Merck is a large, United States-based, pharmaceutical company that offers a variety of grants through the Merck Company Foundation. The Foundation was established in 1957 to support programs in four areas: science education, increasing access to medicine in under-served populations, encouraging and supporting innovation in the pharmaceutical industry and assisting community programs that help improve people's quality of life, such as disaster relief. The Foundation offers several types of educational scholarships, grants and assistance to educators.
UNCF/Merck Science Initiative
Merck Foundation educational grants support a program called the UNCF/Merck Science Initiative, which is run in conjunction with the United Negro College Fund. This program offers 37 annual scholarships and fellowships to African-American students pursuing studies in biological and chemical sciences. The scholarships are awarded to undergraduates, graduates and post-doctoral candidates on the basis of achievement. The awards are granted following a national competition and provide training opportunities, extensive mentorship and financial support. The undergraduate scholarships include a paid internship at Merck Research Laboratories.
Alliance/Merck Ciencia Scholars Program
The Ciencia Scholars program is run in conjunction with the National Alliance for Hispanic Health and is supported by grants from the Merck Foundation. The program provides 50 Hispanic high school students from Brownsville, Texas; Elizabeth, New Jersey; and Los Angeles, California, with college scholarships worth $42,500. This includes $20,000 in tuition funds and up to $22,000 to work in a paid internship at Merck. All scholarship winners also receive a Merck mentor. Applicants must plan on majoring in a science or technology subject. The Ciencia programs also awards 125 $2,000 scholarships to Hispanic students living anywhere in the country. These national scholarships also come with access to a dedicated website that provides support and networking opportunities.
Merck Family Fund
The Merck Family Fund provides large-scale grants to educational organizations, non-governmental organizations and government bodies. These may be used to pay for providing education and educational opportunities. Money is available for work, including educational work, promoting environmental sustainability and for community transformation and empowerment. Interested organizations must begin by sending a two-page letter of inquiry describing the project, the project budget and the size of grant needed from Merck. The Fund will review the letters and, if the project is appropriate, invite the organization to write a full proposal for funding.
Merck Institute for Science Education
The Merck Foundation also provides funding and grant support to the Merck Institute for Science Education -- MISE. MISE runs two Resource Centers in New Jersey and Pennsylvania that offer a variety of resources to elementary and middle school teachers. Resources include books, journals, curriculum materials and videotapes. While MISE itself does not offer grants, teachers may apply for classroom assistance from MISE volunteers. This can include mentoring students in science subjects, free classroom visits, provision of materials and lessons and in-school astronomy programs with the use of a portable planetarium.