The John Merck Fund

Based in Boston, Massachusetts, The John Merck Fund was established in 1970 by the late Serena Merck and is now in its third generation of family leadership. Starting in 2012, The John Merck Fund will spend all of its assets over the next ten years to spur progress in clean energy, environmental health, development of a New England regional food system, and treatment of developmental disabilities. The John Merck Fund will award its last grants in 2021 and close its doors in 2022.

imageThe Clean Energy Program

The Clean Energy Program promotes the development of a clean-energy economy in the six-state New England region. Specifically, the program will seek improved air quality and a ten-year, region-wide greenhouse-gas emissions reduction of 20 percent by supporting projects to boost energy efficiency, reduce use of coal and other fossil fuels, and expand New England's clean energy market.

The Environmental Health Program

The Environmental Health Program supports development and implementation of market signals and government policies that encourage a transition away from petroleum-based chemicals linked to preventable diseases.

imageThe Regional Food Systems Program

The Regional Food Systems Program helps strengthen innovation and entrepreneurship in New England's expanding market for regionally and sustainably grown food by funding initiatives to develop institutional demand and the regional supply network.

The Developmental Disabilities Program

The Developmental Disabilities Program, the Fund's original grantmaking area, is shifting its focus from basic research to clinical and translational research, with primary emphasis on children who have Fragile X or Down syndromes. The goal is to help these children and their families by encouraging research collaborations that bridge basic and clinical science, more rapid translation of findings into treatment settings, and promulgation of best clinical practices.

JMF News

Solar Power Proposed at Site of
Shuttered Coal Plant

JMF grantees were instrumental in the closure of the Mount Tom Coal plant, but they didn’t stop there. The owner of the facility just announced plans to replace the plant with a solar power facility.
Read more.

Study: New England Gas Pipelines Not Needed

A recent study commissioned by Mass. attorney general shows energy efficiency is a better alternative. Read more.

Pilgrim Nuclear Plant Will Shut Down

A former JMF employee chairs the Pilgrim Coalition, which successfully brought attention to the safety issues plaguing the nuclear facility. Read more.

JMF "Sparkplug" Gary Cohen Receives MacArthur "Genius" Grant

Health Care Without Harm co-founder Gary Cohen receives MacArthur award, click here for details.


JMF Trustee Receives $250,000 Heinz Award, April 2015

Dr. Frederica Perera wins the Heinz Award for the Environment, click here for details.

2015 Sparkplug Award Recipients

Click here to read about this year's "Sparkplugs," Andrew Falender and Jay Healy.

TRP Awards

To learn the recipients of our recent Translational Research Program awards, click here.

The Future of JMF

The John Merck Fund will spend out all its assets between 2012 and 2022.

To learn more about this decision, click here.