National Academy of Sciences Receives $2.1 Million from Breakthrough Prize Foundation for Ongoing Support of Ukrainian-Led Scientific Research Projects

WASHINGTON – The Breakthrough Prize Foundation is providing the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) with up to $2.1 million in funding to support Ukrainian science and scientists, the NAS announced today. The Breakthrough Prize Foundation has been a leading contributor to efforts to support displaced Ukrainian scientists, while also funding broader initiatives to coordinate the global science community in support of Ukrainian researchers. The new funding – which brings the Foundation’s total contribution to over $6 million since the war began – has been established as a challenge grant to encourage additional philanthropic support and will help cover the costs of several Ukrainian-led research projects in a recently announced long-term grant program.

The support comes at a critical time for Ukrainian science, when funds are scarce, many researchers are displaced, and those still in Ukraine often face great difficulties in doing their work and connecting with their international colleagues.

“The Breakthrough Prize Foundation is pleased to continue supporting the NAS in this crucial work,” said S. Pete Worden, executive chairman of the Breakthrough Prize Foundation. “The international science community has a responsibility to support displaced Ukrainian scientists to keep thinking, experimenting, and contributing to global knowledge.”

“As the war in Ukraine continues, funding Ukrainian researchers so that they can continue their work is central for any long-term sustainable science and innovation system,” said National Academy of Sciences President Marcia McNutt. “We are grateful for the Breakthrough Prize Foundation’s ongoing support of our initiatives to help Ukrainian science survive and thrive, and for catalyzing international support for these efforts.”

The new funding is the latest commitment from the Foundation in its partnership with the NAS. Shortly after the war began, it provided $1 million to the NAS’ Scientists and Engineers in Exile and Displaced (SEED) initiative, which, in partnership with the Polish Academy of Sciences, helped to provide short-term grants to Ukrainian researchers who were forced to temporarily relocate during the war. In addition, in October 2022, the Foundation pledged $3 million to support a high-level, international coordinating group of scientific organizations that was formed to identify concrete actions to support and rebuild a successful global science and innovation system in Ukraine.

The Breakthrough Prize Foundation is a charitable foundation founded by science philanthropist and technology investor Yuri Milner and his wife Julia, dedicated to advancing fundamental knowledge, celebrating scientific achievement, and utilizing scientific and technological innovations to improve people’s lives and inspire future generations. The Foundation’s programs include the Breakthrough Prize, which recognizes the world’s top scientists in the fields of Life Sciences, Fundamental Physics, and Mathematics; the Breakthrough Junior Challenge, an annual global video competition for students to inspire creative scientific thinking; and the Breakthrough Initiatives, a suite of science programs investigating the fundamental questions of life in the universe. Most recently, other philanthropic activities of Julia and Yuri Milner have included humanitarian efforts both in connection with the COVID-19 pandemic and the Ukrainian refugee crisis. The Breakthrough Prize Foundation funds Tech for Refugees, which supports leading tech organizations to use their networks, services, and expertise to make a difference in the lives of refugees, primarily from Ukraine.

The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit institution that was established under a congressional charter signed by President Abraham Lincoln in 1863. It recognizes achievement in science by election to membership, and – with the National Academy of Engineering and the National Academy of Medicine – provides science, technology, and health policy advice to the federal government and other organizations.


Molly Galvin, Director of Executive Communications
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