Thrasher Research Fund: Grants for Science Research

OVERVIEW: The Thrasher Research Fund supports clinical and hypothesis-driven research on illnesses and diseases that affect children.

IP TAKE: Thrasher is an incredibly approachable funder that accepts concept papers from scientists working around the world. Grants are highly competitive, and the fund prefers projects “with a shorter distance to clinical applicability.”

PROFILE: The Thrasher Research Fund was created in 1977 by E.W. “Al” Thrasher when he donated $14 million from the sale of over 2,000 acres of second-growth redwood timber. Thrasher seeks “to foster an environment of creativity and discovery aimed at finding solutions to children’s health problems.” It was initially a funder of pediatric medicine, but as it grew, Thrasher expanded its focus to include “clinical, hypothesis-driven research in both international and domestic locations.” While the range of supported research topics has expanded, children remain Thrasher’s target beneficiary population. Thrasher divides its investments between its E.W. “Al” Thrasher Award and its Early Career Award.

The E.W. “Al” Thrasher Award funds principal investigators in the field of children’s medical research, with an emphasis on “significant health problems that affect children in large numbers.” Eligible applicants must have a doctoral-level degree; there are no citizenship requirements. This grant is up to three years and the median amount is around $320,000 total. Concept paper submissions are accepted on a rolling basis for this award.

The Early Career Award prioritizes physicians currently in residency or fellowship training and post-doc researchers who earned their doctorate no less than three years before applying for the Early Career award. This program fosters scientific and medical research in child health and does not focus on specific diseases or conditions. Deadlines for concept paper submissions are mid-March and mid-September. Early Career grants are capped at around $25,000 total.

To learn more about the types of scientific and medical research projects backed by Thrasher, explore its searchable grants database.


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