The Searle Scholars Program was designed and created by the Searle family in 1980 to nurture creative talent in scientific research.
Since its inception, the program has been supported by the charitable lead trusts established under the wills of John G. and Francis C. Searle, which emphasize supporting research in medicine, chemistry and biological science.
The family selected The Chicago Community Trust as the organization to which it would make distributions from the Searle Family Trust to support the Searle Scholars Program. Approximately 15 percent of the funds come from the Searle Funds at The Chicago Community Trust.
The other 85 percent of the funds come from the annual grants recommended by Searle family representatives and approved by the trustees of the Searle family trusts. An awarded institution receives $300,000 over three years in research support for the Searle Scholar. The program is administered by Kinship Foundation, the private operating foundation that manages the institutional philanthropy of the Searle family.