. You can also see annual lists of Broad Medical Research Program-funded work by clicking here, as well as any Special Requests for Proposals.

Like many funders of its size, Broad regularly gives large sums to its big-name projects and doesn't exactly have the most wide-open application process. But the Eli & Edythe Broad Foundation has generally given about 250 grants a year, so there is a lot to work with. Also, keep in mind that California-based organizations have a definite edge, having received around half of Broad grants in recent years.

PEOPLE:

  • Gregory McGinity, Executive Director
  • Gerun Riley, President
  • Michael Osso, President and CEO, Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America

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