The Biogen Foundation supports access to science education and to essential human services for children and their families in the communities in which we work and live. The Biogen Foundation is deeply committed to sparking a passion for science and discovery, supporting effective science education initiatives and strengthening efforts to make science education and science careers accessible to diverse populations. Most of all, we want young people to know that through science they have the ability to change the world.
The Biogen Foundation’s grant-making programs focus on two core areas: science education and strengthening our communities. As a result, the Biogen Foundation is committed to supporting nonprofit organizations that focus on four areas: providing access to hands-on science education, teacher development in science, college readiness and support and basic social needs (child hunger, poverty and social mobility). The Biogen Foundation has both a U.S. Grants Program and international Grants Program and, in 2018, gave $4.85 million in community grants to a range of nonprofit organizations.
We deepened our commitment to science education in 2018 with two new innovative programs – the $10 million-funded STAR Initiative and the SPARK Video Contest. Committing $10 million over four years, the STAR Initiative is a coordinated funding strategy designed to help catalyze the development of local STEM ecosystems in Cambridge and Somerville, Massachusetts. STAR – which stands for Science, Teacher support, Access and Readiness – is intended to strengthen and support the educational landscapes in these cities by helping increase access to STEM resources and opportunities for middle and high school students most underrepresented in STEM college or career pathways.
The Biogen Foundation’s SPARK Video Contest is an annual program open to Massachusetts and North Carolina middle and high school students. The contest encourages students to create fun and creative educational videos on the role of biotechnology in their lives. With a focus on genetic mutations, 86 videos were submitted from 60 eligible schools in 2018. Twenty finalist videos were featured in our general, month-long public voting period from which six grand prize winning schools were selected. The winning schools each received $10,000 to help support STEM education efforts at their schools and the students from the winning teams each received a GoPro.
In addition to the grants the Biogen Foundation makes on its own behalf, it also matches Biogen employee gifts to nonprofit organizations, up to $25,000 per U.S. employee, per year. This matching grant program contributed $1.35 million in 2018 to organizations ranging from groups that fight disease to camps for children with serious illnesses to disaster relief efforts.
Read more about the STAR Initiative and SPARK Video Contest in our Spotlight Stories feature.
Learn more about the Biogen Foundation.