Funded on an annual basis through a 2014 gift from the Washington Research Foundation to the University of Washington eScience Institute
The Washington Research Foundation (WRF) incorporated as a private not-for profit organization in 1981 to help Washington state research institutions capture value from their emerging technologies. WRF initially focused on patenting inventions and licensing them to companies. From licensing proceeds, WRF Capital and the WRF Venture Center have been established. Revenues generated from both licensing and contributions from WRF Capital allow the Foundation to make gifts to support scholarship and research at Washington state research institutions.
In 2014 WRF made substantial five-year gifts to four major University of Washington research initiatives, including a gift of $9,300,000 to the University of Washington eScience Institute, UW's hub of data science activity. To achieve the greatest immediate impact, the eScience Institute used the gift as "current expense" funds: to remodel its space (creating the WRF Data Science Studio), to support a large number of postdoctoral fellows, and to fund multiple five-year Data Science Chairs, Data Science Professorships, and startup packages to enable the University of Washington to recruit and retain extraordinary faculty in data science and its application to various fields of discovery.
Allen School holders of the Washington Research Foundation Data Science Chair
Sham Kakade, 2015-2020