"The thought that 90% of the asteroids that could hit Earth haven't been identified leaves me uncomfortable."

Medical and Scientific Project Grants

Suspension of Program as of December 2004

In 2003, the Kirsch Foundation announced the indefinite suspension of its grant program related to medical science research collaborations due to the Foundation's reduced assets. In December 2004, the Foundation completed its medical collaborations with researchers in the glaucoma and hair loss fields. Going forward, the Foundation will have a very limited medical research agenda focused on lobbying for therapeutic cloning and federal funding of stem cell research. The Foundation will not be making grants to researchers, or engaging in collaborative funding efforts.

In a related decision, the Foundation ended its lobbying and grantmaking efforts on Near Earth Objects (NEOs).

Our Point of View

Medical Science Research Program
We have practiced a proactive strategy for funding medical and scientific research that addresses basic issues critical to our mission through funding groups of researchers from different institutions with multi-year, collaborative consortium grants. Our goal has been to encourage researchers to bring a fresh outlook to a specific topic and to provide them with a financial incentive, and a common focus, for their work with others.

As a relatively new foundation, we wanted to facilitate innovative and new collaborations among superb investigators who came from diverse fields. We anticipated that they could and would bring their specific expertise to help solve an existing problem that had not been successfully addressed with traditional research efforts. These investigators had a demonstrated record of achieving results and a history or interest in collaborating to tackle the topic in an innovative way, bringing new talents to the group as needed. We have been very pleased with the outcomes of the research conducted with our assistance. The collaborative model has been proven successful and other foundations and research groups are mimicking our approach.

The Foundation honored its financial commitments to the two collaborations already underway when the decision to end medical research funding was mades:

To continue efforts to "cure all diseases," we will continue, on a more limited basis, our commitment to public policy lobbying efforts. We expect to remain focused on ensuring the legality of somatic cell nuclear transfer and the availability of adequate stem cell lines and funding from the Federal government for research related to stem cells.

If your organization, program or project needs funding for medical research or NEOs work, please see our "Other Funding Sources" page.

Near Earth Objects (NEOs) Grant Program
While Steve and Michele remain concerned about the potential harm from asteroids, and the Foundation will continue to monitor recent press, other issues have taken precedence over NEOs identification and tracking efforts. The Foundation will therefore not continue its recent lobbying activities, nor return to grantmaking for NEOs identification or tracking.

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Image of Comet Schwassmann-Wachmann 3. Observation and digital photo composition by James V. Scotti for the Spacewatch Project, Lunar and Planetary Laboratory, University of Arizona. Copyrighted by the Arizona Board of Regents and reproduced by permission. Photo courtesy of Arizona Board of Regents.

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Medical & Scientific Project Grants FAQs
Previous Medical and Scientific Project Grants Awarded