Laura and John Arnold Foundation: Grants for STEM Higher Education


OVERVIEW: The Laura and John Arnold Foundation provides most of its funding for scientific research and STEM higher education through its Research Integrity program.

IP TAKE: This foundation’s science giving prioritizes changing the status quo by increasing the rigor, reliability, and transparency of research. Inquiries can be solicited online, but unsolicited applications are not accepted.

PROFILE: The Laura and John Arnold Foundation (LJAF) was founded in 2008 in Texas by Laura Arnold, an attorney, and John Arnold, founder of the hedge fund Centaurus Advisors. The foundation seeks to “improve the lives of individuals by strengthening our social, governmental, and economic systems.” This objective is most apparent in the foundation’s work in education reform, its biggest priority. Other programs include Criminal Justice, Evidence-Based Policy and Innovation, Research Integrity, Sustainable Public Finance, and a catch-all area called New Initiatives.

With regard to science research and STEM higher education, the Research Integrity program provides the best opportunity for funding. Instead of simply supporting individual researchers, the foundation prioritizes increased rigor across all research. Research Integrity aims to improve the reliability of published studies and focuses on openness and participation among peers. LJAF’s program seeks to bring research to the greater science community. Toward that goal, they fund watchdog programs that promote open science, efforts to replicate existing studies, and researchers who can provide robust and meaningful work in areas where it is currently lacking.

Grants through the Research Integrity program range from $100,000 to $24 million. A list of past grantees can be found on the recent grants page. Past grantees received support for research in areas such as climate change, the health effects of sugar, lung cancer screenings, workshops on publication standards, the creation of a searchable database to “rank” newly-approved medicines and vaccines, and studies related to K-12 education.

The foundation does not accept unsolicited proposals, but it will review inquiries and letters of interest, which can be submitted online. It also issues calls for proposals.