Science & Research

West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission


West Virginia Research Trust Fund

Also known as Bucks for Brains, the Research Trust Fund is an endowment that allows Marshall University and West Virginia University to double private gifts that support expansions to research faculty and infrastructure in key areas linked to economic development, health care and job growth. This program supports research in energy, biotechnology, biomedical, identification technology, material science and engineering and environmental science. Private gifts are matched dollar-for-dollar.

The endowment was created by the West Virginia Legislature in 2008 with an investment of $50 million in surplus revenue.

While the endowed funds are established at WVU and MU, the state’s other public four-year higher education institutions and the School of Osteopathic Medicine are eligible to respond to specific requests for proposals for matching grants supported by  interest earned on the trust fund.

The Research Trust Fund is not to be confused with the Research Challenge Fund, which was established by the Legislature in 2002 and is funded by dedicated revenues from certain video lottery proceeds.

As of January 2013, both Marshall University and West Virginia University had achieved donations to match their Bucks for Brains allotment of $15 million and $35 million respectively.

Specific items related to the Research Trust Fund are linked below:

Research Trust Fund: A Good Investment for West Virginia

Requests for Proposals:

Reports to the Legislative Oversight Commission on Education Accountability (LOCEA):

‘Bucks for Brains’ in the recent news: