The Research Challenge Trust Fund
In 1997 the Kentucky legislature approved a bold plan to reform the state’s system of higher education. The goal was to develop a “seamless, integrated system of postsecondary education strategically planned and adequately funded to enhance economic development and quality of life.”
A key component of this reform was the state’s creation of the Research Challenge Trust Fund, a strategic investment in university research designed to create new jobs, generate new economic activity and provide new opportunities for Kentucky citizens. Commonly known as “Bucks for Brains,” the program uses state funds to match private donations, effectively doubling the impact of private investment supporting research in strategically defined areas and planting the seeds for a better future.