Applications are accepted on a rolling basis. For 2019, at least one $1,000 grant is awarded every three months, for a total of four grants.
Application deadlines are below. Please keep these dates in mind when considering the timing of your project.
Additional grants may become available thanks to other sponsors. If so, they'll be awarded according to the same schedule.
Over $25,000 in grants have been provided by other generous sponsors. If you'd like to sponsor a grant, here's how it works:
Helium Grants support people exploring answers to hard questions at the edge of mainstream thinking, i.e. research or development. Ideally, you're someone who documents your work in public, whether that's in the form of content (blog posts, tweets, books), code, or developing a product.
The size of your audience doesn't matter: I care more about authenticity, an interesting perspective, and a demonstrated commitment to your work.
You can use the funds for whatever you'd like, including equipment or materials, travel costs, or funding your time.
A few caveats: Helium Grants are intended for individuals (not organizations); they cannot be used to repay debt; and your proposal should be appropriately sized to a $1K grant (i.e. don't apply with a $250K budget; additional funding sources are fine for bigger budgets, but you should already have that money secured).
If you're selected for a grant, I’ll email you to arrange payment details. I'll send you a followup email to hear how it went. That’s it!
Yes: any age, country (see caveats below), industry, job title, philosophy, or stage of life.
Yes! You can be expert or amateur, affiliated with a university or research institute, independently funded, or doing this on nights and weekends. It doesn't matter how "official" or "unofficial" your research is: just that you're exploring interesting ideas.
I can send money via PayPal (you need a PayPal/bank account), TransferWise, Venmo, or mail a check.
Yes, as long as you use PayPal or TransferWise. I’m not an expert on international payments, so there may be country-specific issues I’m unaware of. If I follow up on your application, I’ll do extra research to make sure we’re all on the same page about fees and legal rigmarole.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org. (For my sanity, I will ignore any other means of communication. Please only use this email address!)
This is a personal experiment in income distribution. So far, 22 people have received a Helium Grant.
Previously, Helium Grants were awarded to fund "whatever you can't stop thinking about". In 2019, I decided to focus on funding independent research, which aligns closely with my interests. You can read more about that decision here.
Sign up below. I'll email infrequently (mostly when new funding cycles are announced), but I promise to keep in touch!
Of course! Feel free to adapt these grant terms to your own needs. If you start your own version, I'd love to hear about it.
Yes, I've started a list. If you're aware of other microgrant programs, I encourage you to add them to that list.