Broad Foundation: Grants for STEM Higher Education, Science and Medical Research

OVERVIEW: Eli and Edythe Broad pledged to give away 75% of their massive fortune by supporting education, science and medical research, and the arts. Most of the foundation’s funding is based in Los Angeles. The Broad Foundation does not have a higher education grant program, but it does support universities to further clinical therapies for major diseases, with a particular focus on irritable bowel diseases.

IP TAKE: A major funder in science and medical research, Broad tackles some of the most challenging health problems of the day. Despite a strong internet presence, the foundation is not particularly accessible, but California-based proposals have an edge.

PROFILE: The Broad Foundation is a combination of the Eli & Edythe Broad Foundation, created in 1967, 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 foundation seeks “to advance entrepreneurship for the public good in education, science and the arts” and “invests in the people, programs and institutions that are improving the human mind, body and spirit.” It prioritizes education, science and medical research, and the arts.

While the Broad Foundation’s Education initiative prioritizes K-12 public schools, its science research program supports STEM higher education grantseekers. The foundation’s funding priorities under this program include: Genomic medical research, stem cells, cardiology, inflammatory bowel diseases, and Asperger’s syndrome. The foundation conducts genomics funding 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 primarily invests in research centers at USC, UCLA, and the University of California, San Francisco. The Broads founded two of these centers, and their support goes to facilities, equipment, and faculty directed to turn the study of stem cells into therapies for major 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.

The foundation also prioritizes curing and treating inflammatory bowel diseases such as Crohn's and ulcerative colitis. 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.

Finally, the Broad Foundation established the country’s first research facility devoted to Asperger’s in 2007. The Broad Center for Asperger’s Research is part of the Gevirtz Graduate School of Education’s Koegel Autism Center at the University of California, Santa Barbara and seeks “treatments for children and adults with this autism spectrum disorder.”

Like many funders of its size, Broad often generously supports high-profile projects and does not have a clear application process for grantseekers. The foundation does not accept unsolicited proposals; however, its contact information can be found here.


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