• Press Release

January 24, 2024

UL Research Institutes Launches Global $7 Million Discoveries in Safety Grants Program

The launch marks the organization’s first competitive proposal process for addressing some of society’s top scientific challenges

EVANSTON (Jan. 24, 2024) – From reducing toxins in personal-care products to granting more people access to clean water, UL Research Institutes (ULRI) is helping to build the future of safety science with funding opportunities open to applicants worldwide.  

ULRI — a non-profit organization dedicated to advancing public safety through scientific discovery — is accepting proposals for its Discoveries in Safety Grants Program, its first open and competitive funding process. Accredited universities, non-profits, governmental agencies, and the private sector — in the U.S. and abroad — may apply for one or more grants. Letters of intent are due Feb. 16, 2024.

ULRI is funding roughly $7 million in grants over a three-year period to create science-backed, long-term solutions to some of society’s most pressing problems. The research that ULRI aims to fund will address issues such as:

  • Flammability of lithium-ion batteries fueling a wide array of products, from cell phones to e-bikes to electric vehicles;
  • Unknown health consequences associated with many ingredients found in personal-care products;
  • Concerns about digital privacy and misinformation amidst the rise of artificial intelligence (AI);
  • Firefighters’ chemical exposure as fire risks expand across the globe;
  • Environmental concerns, from microplastics in the air to equitable access to clean water; and
  • The needs of an increasingly diverse population, addressed through new systems to support underrepresented groups interested in pursuing careers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).

“For 130 years, our mission has been to be at the forefront of technology to make the world safer. When we were founded, we focused on making electricity safe, which we now all take for granted,” said ULRI Interim President and Chief Research Officer Dr. Christopher J. Cramer. “Given the complex nature of today’s challenges, we need to engage the whole community – that’s the best way for science to progress.”

Added Deepa Shankar, director of ULRI’s Office of Partnerships: “That’s the spirit behind these competitive bids. Amidst wildfires, the presence of toxic ingredients in everyday products, and a host of other concerns, we’re seeking to ignite the ingenuity of new partners. We look forward to funding research that will make our world safer, healthier, and more sustainable.”  

Through its various entities, UL Research Institutes will fund more than 10 awards of up to $200,000 each per year for a three-year period. In March, ULRI will decide which LOIs move to the second round, with requests for proposal (RFPs) due May 10. Grant awardees will be selected in July and projects will start in September.

More information on the entities providing the funding opportunities, and their focus areas, can be found below:


About UL Research Institutes

UL Research Institutes is a nonprofit research organization dedicated to advancing public safety through scientific discovery. Since 1894, our research has advanced our mission toward a safer, more secure, and sustainable future. Focused on global risks from fire mitigation and air quality to safe energy storage and digital privacy, we conduct rigorous independent research, analyze safety data and partner with experts to uncover and act on existing and emerging risks to human safety.

Discover more at UL.org.


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Sally Ann O’Dowd
UL Research Institutes

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