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Funding Biomedical Research Programs: Contributions of the Markey Trust
Convened a conference of Markey Scholars and Visiting Fellows in 2002;
Is assessing the Research Programs Grants, which provided funding to institutions to support the work of senior investigators;
Conducted a workshop to investigate methods used to evaluate funding of biomedical science by philanthropic donors; and
Will evaluate the program for Markey Scholars and Visiting Fellows, which supported young biomedical investigators in their early careers.
The Committee for the Evaluation of the Lucille P. Markey Charitable Trust Programs in Biomedical Science,1 with the assistance of the staff from the BHEW, is evaluating the three major components of the of the Trust’s philanthropy: (1) the General Organizational Grants, (2) the Markey Scholars and Fellows program, and (3) the Research Program Grants.
This report examines the Research Program Grants, which funded research centers or programs addressing fundamental questions in the biomedical sciences. The Trustees awarded 92 Research Program Grants ranging in size from $500,000 to $13 million for a total of $325 million. The awards were made to assist in the establishment, reorganization, or expansion of significant biomedical research centers or programs and to fund established leading investigators with major commitments to the life sciences. NRC staff obtained data and information from the Lucille P. Markey Charitable Trust Records archived at the Rockefeller Archive Center, examined Markey databases, solicited materials from grant recipients, and conducted site visits to a sample of grant recipients. The committee sought to understand whether the grants made to develop centers or programs resulted in program creation and development, program sustainability, research productivity, and faculty development, and positively integrated the funded program with the host institution. Unfortunately, the committee was not able to assess adequately the scientific quality or impact of the Research Program Grants on biomedical research or the impact of the program on the research centers and projects that it funded. This inability stems from one of the Research Program Grants’ strengths, its flexibility in not imposing stringent reporting requirements on grant recipients. As a consequence, information that would be useful
The Committee for the Evaluation of the Lucille P. Markey Program in Biomedical Sciences is the proper name of the NRC Committee that will assess the Markey Trust’s activities. Hereafter it will be referred to as the “Markey Committee” or the “Committee.”