Scientific microscope.
These grants have supported scientific efforts since 1963. Photo: Pixabay.

The Hertz Foundation announces a $5 million grant

The grant is presented in honor of inventor and entrepreneur Dr. Nathan Myhrvold.


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The Fannie and John Hertz Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting leadership in science and technology, recently announced the creation of a new scholarship honoring Dr. Nathan Myhrvold, a Hertz member and one of the world's leading technology and business America's Most Visionaries

The million-dollar gift, made by an anonymous donor, further supports of the renowned Hertz Fellows program that funds the doctoral education of students in applied physical and biological sciences, mathematics or engineering.

Myhrvold stressed:

It is a rare and profound honor to see this new endowment for Hertz Fellowships launched. I am hoping that the Hertz Fellows whose education is funded by these fellowships will have even more illustrious careers than I’ve managed to have.

Successful career

Myhrvold, former Microsoft CTO and founder and CEO of Intellectual Ventures, is also recognized for having worked with renowned cosmologist Stephen Hawking on quantum theories of gravity.

As a Hertz fellow, Myhrvold earned his Ph.D. in theoretical and mathematical physics and his master's degree in mathematical economics from Princeton University. In addition, he earned master's degrees in geophysics and space physics, as well as a bachelor's degree in mathematics from UCLA. His postdoctoral work with Dr. Hawking was done at the University of Cambridge.

During his tenure at Microsoft, Myhrvold, who has more than 900 patents and numerous scientific publications in various fields, established Microsoft Research and oversaw many advanced technology projects.

Together with Bill Gates, he created Global Good, oversaw its groundbreaking inventions for global health and development, and launched the Institute for Disease Modeling, a world leader in computational epidemiology which transitioned to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in 2020.

He has also chased other notable intellectual and personal pursuits, in fields ranging from paleobiology, climate science, and astronomy, to nature and wildlife photography. He also became famous in culinary circles for his application of scientific research principles and techniques to create the award-winning Modernist Cuisine series of books.

About Hertz Fellowship 

The scholarship program, launched in 1963, focuses on supporting the search for creative solutions to the most pressing challenges, from improving national security, to empower human health, along with the moral commitment of each recipient to make their skills available to the United States in times of national emergency.

This fellowship provides recipients with the most flexibility of any such award, offering the opportunity to conduct research of their choice under faculty direction at any participating US research university.

The Foundation empowers the nation's most promising young science and technology innovators and disruptors, training them to become the future leaders who keep the country safe and secure.

“The great thing about the Hertz Foundation is the thoroughly proven, well-honed machine they have developed over decades to select outstanding graduate students. That process draws strength from the network effect of all the previous Hertz Fellows out there who assist in recommending students and helping them with their research. This new endowment doubles down on a winning bet on human ingenuity. In a world full of growing problems, that is one sure path to solutions,” highlighted Myhrvold.

The Hertz Fellowship experience goes beyond the initial award to include lifelong membership in a multi-generational community of thought peers that includes some of the nation's foremost scientific and technological leaders, offering a unique engine for professional development and collaboration throughout their careers.

“Nathan and his wife Rosemarie Havranek have been long-time supporters of the foundation’s mission, and it is our privilege to announce this new fellowship in his honor. Nathan’s career and many achievements exemplify the vision of Fannie and John Hertz and their embrace of the daring innovation that is required to keep our nation secure while building our leadership in science and technology,” said Robbee Baker Kosak, president of the Fannie and John Hertz Foundation.

Initial recipients of the Nathan P. Myhrvold Scholarship will be chosen from 2022 applicants and will be announced in May 2023.


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