Skip to content

Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Receives $5 Million to Accelerate the Advancement of Knowledge about the Ocean

Conrad Hughen

April 30, 2019

The Deerbrook Charitable Trust has awarded $5 million to Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) to establish the Deerbrook Ocean Science Acceleration Fund (DOSA Fund). This gift launches the new WHOI Research Accelerator, a lasting endowment to drive ocean research, innovation, and exploration at a time when our changing ocean is reshaping coastal communities and profoundly influencing the world’s climate, food supply, and national security landscape.

“We are grateful to the Deerbrook Trust for launching the WHOI Research Accelerator with this immensely generous gift,” said WHOI President and Director, Mark R. Abbott. “The WHOI Research Accelerator will transform ocean science and innovation at WHOI at a time when it is imperative that we understand our ocean and its influence on our society and planet.”

Government agencies and private foundations fund the lion’s share of ocean science today, but to gain access to this funding, researchers are often required to provide “cost share”—matching funds from other sources. Catalyzed by the DOSA Fund, the WHOI Research Accelerator will address this challenge by creating a pool of strategically important seed monies and matching funds that WHOI scientists and engineers can use to respond rapidly to emerging opportunities and to unlock additional funding from outside sources. At WHOI, such strategically deployed seed capital has historically unleashed an average of four to six additional dollars for every dollar invested.

“The Deerbrook Charitable Trust is pleased to make this gift that will provide a catalyst, not only for broadening the base of financial support for WHOI programs, but also for increasing opportunities for advancing knowledge of the oceans and environment,” said Deerbrook Charitable Trust Executive Director Arthur E. Sundstrom.

Structured as a challenge grant, the DOSA Fund will provide an extraordinary five-to-one match for new gifts to the WHOI Research Accelerator, up to a total of $1 million in matching funds per year for five years. WHOI must raise an additional $200,000 per year in Research Acceleration funding in order to receive the full amount pledged by the Deerbrook Charitable Trust.

“This gift establishes an enduring source of funding to drive innovation at WHOI,” said Sam Harp, WHOI’s Vice President of Advancement. “It also challenges us to build on this exceptional act of generosity and invest in the future of our ocean for the benefit of society.”

To take advantage of the five-to-one match pledged by the Deerbrook Charitable Trust, please consider supporting the WHOI Research Accelerator. To make a gift, contact Court Clayton, Chief Development Officer, at or (508) 289-2545 or give now.

Based in Chevy Chase, Maryland, the Deerbrook Charitable Trust is a private foundation funded in 2006 by the late Hays Clark.

Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution is a private, non-profit organization on Cape Cod, Mass., dedicated to marine research, engineering, and higher education. Established in 1930 on a recommendation from the National Academy of Sciences, its primary mission is to understand the ocean and its interaction with the Earth as a whole, and to communicate a basic understanding of the ocean's role in the changing global environment. For more information, please visit