The 2020 application for the Kuno Award for Applied Science is now open until September 30th (extended from August 31st). Apply here!


S&R Foundation’s Kuno Award for Applied Science for the Social Good is a biennial award designed to support women social innovators using scientific research and principles to address a 21st Century problem. The award supports the translation of scientific research to a practical, real-world solution for those aiming to achieve broad social impact. 

The Kuno awardee is provided with $100,000 in funding. Indirect costs up to 10% are included in the $100,000 award amount.

Award recipients are visionaries with deep domain expertise in fields relating to the specific 21st century challenges addressed by their project. Potential project outcomes can vary greatly from a deveopling a new teaching model to hosting a conference to deveoping a new tool for your field. 


As part of S&R Foundation’s mission to support talented individuals with great potential and high aspirations in the arts, sciences and social entrepreneurship, especially those furthering international cultural collaboration, S&R Foundation provides intervention and support to social entrepreneurs early in their formation. This may be through investment or grant funding. 



1)    Applicant must be at early or mid-career. Post-Doc, Assistant Professor or Associate Professor and possess a PhD and/or MD in a relevant field.

2)    Project must be the original idea of the applicant or the applicant’s team.

3)    Project must be in an early phase. To be considered, the project may be in the planning phase, or may have been in in progress for no more than two years. The project may not be already funded from an external source.

4)    Applicants must devote at least 10% effort to the project during the funded period.

5)    Projects led by two or more individuals (Co-Investigators or Co-Is) may apply. both Co-Is must meet all eligibility requirements and must each devote 10% effort to the project.

6)    Applicant must be associated with a college, university or other type of educational institution described in Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code and classified as a public charity under Section 509(a)(1).

7)    Applicant must commit to Project Timeline as stated here. 

November 1, 2020-October 31, 2021 – Year for the Project 
May 1, 2021 – Project Interim Report Due  
October 31, 2021 – Final Report Due
November 2021 – Final Report Presentation hosted by S&R Foundation – Date to be determined by S&R 

Note: Project can take the form of scientific research, technical development or deployment as a for-profit or non-profit activity. The core mission must be to create impact for the social good and consistent to S&R Foundation’s charitable purpose.

SELECTION PROCESS - Please note that the timeline for the Selection process has been updated to reflect changes due to the extension of the application period, but the original project year remains the same. 

May 22, 2020 -August 31, 2020: Application Period - APPLY HERE. Extended through September 30, 2020. 
October 1-October 23, 2020: Selection Committee Review
October 23, 2020: Finalist Informed
October 28, 2020: Finalist Deadline to Confirm Acceptance
November 1, 2020: Kuno Award Winner Announced
November 1, 2020: Project Year Begins
November TBD: Awards Ceremony contingent upon COVID-19 guidelines released by WHO, CDC, etc.

Awardees will be selected by an independent selection committee.


Prospective applicants could come from a vast field of backgrounds as long as they have compelling ideas and are dedicated leaders. Proposals will be judged on the basis of the expertise and potential of the applicant; the potential of the project to have scalable and sustainable impact and the creativity of the approach to applying scientific research and knowledge to the advancement of social good. 


The Kuno Applied Science for the Social Good Fellowship afforded an extraordinary opportunity to engage in a reflective, collaborative and strategic process focused on integrating the science of learning and development into the field of education.  Most educators receive only one course in child development throughout their teacher training, despite their powerful role in shaping the minds and brains of their students at a neurobiological life stage when learning is the most lasting.  The Fellowship marked a career turning point from traditional academic research and publication to translating the science of stress and resilience into concepts and language that educators can understand and apply to support all children – particularly our most vulnerable – in reaching their full human potential.  

Sheila Ohlsson Walker
Senior Scientist, Tufts University’s Institute for Applied Research in Youth Development
Visiting Assistant Professor, Johns Hopkins School of Education

The Kuno Award gave my research laboratory the opportunity to assemble a novel set of primary and secondary data aimed at understanding the roots of altruism from multiple levels, from cultural factors that promote or inhibit interpersonal helping behaviors like charitable donations and volunteering, to neural and cognitive processes that support altruism, to individual difference factors including personality and genetic variants. In conducting this work, a large number of junior researchers received advanced training in social neuroscience research methods, and the work that has resulted will promote a range of social goods related to why people help others around them. Already the work produced under this grant has been used to understand and promote prosocial health-relevant behaviors during the global pandemic, to develop more effective ways of recruiting living kidney donors, and has been presented to a wide range of non-profit, NGO, and governmental organizations aimed at promoting global health and well-being.

Abigail Marsh
Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience
Georgetown University
The Kuno Award provided the opportunity to arrange a meeting of internationally based physicians and scientists to discuss a timely, controversial topic about the role of telomere biology in the management of patients with lung transplantation. The award enabled creation of a space in a quiet setting for a dedicated and thoughtful exchange on this topic. The result was new understanding, new collaboration and a new way of approaching a difficult and challenging problem in medicine. The Social Good that came out of it will not only be for advancing health or solving a problem, but in advancing the spirit of collegial dialogue that took place across disciplinary lines.
Mary Armanios, MD
Professor of Oncology and Genetic Medicine Clinical Director, Telomere Center at Johns Hopkins
Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine