Programs & Funding

How does the Frontiers Group fund its ideas, investigators, and centers?

We use two primary funding mechanisms. The Allen Distinguished Investigators program provides three years of funding to individual researchers or small teams with groundbreaking ideas. The Allen Discovery Centers provide larger-scale, longer-term funding to coherent, leadership-driven teams, typically located at major research organizations and universities.

How does the Frontiers Group create and select projects to fund?

Our landscape perspective and continuous worldwide listening tour with the science, medical and engineering communities enable us to select the projects and proposals we believe will open new territory and make the greatest impact. We will continue to curate some programs and awards, and will also offer limited or open competitions for other programs and awards. New competitions will be widely publicized, beginning in 2016. We generally do not consider unsolicited proposals.

Our listening tour allows us to conduct in-person interactions with scientists and institutional leaders everywhere, our gatherings and events allow for connecting the dots and sparking new directions among practitioners, and competitions allow broader collective wisdom and radical ideas to be made visible. Each program and mechanism serves a useful purpose, and our efforts are integrated to provide us with the agility to remain at the frontier and bring new knowledge to humanity. We believe talent is everywhere, and will continue to seek it out wherever we may find it.

How can I learn about upcoming funding opportunities?

You can receive notice of future requests for proposals by signing up for our newsletter.

What kinds of research have been funded in the past?

Paul Allen has a proven track record of finding and funding the next big ideas in technology, business, and science, and the Frontiers Group is proud to build on that legacy. Prior research support from The Paul G. Allen Family Foundation for the Allen Distinguished Investigators has been eclectic and highly productive, even ground-breaking. For example, two separate Allen Distinguished Investigators, Ed Boyden and Svante Pääbo, were awarded prestigious 2015 Breakthrough Prizes–-“America’s Nobels”--for their pioneering work in optogenetics and the sequencing of ancient genomes, respectively. These prior Allen-funded investigators accounted for 50% of the Breakthrough Prizes awarded in that year.

Learn more about our past and current Allen Distinguished Investigators and Allen Discovery Centers

How can I contact The Paul G. Allen Frontiers Group?

You can contact The Paul G. Allen Frontiers Group via email at frontiers@alleninstitute.org.