In 1988, the Packard Foundation established the Packard Fellowships for Science and Engineering to allow the nation’s most promising professors to pursue science and engineering research early in their careers with few funding restrictions and limited reporting requirements. The program arose out of David Packard’s commitment to strengthening university-based science and engineering programs in recognition that the success of the Hewlett-Packard Company, which he cofounded, derived in large measure from the research and development in university laboratories.
Packard Fellows are inquisitive, passionate scientists and engineers who take a creative approach to their research, dare to think big and follow new ideas wherever they lead.
Each year, the Foundation invites the presidents of 50 universities to nominate two early-career professors each from their institutions. An Advisory Panel of distinguished scientists and engineers carefully reviews the nominations and selects 18 Fellows to receive individual grants of $875,000, distributed over five years.
From unraveling the mysteries of aging, to studying emerging virus strains for rapid detection and prevention, to better understanding the physics of insect flight, research performed in university laboratories has the ability to profoundly impact our lives. Packard Fellows are encouraged to think big and look at complex issues with a fresh perspective. The Foundation has few paperwork requirements, and Fellows may use their funds in whatever way would best advance their research.