We are interested in research that could affect a large number of people

We primarily support biomedical research but our interests are not limited to any particular field, disease, condition, or population. Instead, we seek to identify scientific research that has the potential for high impact and is under-supported by other funders. We are excited to support high-risk and unconventional science when the potential impact is sufficiently large.

We are broadly interested in research that may lead to improved understanding of topics related to human health. We are most interested in research that could affect a large number of people. We typically start by looking for metrics related to the number of lives affected (often starting with the World Health Organization’s Global Health Estimates and IHME’s Global Burden of Disease Study). We begin with landscaping exercises to identify important research topics that could have the greatest impact in a given area.

Once we understand the research gaps in these fields, we assess which gaps are underfunded and seem most amenable to progress if funded. Often as part of this process, we will attend scientific conferences and interview scientists as advisors, peer reviewers, or potential grantees.

Some aspects of the following topics are currently of particular interest: broad spectrum antiviral drugs, vaccine development, basic immunology, some aspects of cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer’s disease, predicting mouse to human translation, control of inflammation, epigenetics, novel scientific tools and methods, malaria, and research on how biomedical research may be improved. 

The following Open Philanthropy staff oversee the Scientific Research program.

Open calls for proposals

We are open to receiving unsolicited short pre-proposals at [email protected]. We try to consider all proposals but are unable to respond in most cases.

Scientific Research, at a glance

  • 5 Portfolio

  • 127 Grants

  • $236.0 Million

Sample Grants

Research & Updates