July 8, 2019

Mercatus Announces $1 Million Gift for Student Fellowships, Health Care Research

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ARLINGTON, VA – The Mercatus Center at George Mason University is pleased to announce a $1 million grant from Michigan health care entrepreneur Jon Cotton to further quantitative health research and support graduate student research and education. With this gift, the Mercatus Center will create the Jon B. Cotton Fellowship to support graduate students focusing on health policy.

“I’ve seen up close the effect of poor health care policy on individual families,” said Cotton. “I’m proud to support Mercatus’ vision of a health system that delivers better care to more people at an affordable cost. We must get better ideas into the policy debate today and develop the health care leaders of tomorrow.”

For 40 years, Mercatus has supported graduate students at George Mason and other leading universities around the world. In the upcoming academic year, Mercatus will support 284 students, including the Cotton Fellows. This Fellowship will help to expand support for students committed to finding solutions to our country’s health care challenges.

Cotton’s gift will also increase the Mercatus Center’s research capabilities to include deeper analysis of the state of American health care. The Mercatus Center is a leader in open-source policy analytics, building the first-ever tool to assess the quantity of federal regulations. Increased investment in analytical tools will allow Mercatus researchers to explore new research questions and augment popular, existing data resources, like the Healthcare Openness and Access Project.

“We are thrilled to partner with Jon to tackle one of the biggest public policy issues of our lifetime,” said Daniel M. Rothschild, Executive Director of the Mercatus Center at George Mason University. “Jon’s investment provides critical support for current and future researchers working to improve the lives of all Americans.”

The Mercatus Center at George Mason University is the world’s premier university source for market-oriented ideas—bridging the gap between academic ideas and real-world problems. As a university-based research center, the Mercatus Center advances knowledge about how markets work to improve people’s lives by training graduate students, conducting research, and applying economic insights to offer solutions to society’s most pressing problems.

To learn more about the Mercatus Center’s fellowship programs or health care research, please contact Kate De Lanoy at 703-993-9677 or