Recent Foundation Grants

Lilly Endowment

The Lilly Endowment is funding the publication of the final three volumes of The Papers of Howard Washington Thurman, the documentary record of Thurman’s towering career as a preacher, theologian, philosopher, and civil rights leader. From 1953 to 1965, Dr. Thurman (1899–1981) was the Dean of Chapel and professor at Boston University’s School of Theology, and since 1992, the Howard Thurman Papers Project has dedicated itself to making Thurman’s legacy accessible to the widest possible audience, with the Lilly Endowment’s support. Senior Editor Walter Earl Fluker is the Martin Luther King, Jr. Professor of Ethical Leadership at Boston University.

Forthcoming publications from this project include Volume 3: The Bold Adventure, 1944–1952, documenting Thurman’s founding, and leadership, of the Fellowship Church for All Peoples in San Francisco, California—the nation’s first major interracial, interfaith church, and Volume 4: The Boston Years, 1952–1962, covering Thurman’s tenure at Boston University, where he became the first African American Dean of Chapel at a majority-white college or university in the United States.

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

The Gates Foundation Grand Challenges Explorations program has seeded a number of projects at Boston University with $100,000 grants. Most recently, the program funded:

  • The Pamoja Together Project, a BU College of Communication-Center for Global Health and Development collaboration to build in-country capacity in Kenya for crisis and aid reporting.
  • A project to design a next-generation condom, led by School of Medicine Professor of Radiology Ducksoo Kim and third-year radiology resident Karen Buch. The researchers will design and fabricate a durable male condom with a super-hydrophilic nanoparticle coating to better protect against breakage and thereby transmission of infection.

Andrew W. Mellon Foundation

The Mellon Foundation has awarded the College of Arts & Sciences a $175,000 grant to mount a year-long seminar devoted to rewriting 20th Century history, as part of the foundation’s John E. Sawyer Seminars on the Comparative Study of Cultures program. The 2014-15 BU seminar Teaching the 20th Century to 21st Century Students will be directed by History professors Jonathan R. Zatlin, Bruce J. Schulman, Andrew J. Bacevich, and Brooke L. Blower.

Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation

The Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation has pledged over $1 million to support the VetChange project at the Boston University School of Public Health. VetChange is a web-based application that brings post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) therapy to the soldier. The program completed a successful year-long pilot study in 2012 and is looking to release a revised version of VetChange that can be offered to veterans for widespread free use.

VetChange is a collaboration between the Boston University Schools of Medicine and Public Health and the VA Boston Healthcare System. The principal investigator is David Rosenbloom, professor of Health Policy & Management at the School of Public Health.

Burroughs Wellcome Fund

Through an Institutional Program Unifying Population and Laboratory Based Sciences Award, the Burroughs Wellcome Fund has committed $2.5 million over six years for the Boston University Transformative Training Program in Addiction Science (TTPAS) program.

Boston University is ranked among the top three in the nation in the impact of its substance abuse research, and TTPAS leverages that strength by prepares doctoral students to apply diverse, multiscale approaches to addiction research using tools from bench science, medicine, population studies, statistics, computational biology, and human behavioral neuroscience. TTPAS program’s faculty members, all leaders in this large and important research portfolio, come from the Schools of Medicine (MED), Public Health (SPH) and Social Work (SSW) in addition to the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS).

Elsa U. Pardee Foundation

The Elsa U. Pardee Foundation is supporting Mikel Garcia-Marcos, assistant professor in the Department of Biochemistry at the Boston University School of Medicine, in his research into the use of a novel G protein activator for cancer therapeutics. The foundation distributes about $4 million each year to support cancer research and cancer care.

McKesson Foundation

Radhika Chigurupati, Associate Professor and Director of Research at the Boston University Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine, received a major grant from the McKesson Foundation for her work evaluating a novel mobile health (mHealth) application to support the screening, referral, and clinical care of patients with oral cancer in rural south India, the ONCOGRID study. The goal of the study is to determine if mHealth support can improve diagnosis of early stage oral cancer and pre-cancer lesions and provide access to earlier treatment. The grant is part of the foundation’s Mobilizing for Health program.

Open Society Foundations

The New England Center for Investigative Reporting (NECIR) received a grant from the Open Society Foundations for its Business Model Mentoring program. NECIR is a nonprofit investigative reporting newsroom based at Boston University and at the studios of WGBH News that seeks to ensure the survival of serious, in-depth investigative journalism in New England and to train a new generation of investigative reporters.

John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation

The MacArthur Foundation is supporting an effort to improve the understanding of water and fisheries resource use in the Tonlé Sap region of Cambodia, led by Professor of Biology Les Kaufman in collaboration with Conservation International and local universities and state agencies. The goal of the project is developing a new modeling platform to enable planners and policy makers to predict the ecological consequences of various policy options before them.

The Tonlé Sap is the largest freshwater lake in South East Asia and is an ecological hot spot that was designated as a UNESCO biosphere in 1997. The Tonlé Sap is unusual for two reasons: its flow changes direction twice a year, and the portion that forms the lake expands and shrinks dramatically with the seasons. From November to May, Cambodia’s dry season, the Tonlé Sap drains into the Mekong River at Phnom Penh. However, when the year’s heavy rains begin in June, the Tonlé Sap backs up to form an enormous lake.

Sunshine Lady Foundation

The Sunshine Lady Foundation is supporting the Boston Senior Oral Health Program (BSHOP). BSOHP was established to improve the oral and general health of Boston public housing seniors by increasing their access to preventive and restorative dental care. The program’s co-principal investigators are Drs. Deborah J. Bowen (Boston University School of Public Health) and Michelle Henshaw (Boston University Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine).

John Templeton Foundation

The Templeton Foundation awarded Professor of Theology and Religion Wesley J. Wildman a two-year grant to develop instruments and protocols for quantifying phenomenological aspects of religious and spiritual experiences (RSEs). The resulting tools will break new ground in the study of RSEs through cognitive and social science, making it possible to link subjective reports to neurologically intelligible, phenomenologically driven typologies that can make sense of cross-cultural data.