Download this page as a PDF
Summary:
Genentech and Genentech Foundation’s 2022 Health Equity and Diversity in STEM Innovation Fund will award over $12M in grant funding.
The Innovation Fund is a biennial, competitive process focused on funding organizations and initiatives led by people of color.
Since 2019, the Innovation Fund has received 443 applicants and awarded 61 grants. Genentech has invested $21M. In 2020, 70% of Innovation Fund program teams were led by people of color.
To learn more about how Genentech’s Health Equity & Diversity in STEM Innovation Fund is tackling long standing inequities in both our healthcare and education systems, read the editorial, “Health Inequities Are The Symptoms, Racism Is The Disease”.
Decades of research in the sociology of medicine, social epidemiology, and other fields illuminate the root cause of health inequities. These unjust and avoidable differences in health and well-being are driven by forces of oppression—not by biology or individual behavior, and cannot be explained away by socioeconomic status.1 Racism shapes access to the building blocks of health and well-being—such as economic opportunity, safe neighborhoods, and high-quality health care services—directly influencing the ability of communities of color to attain and maintain optimal health.2 Additionally, racism concentrates health-harming conditions—such as exposure to pollutants and toxins and poor housing quality—in communities of color and can even “get under our skin” by raising pre-clinical disease indicators3 and altering the way genes are expressed.4 Racism in health care shows up in many forms, including but not limited to: distorted clinical algorithms (anchored to false beliefs about biological race) that risk poor clinical quality for people of color5; beliefs about the suitability of people of color to participate in cancer clinical trials and subsequent withholding of trial opportunities6; and a “two-tier” healthcare system starkly along the line of race, resulting in poorer quality of care for people of color.
In addition, a science and medical community that can recognize and respond to these forces and reflect the rich racial and ethnic diversity of this country is critical to enable empathetic and high-quality care. Diversity in the science and medical workforce is linked to greater access to care for communities of color, innovations, and improvements in patient experience and health outcomes. However, systemic and structural racism create barriers to access of quality medical and science education and training, resources, mentorship and sponsorship, and pathways to leadership for communities of color, in particular for Black, Latinx/Hispanic, Indigenous and Pacific Islander/Hawaii Native communities. As a result, the scientific and medical workforce does not adequately reflect the diversity of the patients it seeks to serve and millions of qualified candidates and untold contributions to the fields of science and medicine are left behind.
In 2019, Genentech and the Genentech Foundation established the Innovation Fund to catalyze novel solutions to improve equity in clinical research, health care delivery, and the science and health care workforce. It is one mechanism for advancing Genentech’s ambitious Diversity & Inclusion goals and its commitment to transforming society, by addressing the critical challenges that impact our industry’s ability to innovate on behalf of patients.
The Health Equity and Diversity in STEM Innovation Fund invites proposals to support major priorities:
Successful proposals will align with one of the sub-aims outlined below.
Aim 1: Advancing Health Equity: Genentech is accepting initial applications from prospective partners aimed at pioneering new approaches to engage patients of color across the research to care continuum. We are seeking proposals that elevate patient and community voice, power and engagement in clinical research; build and strengthen accountability mechanisms to eliminate unequal treatment and inequities in care; and expand the reach of health care through community-clinic partnerships.
Specifically, Genentech will consider proposals that advance the following sub-aims:
Strong proposals will align with the following high-level outcomes:
Aim 2: Promoting Diversity in STEM: Genentech is accepting initial applications from prospective partners working to build a more diverse and inclusive future of health care and science. We are seeking proposals that address structural and systemic inequity in health care and science careers, and partner with organizations that support the training, recruitment, retainment, and advancement of students and researchers from communities of color. We partner to equip students with financial and nonfinancial support, connect young professionals with mentors, and prepare early career researchers and health care professionals to become leaders in science and medicine.
Specifically, Genentech will consider proposals that advance the following sub-aims:
Please note that while Genentech recognizes the critical importance of investments in K-12 programming and has current programs in this space, this particular Fund will not consider programs for efforts in K-12.
Strong proposals will align with the following high-level outcomes:
Aim 3: Promoting Diversity in Undergraduate STEM Pathways (Genentech Foundation): The Genentech Foundation is accepting initial applications from prospective partners working to build a more diverse and inclusive future of health care and science. We are seeking proposals that address structural and systemic inequity, with a particular focus on streamlining pathways for diverse community college students to pursue science and medicine careers, including transfer to four-year colleges and universities and pursuit of graduate education.
Specifically, the Genentech Foundation will consider proposals that advance the following sub-aim:
For this Aim specifically, the following factors will be taken into consideration to demonstrate that the proposed program is operating in a region with a high level of need:
Strong proposals will align with the following high-level outcomes:
Note: In general, the Foundation supports interventions at three levels: Individual (scholarship, direct student support), Institutional (changes to make colleges and universities easier to access and navigate for students such as new programs or curriculum), and Systems-level (solutions that can influence the experience of students across institutions such as a policy change to allow community college students to offer bachelors’ degrees). For the Innovation Fund, we are only looking at institutional-level interventions. This funding is to be used to provide a one-time grant that enables organizations to greatly expand their reach and/or innovate around new models of support. It is not intended to provide direct student support.
Please note that while Genentech recognizes the critical importance of investments in K-12 programming and has current programs in this space, this particular Fund will not consider programs for efforts in K-12.
This year, Genentech is bringing together a set of internal advisors to support Aims 1 and 2 of the Innovation Fund RFP. The Internal Advisory Group:

Rajni Dronamraju
Senior Director, Charitable Giving

Cyrus Khojasteh Ph.D
Senior Director and Senior Principal Scientist

Bea Lavery
Vice President, Regulatory Affairs

Rhona O’Leary Ph.D
Senior Vice President, Global Head of Portfolio and Product Development Strategy

Joy Russell
Vice President, External Affairs

Veronica Sandoval Ph.D., J.D.
Principal, Patient Inclusion & Health Equity

Dana Spencer
Senior Director, Therapeutic Area & Business Training

Nikheel Kolatkar
Vice President, US Medical Affairs

Gerren Wilson Pharm.D.
Lifecycle Leader, Global Product Strategy
Types of Grants: 
The Genentech Innovation Fund invests in bold ideas and the people who power them. These grants support individuals, organizations, and communities coming together to address inequity. Grants can be used to develop and test novel ideas or tools, implement demonstration projects, resource collaboration and partnership, and support research that goes beyond “studying the problem.” 
For Aims 1 and 2, we invite grant applications ranging from $250K to $750K over the course of 18 to 36 months. For Aim 3, we invite grant applications ranging from $150K to $300K over the course of 12 to 36 months. The award period for this RFP begins on or after January 1, 2023. Payments will be provided by the end of December of 2022. Grants cannot be self-renewing.  
All grant recipients will be invited to participate in the Innovation Fund Learning Cohort throughout the duration of the grant. The Innovation Fund Learning Cohort meets quarterly to discuss and share real-time lessons learned and insights from their individual projects or programs. The goal of convening Innovation Fund grantees is to build community and connection with equity-oriented leaders, share lessons learned and emerging insights, source and scale bold ideas and solutions, provide access to capacity building and support, and contribute to fieldwide learning. 
Evaluation Criteria:
Responses to this Request for Proposals (RFP) will be evaluated by Genentech (Giving team staff, Genentech Foundation Board members, Innovation Fund Advisory Group and technical experts), and a subset of organizations will be invited to submit full applications. Examples of past efforts and impacts can be found here. Each proposal will be evaluated by Genentech using the criteria outlined below. 
In addition, Genentech reviewers will consider the following dimensions:
Restrictions: Applicants must be recognized by the IRS as a tax exempt, public charity under sections 501(c)(3) and 501(c)(6) of the Internal Revenue Code or be a U.S. governmental organization (such as public schools, public colleges and universities, public hospitals, and federally recognized Indian tribal governments). 
In order to be eligible for this type of funding, the funding must not be used for: 
For additional requirements/restrictions, please visit funding.gene.com
For FAQs regarding the application process, please refer to this document and a recording on YouTube of the May 4 FAQ webinar. Please note that all application questions will need to be prepared prior to submission, as the online grants system does not allow users to save draft responses to the application. Application questions for Aims 1 and 2 can be found here. And questions for Aim 3, here.
Please click here to view application questions for Aims 1 and 2
Please click here to view application questions for Aim 3
*Please note that our Funding Request System works best in Chrome and Safari
Founded more than 40 years ago, Genentech is a leading biotechnology company that discovers, develops, manufactures and commercializes medicines to treat patients with serious and life-threatening medical conditions. The company, a member of the Roche Group, has headquarters in South San Francisco, California. For additional information about the company, please visit http://www.gene.com.
Guided by the vision of a future where health and prosperity are accessible to all, the Genentech Foundation works to unlock access to educational and career pathways in life sciences and medicine. The U.S.-based, private charitable foundation was established in 2002 by Genentech. For additional information, please visit https://www.gene.com/good/giving/genentech-foundation.
REFERENCES
1Williams, David R., et al. “Racism and Health: Evidence and Needed Research.” Annual Review of Public Health, vol. 40, no. 1, Apr. 2019, pp. 105–25; Hayes-Greene, Deena, and Bayard P. Love. The Groundwater Approach: Building a Practical Understanding of Structural Racism. The Racial Equity Institute. 2018.
2Williams, David R., et al. (2019).
3Bailey, Zinzi D., et al. “Structural Racism and Health Inequities in the USA: Evidence and Interventions.” The Lancet, vol. 389, no. 10077, Apr. 2017, pp. 1453–63
4Roberts, Dorothy. Fatal Invention: How Science, Politics, and Big Business Re-Create Race in the Twenty-First Century. New Press, 2011.
5Vyas, Darshali A., et al. “Hidden in Plain Sight — Reconsidering the Use of Race Correction in Clinical Algorithms.” New England Journal of Medicine, vol. 383, no. 9, Aug. 2020, pp. 874–82.
6Niranjan, Soumya J., et al. “Bias and Stereotyping among Research and Clinical Professionals: Perspectives on Minority Recruitment for Oncology Clinical Trials.” Cancer, vol. 126, no. 9, 2020, pp. 1958–68.
7Yearby, Ruqaiijah, et al. “Structural Racism In Historical And Modern US Health Care Policy.” Health Affairs, vol. 41, no. 2, Feb. 2022, pp. 187–94.
8Zea Malawa, MD, MPH, Racism as a Root Cause Approach: A New Framework, American Academy of Pediatrics, January 2021.  

source