Programs & Structure

In support of these goals, the Institute will offer a number of programs, including:
  • Grants: FQXi directs Grants through a Donor Advised Fund (DAF) at the Silicon Valley Community Foundation. While the DAF administers the grantmaking program, FQXi advises the DAF on what grants to make. Funding will be provided as research grants to theorists and experimenters in support of personnel, equipment, travel, workshops, and experiments; some funding will also target projects that effectively disseminate information about foundational questions in physics and cosmology to laypeople. Proposals will be subject to a standard competitive process of expert peer review similar to that employed by national scientific funding agencies, and will target research unlikely to be otherwise funded by conventional sources.

  • Mini-Grants: A number of Mini-Grants will be available each year via a streamlined application process for travel, lecture programs, workshops, and other small projects initiated by FQXi Members (only).

  • Contests: The Institute will support essay and other contests, with a number of prizes awarded for a variety of subjects, with the purpose of identifying and supporting pioneering thinkers, and stimulating interesting and innovative thinking on foundational questions.

  • Conferences: Two or more international Conferences will be convened during the first four years, to connect the Membership, share results, and disseminate supported research to professionals and the public.


The Foundational Questions Institute (FQXi) is an international, diverse group of visionaries in physics, cosmology, and closely related fields, which seeks answers to foundational questions in these disciplines.

FQXi is a nonprofit organization that provides monetary, organizational, and intellectual support for the study of foundational questions in physics and cosmology, in accord with the FQXi Scientific Charter.

The Scientific Directorate provides the scientific leadership of FQXi; external reviewers make funding decisions; the Advisory Council provides scientific and programmatic oversight and counsel; the Institute receives legal and financial oversight from its Board of Directors; and grantmaking oversight is provided through a Donor Advised Fund.

The Institute's activities are enhanced by the active participation of its Members. Membership consists of all researchers funded by the Institute, as well as researchers who are recruited as Members twice a year through nominations by the current Membership.


Building on a generous seed grant from the John Templeton Foundation, the Institute is expanding its support structure to include other donors with a vision consistent with that of FQXi.  
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