establish their research careers. His expertise and vision were to become the major force in the foundation.
The Trust began distributing funds in 1984 to institutions that Mrs. Markey had supported during her lifetime. At the same time, the Trust began to plan a long-term strategy for its programs. In 1984, the Trust held a series of three “think tank” meetings with distinguished biomedical researchers in California, New York, and London. These sessions produced a number of recommendations, the most important of which was the idea of long-term financial support for postdoctoral fellows and young faculty members. In 1984 the Trust announced the creation of the Markey Scholars Awards in Biomedical Sciences, which became the Trust’s best-known program. The initial cohort of Markey Scholars was appointed in February 1985. In the fall of 1985, the initial Research Program Grants were awarded. Later, in 1988, the Trust began making what would later be classified as General Organizational Grants. Each of these award mechanisms is discussed in greater detail later.
In 1985, most Trust activity ceased because of complicated litigation involving the pricing of natural gas. The litigation involved the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, the California Public Service Commission, and a number of major oil and gas companies. The case was eventually settled in Texas courts. However, during the two years of court proceedings, the Trust funded no new research grants and was able to continue funding only for the Markey Scholars program and for a few small miscellaneous and related grants. During this hiatus, the Trustees continued to receive new grant proposals and conducted selected site visits. Moreover, the value of the Markey Estate and Trust grew substantially, benefiting from investment income as well as the continued oil and gas income. In the fall of 1987 the litigation was resolved, and the Trust resumed awarding Research Program Grants. During its 15-year lifetime, the Markey Trust gave a total of $507,151,000 to basic medical research and research training. Administrative and operational costs amounted to $29,087,000, or approximately 5 percent of the total Trust. A recent study by the Urban Institute indicates that foundations of similar size and scope have average operating and administrative expenses of about 8 percent (Boris, et. al, 2005). Additional expenses included $10,529,000 for direct investment costs and mineral depletion costs. The total value of the Trust was $549,520,000, which included $149,565,000 in investment income (Dickason and Neuhauser, 2000).