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The Robert A. Welch Foundation


Last Updated: 2016-05-29

At A Glance

The Robert A. Welch Foundation

5555 San Felipe St., Ste. 1900

Houston, TX United States 77056-2730


Type of Grantmaker

Independent foundation

Financial Data

(yr. ended 2014-08-31)

Assets: $699,916,142

Total giving: $29,117,084






Established in 1954 in TX as a private foundation - The Welch Foundation is a legacy to the world from Robert Alonzo Welch, self-made man with a strong sense of responsibility to humankind, an enthusiastic respect for chemistry and a deep love for his adopted state, Texas. Mr. Welch came to Houston as a youth and later made his fortune in oil and minerals. Over the course of his career and life, he became convinced of the importance of chemistry for the betterment of the world. He had a belief in science and the role it would play in the future. With his death in 1952, Mr. Welch left a generous portion of his estate to his employees and their families. The balance began what is now The Welch Foundation

Purpose and Activities

The general policy of the foundation is to support fundamental chemical research at colleges and universities within the state of Texas.

Program Area(s)

The grantmaker has identified the following area(s) of interest:

Departmental Grants

The purpose of the departmental grant is to support chemical research by members of the chemistry department faculty, and to also provide an opportunity for students to study chemistry in a less structured way. The grant is also designed to provide students with the tools they need to gain and develop an interest in pursuing a career in chemistry. This funding also ensures that students will have scholarships, lab equipment and chemicals and can travel to industry meetings and conferences. These grants are awarded to smaller and medium-sized educational institutions in Texas. Proposal submissions are by invitation only. See foundation's web site for guidelines.

Endowed Chairs

The purpose of an endowed chair is to provide a faculty position for an eminent scientist, thus further increasing the basic scientific research in chemistry and other sciences in Texas. To be considered for an endowed chair, a Texas educational institution must have a Ph.D. program in chemistry. Historically, the institution must be willing to match the endowment funds dollar for dollar. The foundation accepts grant requests throughout the grant year and the foundation has no required application form for an endowed chair proposal.

Grants to Individuals Program

Awards for basic chemistry research at educational institutions in TX. Research grants to support fundamental chemical research at universities, colleges or other educational institutions within the state of TX.

Norman Hackerman Award In Chemical Research

The award was established to recognize the accomplishments of chemical scientist in Texas who are in their early careers and to serve as an encouragement to those who are embarking on careers dedicated to increasing our fundamental understanding of chemistry. The award is intended for the personal benefit of the recipients and carries no requirement for future services as a condition of receiving it. See the foundation's web site for program guidelines.

Research Grant Program

Applications are restricted to universities, colleges, or other educational institutions located within the state of Texas. Research under a foundation grant should be conducted under the leadership of a principal investigator who is a full-time regular faculty member with tenure or is on tenure track. Applications for up to two years of support must be received by February 1 to be considered for the next grant year, June 1 - May 31. Only one proposal per year may be submitted by a principal investigator. See foundation web site for complete guidelines.

Robert A. Welch Award in Chemistry

The purpose of the award is to foster and encourage basic chemical research and to recognize, in a substantial manner, the value of chemical research contributions for the benefit of mankind. Any person can be considered for the award who has made important chemical research contributions which have had a significant, positive influence on mankind. The award is intended to recognize contributions that have not previously been rewarded in a similar manner. See foundation's web site for guidelines.

Robert A. Welch Foundation Conferences on Chemical Research

Initiated in 1957, the foundation hosts a conference that draws leading scientists from around the world to explore state-of-the-art research in various areas of chemistry. The foundation sponsors these annual conferences in order to support increased fundamental research in chemistry.

Welch Summer Scholar Program

The program, a hands-on summertime experience, was designed to give high school students a chance to learn more about research and to explore the many opportunities available to them. The program lasts for five weeks and immerses students, typically between their junior and senior years of high school, in the intellectual atmosphere of association and work with practicing in a real-life research project under the supervision of an experienced research chemist. The students who participate in the program are chosen on a competitive basis based on academic performance and recommendations. The students are evaluated by a selection committee made up of the program coordinators at each of the participating universities. The participating universities are The University of Texas at Austin, The University of Texas at Arlington, The University of Texas at Dallas, the University of Houston and Texas Tech University. For more information on this program, please contact: Dr. Keith J. Stevenson, Admin. The Welch Summer Scholar Program, The University of Texas at Austin, Dept. of Chemistry and Biochemistry, 1 University Station, A5300, Austin, TX 78712-0165, or via E-mail:

Fields of Interest

  • Biochemistry
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Physical and earth sciences
  • Science
Population Groups
  • Academics

Financial Data

Year ended 2014-08-31

Assets: $699,916,142 (market value)

Expenditures: $41,006,670

Total giving: $29,117,084

Qualifying distributions: $30,456,259