2022 marks the 50th anniversary of the Connaught Fund, the largest internal research funding program in Canada with an endowment worth over $147 million. The Fund supports high-calibre research that seeks to meet the challenges facing our global society. Since its inception, more than $178.7 million has been awarded to University of Toronto researchers.
The origins of the fund trace back to the Connaught Medical Research Laboratories. Established in 1914, the Connaught Labs produced the diphtheria antitoxin and was instrumental in the discovery of insulin. In 1921, University of Toronto researchers discovered insulin, for which they would be awarded the Nobel Prize two years later. The lab expanded and began producing insulin as well as other vaccines and antitoxins.
In 1972, U of T sold the Connaught Labs for $29 million. The proceeds from the sale were used to endow the Connaught Fund, thereby continuing a legacy of research and innovation.
Today, the Connaught Fund has grown to offer ten funding programs available to a broad range of researchers, from graduate students and early-career researchers to interdisciplinary teams and entrepreneurs. The programs support global challenges, community partnerships, dedicated funding streams for PhD students and Black and Indigenous researchers, U of T-led startup companies, and more.
Learn more about the legacy, history, and leadership of the Connaught Fund.