Spirit of Ramanujan STEM Talent Initiative
TWCF Number
Project Duration
August 1 / 2018
- July 31 / 2021
Core Funding Area
Genetics and Genius
North America
Amount Awarded
Grant DOI*

* A Grant DOI (digital object identifier) is a unique, open, global, persistent and machine-actionable identifier for a grant.

Ken Ono
Institution Emory University

The Spirit of Ramanujan (SOR) STEM Talent Initiative is an international search for gifted young STEM students that aims to locate and nurture undiscovered talent.

SOR strives to find and nurture gifted young engineers, mathematicians, and scientists who lack traditional institutional support. Through financial grants, the initiative helps them develop their skills, realize their potential, and achieve their goals. By matching these emerging talents with leaders in STEM fields, SOR provides life-changing experiences to participants. Such opportunities—working with world-class mentors and engaging in exciting research projects—would otherwise be unavailable to these undiscovered geniuses.

Honoring the legacy of Srinivasa Ramanujan, Ken Ono founded SOR in 2016, together with IFC Films and Pressman Film (producers of the motion picture The Man Who Knew Infinity). Over the course of two years, SOR awarded 16 mathematics students worldwide with grants to support research and study. The initiative and Ken Ono received earned media coverage in major outlets, including summer 2018 issue of National Geographic devoted to genius in science.

This new three-year grant (2018–2020) builds on the two-year pilot, expanding the program to include all STEM fields. Each year, the Templeton–Ramanujan Fellowships gives individuals monetary grants up to $5,000. These grants subsidize participation in mentorship and research activities.

The widespread awareness generated by the Hollywood film The Man Who Knew Infinity and the use of technology to reach extraordinarily gifted people, combined with a series of opportunities to further their intellectual development, make this project unique.

Opinions expressed on this page, or any media linked to it, do not necessarily reflect the views of Templeton World Charity Foundation, Inc. Templeton World Charity Foundation, Inc. does not control the content of external links.
Person doing research
Projects &
Explore the projects we’ve funded. We’ve awarded hundreds of grants to researchers and institutions worldwide.

Projects & Resources