Promoting Research at the Graduate Level

Commencing in January 2008, the Foundation reached out to selected Universities and Centers of Excellence across the country and asked them to submit a research "White Paper" on scientific topics of interest and importance. The research proposals were to include the use of graduate and/or undergraduate student assistance. The resulting proposals were reviewed based on scientific approach, educational potential and budgetary realism. The campuses and laboratories were visited and then a Selection Committee awarded the block-gifts. In our initial year of the Block-Gift Program, 2008-2009, seven schools were awarded funding for their research. We have supported as many as 21 schools in a single year. Fifteen programs at twelve different universities throughout the world were awarded funding for the 2021-2022 cycle.

The II-VI Foundation is focused on educating the next generation of engineers, scientists and mathematicians. All Block-Gift programs must have the students and student education as its’ primary focus.

Block Gift research topics typically fall into one of three major Technology Focus Areas: Optics, Lasers and Photonics, Additive Manufacturing and Wide Bandgap Power Electronics. Periodically we augment these areas with topics of special interest. Currently chip level photonics integration, quantum communications, and solid state batteries are of interest. In general, Block Gift projects tend to emphasize research involving material synthesis, crystal growth and processing, and novel device studies including design, fabrication, and characterization.

Block-Gift programs must have the following attributes:

  • At least two graduate students participating in this important research,

  • The research institution retains intellectual property rights,

  • Publication of findings and results is strongly encouraged,

  • The annual project budget for your institution is in the range $80,000 - $95,000,

  • The unrestricted gift bears no overhead,

Please note: Proposals are accepted on an invitation only basis. Please see the "Block-Gift Consideration Procedure" page for guidelines. If you would like further information on the invitation process please write to