Our Approach

Changing how the world does science

To tackle the mysteries of bioscience, we seek creative scientists, engineers, and theorists with the vision, capability, and passion to ask and answer foundational scientific questions. We are searching for new solutions, new theories and new approaches that will accelerate breakthroughs and make an impact on human health.

Landscape perspective

To find ideas truly on the frontier – with potential for the greatest impact – we embrace the spirit of exploration. We seek out both established leaders and rising stars in bioscience, gathering diverse perspectives, and looking for gaps and opportunities. Our holistic viewpoint enables us to think creatively, find surprise connections between fields, and support new directions overlooked by more traditional or mission-driven funding sources. Our unique approach means that we engage multi-disciplinary teams, in research that ranges from evolution to aging, Alzheimer’s to lymphoma, cellular biophysics to systems modeling. 

Explore the projects we’re supporting, starting with our Allen Distinguished Investigators.

Supporting new ideas

We commit to scientists who are breaking down walls with new approaches and technologies. The Allen Distinguished Investigator program provides three years of funding to individual researchers or small teams with groundbreaking ideas, allowing them to make major strides in their fields. The Allen Discovery Centers provide larger-scale, longer-term funding to coherent, leadership-driven teams, typically located at major research organizations and universities. We remain open to new mechanisms, such as collaborations with other science philanthropy organizations, to increase our impact.

Additionally, we periodically engage in larger, collaborative initiatives, such as the American Heart Association-Allen Initiative in Brain Health and Cognitive Impairment, providing a catalyst to finding the root causes of disease and ultimately treatments and cures. 

Learn more about these and other support mechanisms under Programs.

Building Connections

Providing forums for new ideas and building connections between scientists is a powerful force for innovation and new insight. Often, ideas in one area of bioscience can spark new approaches in a separate area. We encourage creative thinking across disciplines, and our ongoing events and workshops with scientists, visionaries and innovators from around the world foster paradigm-shifting conversations and new collaborations in the pursuit of groundbreaking ideas.  

View our past events and register for upcoming events here.