David Packard believed that the success of the Hewlett-Packard Company was built in great part on both the advances in technology coming out of university-based science and engineering programs and the idea that if you hire extraordinary people and give them the tools and resources they need, they may invent something that can change the world.
It is in this spirit that the Foundation supports the Packard Fellowships for Science and Engineering. The Fellowship program provides the nation’s most promising early career professors with five years of flexible funding that allows them to pursue exploratory science and engineering research. From its inception, the Fellows program has been an investment in future leaders. The Packard Fellows dare to think big, explore new frontiers in their fields, and follow uncharted paths that may lead to groundbreaking discoveries.
Every year, current Fellows gather to share their work and network with their colleagues. David attended every annual Packard Fellows meeting, from the first gathering of Fellows in 1988 until his passing in 1996. Meeting with the Fellows and watching them present their work and the advances in their fields wasn’t just a thrill for David, it also reinforced his belief that providing extraordinary people with the tools and resources they need can lead to long-lasting change.
Watch our profiles of three fellows—Michael Dickinson (1992), Erich Jarvis (2000), and Pardis Sabeti (2008)—that highlight the range of work the Packard Fellowship has supported over the years.
See photos from the 2014 annual Packard Fellows meeting.