The Burroughs Wellcome Fund is an independent private foundation dedicated to advancing the biomedical sciences by supporting research and other scientific and educational activities. Within this broad mission, BWF has two primary goals:
- To help scientists early in their careers develop as independent investigators
- To advance fields in the basic biomedical sciences that are undervalued or in need of particular encouragement
BWF’s financial support is channeled primarily through competitive peer-reviewed award programs.
BWF makes grants primarily to degree-granting institutions on behalf of individual researchers, who must be nominated by their institutions. To complement these competitive award programs, BWF also makes grants to nonprofit organizations conducting activities intended to improve the general environment for science.
A Board of Directors comprising distinguished scientists and business leaders governs BWF. BWF was founded in 1955 as the corporate foundation of the pharmaceutical firm Burroughs Wellcome Co. In 1993, a generous gift from the Wellcome Trust in the United Kingdom, enabled BWF to become fully independent from the company, which was acquired by Glaxo in 1995. BWF has no affiliation with any corporation.