They loved that the Markey Trust had faith in them. The scholars frequently stated that they thought the committee was focused on helping them achieve their personal and research-oriented goals. That is, they felt that the committee was determined to help them succeed as individuals, rather than worrying about whether a particular project was followed through to completion.
In hindsight they appreciated the lack of bureaucracy imposed by the Markey Trust and the flexibility produced by this trust in the scholars. Scholars appreciated the fact that changing directions on their projects or even changing institutions was not a major obstacle tied to time-consuming paperwork.
Even for academic superstars, the supportive atmosphere was highly appreciated, and several scholars mentioned that the “pat on the back” they received at the meetings meant more than the funds.
The intellectual stimulation provided by the scientific meetings, even though much of it was outside the scholars’ own area of expertise, was invigorating and prepared them for a more broad-minded approach to science.
The following comment made during one interview is representative of the appreciation the Scholars felt for this award.
The thing I always appreciated about the Markey Trust was that, once you had made it through the selection process, the Trustees always rooted for you no matter what. The whole philosophy of the program was to find people who they thought had a good potential and fund them.