Investing in Young Scientific Talent: How (and Why) Rita Allen Foundation Does It
Few foundations provide most of their annual giving to individuals. The bias of most funders in favor of organizational grantees reflects a simple assumption. Organizations involve more people, and from a strategic standpoint, seem to offer more influence and credibility. And organizations, arguably, are more likely to have the capacity to disseminate and publicize the results that derive from their project grants.
But when it comes to scientific innovation, individuals, not organizations, are paramount, according to the Princeton, New Jersey-based Rita Allen Foundation. The 40-year old philanthropy, which gave away $6 million in a recent year, still focuses much of its giving on young scientists of exceptional talent and promise in the field of biomedical research—investigators looking for breakthroughs to the world’s most persistent health challenges, from finding a cure for cancer to improving drug treatments for schizophrenia and Parkinson’s. . .