In DepthCOVID-19

Charities that fund research face deep revenue declines

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Science  26 Jun 2020:
Vol. 368, Issue 6498, pp. 1412
DOI: 10.1126/science.368.6498.1412


Early this year, cancer researcher Patricia Ernst was thrilled when her postdoc Therese Vu won a grant from the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. The funding would allow the scientists to launch studies using a unique technique to generate malignant leukemia from immature blood cells, which Ernst, who works at the University of Colorado, Denver, had been eager to try for more than 10 years. Then, last month, the pair got bad news: The philanthropy canceled the grant, citing "unprecedented" revenue losses caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Many researchers are having similar experiences. Funders of biomedical research are reporting record revenue drops because of the pandemic. One major factor: It has forced them to cancel key fundraising events, including galas, walks, and Broadway partnerships. Many groups are trying to stem the losses and altering grantmaking plans. The chaos imperils a small, but pivotal, part of the ecosystem for translational science—and the junior staffers who are essential to it.

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