Background

Established in 1956 as a Portuguese foundation for the whole of humanity, the Gulbenkian Foundation was bequeathed by the last will and testament of Calouste Sarkis Gulbenkian. The Foundation is of perpetual duration and undertakes its activities structured around its headquarters in Lisbon (Portugal) and its delegations in Paris (France) and London (UK).


Mission

The Foundation focuses on fostering knowledge and raising the quality of life of persons throughout the fields of the arts, charity, science and education. The success attained in complying with its objectives stems from all of the organizations and persons that the foundation supports. Sharing the strategies underpinning each initiative represents a core objective that the foundation strives to achieve to raise its profile and especially to amplify the global scale impact sought after.

Geographic focus

Portugal, Europe, Portuguese-speaking countries, worldwide Armenian communities, and international

Programme areas

The Foundation engages in a transversal approach spanning five fields of activity:


– Arts

– Education

– Science

– Social Development

– Global Initiatives


Arts

In addition to the permanent Collections of the Calouste Gulbenkian Museums – The Founder’s Collection and the Modern Collection – exhibitions and the performances featuring in the Gulbenkian Music season and in which the Gulbenkian Orchestra and Choir always play a central role, the Foundation also carries out a diverse range of other activities interconnected with the Arts and both directly and indirectly: temporary exhibitions, speeches and conferences, awarding of grants and subsidies, training programmes, the Vasco Vilalva Prize (for heritage renovation and restoration), publishing books and running education based activities represent some of the Foundation’s initiatives ongoing in this field. The Music Service, the museums, the Art Library and the Gulbenkian Portuguese Language and Culture Programme, alongside the delegations in the United Kingdom and France, provide the key means of implementing these activities.


Education

Contributing to both the development of education in Portugal and to the debate on progress in education around the world, both within the framework of schools and the broader context of societies, make up some of the key guidelines for Foundation actions in the field of education. Beyond the innumerable study grants awarded annually through Gulbenkian Grants, the Foundation renders support to projects and activities enabling lifelong learning and the acquisition of new skills, competences and knowledge and making education and training systems more effective.

The New Generation Qualifications Programme, the Gulbenkian Portuguese Language and Culture Programme, DESCOBRIR – the Gulbenkian Education Programme for Culture and Science and the Art Library collectively structure the implementation of these activities.


Science

Fostering health as a global public good, contributing to raising professional qualifications and enhancing the human dimension to healthcare provision, stimulating creativity and quality in scientific practices, strengthening the interconnections between science and culture and between science and society while also promoting biomedical research and training new scientific leaders represent some of the core objectives of Foundation actions in the field of Science.

The Gulbenkian Innovating Health Programme, DESCOBRIR/DISCOVER – the Gulbenkian Education Programme for Culture and Science and the Gulbenkian Science Institute are the main tools of implementation in this field.


Social Development

At the national level, providing incentives and facilitating the inclusion of vulnerable groups in the population (the Elderly, at Risk Children and Young Persons, Migrants and Persons with Disabilities) through the empowerment of people and organisations, promoting and experimenting with innovative solutions; At the international level, especially in the PALOPs – the Portuguese Language Speaking Countries in Africa and East Timor, strengthening the capacities of people and institutions in key areas of development establish the main guidelines to Foundation actions in the development field.

The Gulbenkian Human Development Programme, the Gulbenkian Partnerships for Development Programme, the Active Citizenship Programme and the Foundation Delegation in the United Kingdom represent the main means of undertaking these actions.


Global Initiatives

Supporting and encouraging the creation of new, contemporary Armenian Culture; reflecting and fostering new capacities for confronting issues related to the Oceans.