Allen Distinguished Investigators
"I've always been drawn to the big open questions of science. But the pioneering scientists working to answer them can't promise quick discoveries and often find it difficult to get funding from traditional sources. For us to make progress, we must take risks and invest now in this early-stage, cutting-edge research. Backing these scientists is essential to achieving world-changing breakthroughs."
– Paul G. Allen
The Paul G. Allen Family Foundation is always looking for new ways to foster innovation and increase knowledge – but we know we can't do either by playing it safe. That's why in 2010, we created the Allen Distinguished Investigators Awards, a grant program that supports high-risk, high-reward ideas in science.
As part of the program, we carefully select and support a handful of ambitious scientists who are pursuing early-stage, cutting-edge research. Our Investigators awards are rare funding sources for these types of projects, which typically don't receive support from traditional funders.
Our founders, Paul G. Allen and Jody Allen, believe in supporting investigators who are asking challenging questions, because that's what leads to major discovery. Our goal is to help researchers gain momentum as they set out to answer some of the most fundamental questions in science today.
The first round of Allen Distinguished Investigators Awards, announced in 2010, included seven pioneering projects in areas of data management and technology for life sciences. Click here for more information about the first cohort's work.
The second cohort of Investigators, named in 2013, will work on five projects that aim to unlock key questions in the areas of cellular decision making and modeling dynamic biological systems.
Explore the links below to learn more about what our newest Investigators hope to accomplish with their funding and how they became inspired to take on these projects.