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Captain Marion Eppley

Captain Eppley was a physical chemist, born in New Jersey in 1883. Studying at Princeton, he received his M.A. in 1912 and his Ph.D. in 1919.

The First World War cut off the US supply of standard cells from Germany that were needed for precise calibration of potentiometers and other electrical manufacturing instruments. At Princeton, Captain Eppley had begun experimentation in the manufacture of these cells and in 1917 launched the Eppley Laboratory in Newport, Rhode Island, to produce them.

In the course of his career, Captain Eppley worked to improve the efficiency and reliability of cadmium standard cells through research in theoretical aspects of electromotive force in Ostwald's dilution law, relating ionization of an electrolyte to its concentration, and in general theory of solutions. Under Captain Eppley's guidance, the Eppley Laboratory also entered the field of thermal radiation and today continues to be involved in both laboratory and solar measurement of radiation. Captain Eppley directed the Eppley Laboratory until the end of his life.

In 1947, Captain Eppley established The Eppley Foundation for Research. On his death in 1960, his will created the Eppley Charitable Trust, the income from which also goes to support the work of the Eppley Foundation.

Twice in the course of his career Marion Eppley's work was interrupted by service to his country. During the First World War he served as a lieutenant commander and he was recalled to duty in 1941 as a captain. He was with the Pacific Fleet until the conclusion of hostilities as personal representative of Chester W. Nimitz, Fleet Admiral, and he was awarded the Legion of Merit.

Today, through Captain Eppley's generosity and foresight, the Foundation is able to continue to contribute support and encouragement to new generations of scientists in their search for insight into the workings of the world, as was the Captain's wish.

Board of Directors

Rivington Winant, President 1960-2011

Joan O'Meara Winant, President
Amy Saar, Secretary
Timothy Seldes
John Winant, M.D.

Ingrid Eisenstadter, Director of Grants

Funding Priorities

The Eppley Foundation for Research was incorporated in 1947 for the purpose of "increasing knowledge in pure or applied science...in chemistry, physics and biology through study, research and publication."

Today the Foundation funds projects in medicine, life sciences and the physical sciences. Particular areas of interest include innovative medical investigations and applications, endangered animals and ecosystems, and climate change.

The Foundation does not support work in the social sciences, education or computer science, and only rarely funds research into diseases that have considerable financial support available, such as AIDS, diabetes, cancer and heart disease.

The Foundation does not fund work that can qualify for funding from conventional sources such as the National Science Foundation or the National Institutes of Health, or similar agencies at the state level. We consider the most effective use of our limited funds to be research-initiation grants, with the understanding that sufficient work can be performed to enable the investigator to apply for greater sums from federal or other sources.

It is important to the Foundation that the work proposed be novel in its insights and unlikely to be underway elsewhere. The Foundation is prepared to take risks.

How to Apply

Who may apply
The Eppley Foundation supports advanced scientific research by Ph.D.s or M.D.s with an established record of publication in their specialties. Candidates with newly awarded doctorates occasionally, but rarely, meet the Foundation's requirements for advanced research. Any applicant to the Foundation must be associated with a recognized educational or research institution with 501(c)3 status; a nonprofit organization. Funds are not issued directly to individuals.

Grants may be awarded for research in foreign countries but only when such applicants are US-based or associated with a US institution that will administer the grant on their behalf. The Foundation rarely considers proposals from foreign nationals studying in the US solely because they are therefore unable to qualify for federal funds.

Required documents

  • Candidates should fill out an application form to accompany their grant proposals.
  • Two letters of reference are required from scientists acquainted with the investigation and with the researcher in search of support.
  • The principal investigator should include a cv. If researchers in addition to the PI require support, the proposal should include a cv for each person.
  • Include a budget, as described below.

The proposal
Grant proposals are considered during board meetings in December and June of each year. Proposals should be received by October 15th or April 15th; submissions in advance of those deadlines are encouraged. Letters of inquiry can be sent at any time. There is no minimum or maximum length requirement for a grant proposal. The proposal is expected to be concise and incorporate a clear statement of significance, objectives, novelty, methods, expectations of success, and why the researcher believes the work cannot reasonably expect federal support, or support from other conventional funding sources. A true emergency may be considered outside this schedule; send an LOI, as in "Contact," below. Notification of a successful application usually follows within two weeks of board meetings.

Budgeting the Grant Request

The Eppley Foundation for Research is a small, family foundation that disburses up to $250,000 a year. Dozens of proposals compete annually for this modest sum.

The Foundation does not provide operating funds. The Foundation will fund a specific investigation in its entirety or a specified portion of a larger project. In the case of the latter, the Foundation requires assurance that all funds will be in hand at the time the research begins to ensure that the work proposed can be completed. When the Foundation is asked to fund the first year of a multiple-year investigation, all funds must be committed at the time of initiation in order to ensure that the work can be sustained until its completion.

An itemized budget should accompany all proposals, and a budget justification. The Foundation limits its contribution to overhead to 15 percent. Travel and fringe benefits do not qualify for overhead allocation.

The grant proposal may include requests for equipment, but the Foundation does not fund proposals that are primarily for equipment.

Reporting Requirements

The institution sponsoring a grant recipient should promptly acknowledge receipt of funds.

An interim report, which may be a letter, is required after half a year. A full report is required from grant recipients after one year. This report should follow precisely the sequence of events in the proposal, addressing each step or goal as discussed in the proposal.

Should the need arise for a change in experimental protocol, timetable or budget allocations, the Foundation should be notified. If the changes are substantial, please notify the Foundation in advance.

Please email to ingrid.e@earthlink.net a copy of any publication arising from work supported by The Eppley Foundation for Research.

Recent Past Grants

$10,000, Utah Valley University:
"Innovations in breast cancer research; Real-time tissue analysis" to reduce multiple surgeries due to cancer in the margins of tissues removed.

$13,900, Natural History Museum of Los Angeles:
"Evolution and Paleobiology of Primitive Birds" to study in China fossils of the Mesozoic bird, Confuciousornis sanctus, at the crossroads of dinosaur-to-bird evolution.

$15,000, Montana Conservation Science Institute:
"Population structure, migration and corridor design in mountain sheep," to better understand the life cycle of populations of endangered bighorn sheep.

$15,000, New York City Audubon:
"Toxins-uptake analysis of herring gulls in NY Harbor after Superstorm Sandy," to compare with pre-Sandy database of waterbirds as bioindicators in the polluted waters of this densely populated harbor.

$25,000, Boston University:
"Adaptive immune responses against Geomyces destructans and variation at the major histocompatibility complex in little brown myotis," concerning a highly contagious and deadly fungal infection that is quickly spreading among bat populations in the US.

$25,000, Bucknell University:
"Exploring links between mammalian biodiversity and disease ecology in South Sudan," for a survey in a country where little or no environmental research has taken place in decades due to internal violent conflicts.

$35,000, Fauna & Flora International:
"Biomonitoring research to strengthen environmental governance and sustainable protection of critically endangered Cross River gorillas in Western Cameroon," involving local nationals in an effort to protect the last 300 Cross River gorillas known to exist, and increase their population in time.


Send a printed copy of the proposal to the address below and an e-mail copy to Ingrid Eisenstadter at ingrid.e@earthlink.net. Send as a Word doc, not pdf, not docx.

Ingrid Eisenstadter
The Eppley Foundation for Research
Box 359
244 Madison Avenue
New York, N.Y. 10016

Letters of inquiry are welcome.

Email inquiries should be sent to Ingrid Eisenstadter at ingrid.e@earthlink.net