G. Harold & Leila Y. Mathers Charitable Foundation: Grants for Science Research


OVERVIEW: This foundation gives entirely to research projects in the life sciences. Starting as a private foundation of a married couple, it is in part entrusted to three brothers and one brother's son, and its philanthropy is controlled by a set of New York-based advisers.

IP TAKE: Mathers prioritizes brain science and gene research projects at universities nationwide, with grants maxing out at just under $1 million per award. Its more specific grantmaking priorities can be hard to pin down, but the foundation does accept unsolicited inquiries.

PROFILE: The G. Harold & Y. Leila Mathers Charitable Foundation was created in 1982 to continue the couple’s legacy of philanthropy. The foundation “is primarily interested in supporting fundamental basic research in the life sciences,” with funding available for “specific projects from established researchers at top universities and independent research institutions within the United States.”

Mathers supports life sciences research, and past grantees include the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, various University of California campuses, Columbia, Yale, the Whitehead Institute, and Harvard. But the list also includes diverse institutions such as the University of Utah, University of Nevada, University of Iowa, and some other schools in the Northeast such as SUNY, Tufts, and UMASS, as well as nonprofits like the Scripps Research Institute.

The foundation does not provide much information about its actual projects. But among its recent grantees, funding has gone to areas including brain science, cancer research, cellular biology, behavior research, and genetic research, just to name a few. More information is available at the foundation's lists of current projects and its funding history.

Grant amounts can range anywhere from $10,000 to $600,000, though most fall in the $100,000 to $400,000 range. Mathers invites general inquiries through its contact form. More detailed inquiries should be sent along with additional documentation as per the foundation’s guidelines, after which you may be invited to submit a full application.


  • Howard Chester, Executive Director
  • Beverly Cheikin, Associate Executive Director
  • Zach Handelman, Director of Operations