The John Merck Fund makes grants in four program areas: Developmental Disabilities, Clean Energy, Health and the Environment and Regional Food Systems. Grants are generally limited to the United States, with some rare exceptions.

The John Merck Fund actively seeks out projects and programs that may merit support, and then requests grant applications from those it finds most promising. It does not encourage the submission of unsolicited proposals. However, organizations interested in obtaining support for projects that fall within one of JMF’s program areas may use the form below to submit a letter of inquiry. We will contact you to submit a full grant application if your inquiry fits within our strategic vision.

The Fund favors:

  • Outstanding individuals working on promising projects in organizations that may have difficulty attracting funds;
  • Pilot projects with potential for widespread application;
  • Advocacy or litigation capable of setting or protecting important precedents;
  • Smaller organizations and startups;
  • One-year grant requests (though multiyear grants of up to three years occasionally are made); and
  • Matching-grant opportunities, particularly to help broaden support for fledgling initiatives.

Click here to learn about the Developmental Disabilities Translational Research Program.

The Fund DOES NOT provide grants for:

  • Endowment or capital-fund projects;
  • Large organizations with well-established funding sources, unless they are launching new initiatives with limited funding opportunities;
  • General support, except for very small organizations;
  • Individuals, unless their work is supported by a scientific, educational or charitable organization; and
  • Artistic projects.

For current JMF grantees, a grant report form is available here.

Inquire about Support

  • Please type or paste your inquiry letter below, limiting its length to not more than 3000 characters