Who We Are

Pittsburgh was the Silicon Valley of the 19th Century, a place where the industries that made America strong – glass, steel, aluminum – were born, nurtured and perfected.  What made this possible was not only the intrepid spirit of entrepreneurial scientists but also the financial support of far-thinking local investors. 

The Pittsburgh Chapter of the ARCS Foundation aims to continue this tradition of sustaining the best emerging scientists, by providing financial support to the most promising graduate students at Carnegie Mellon University, the University of Pittsburgh, and the Pennsylvania State University.  Our members are, in an indirect but very real sense, “ground-floor investors” in the technologies that will strengthen our society in the generations to come.

Since our chapter’s founding in 2003, we have grown from a dedicated core of women, supporting a single scholar, to a vital group of nearly 140 members.  Over that time, we have provided three-year awards to nearly 100 scholars; the aggregate of paid or pledged awards through 2014-2015 totals $1,172,500.

As a chapter, however, we believe that our mission goes beyond mere check-writing.  Our members also believe that advancing science in America requires us to support our scholars with more than just funding.  A key emphasis of our members is introducing scholars to opportunities in the Pittsburgh region, and encouraging these brilliant young scientists to seek their fortune here (as our forebears did with such great success).  We hope that their creativity, entrepreneurial spirit and can-do attitudes will contribute to Pittsburgh’s continuing greatness.

These promising young scientists are starting their professional careers in a region that has transcended its industrial past, and that once again stands at America’s economic frontier.  The smokestacks are gone, and Pittsburgh’s verdant hillsides and lush valleys now house leading innovators in computer software, health care, robotics, and green technology.  Through our membership in and support of the ARCS Foundation, the members of the Pittsburgh Chapter seek to invest in this transformation.