Section 8. (a) There shall be established and placed within the center a fund to be known as the Dr. Judah Folkman Higher Education Grant Fund, hereinafter in this section referred to as the fund, to be held by the center separate and apart from its other funds. The fund shall be credited any appropriations, bond proceeds or other monies authorized by the general court and specifically designated to be credited thereto, such additional funds as are subject to the direction and control of the center, any pension funds, federal grants or loans, royalties or private investment capital which may properly be applied in furtherance of the objectives of the fund, any proceeds from the sale of qualified investments secured or held by the fund, any fees and charges imposed relative to the making of qualified investments as defined by the center, secured or held by the fund and any other monies which may be available to the center for the purposes of the fund from any other source or sources. Any revenues, deposits, receipts, or funds received through the receipt of royalties, interest, dividends, or the sale of equity instruments shall be deposited in the fund, and shall be available to the center for the purposes described in this section, without further appropriation. All available moneys in the fund that are unexpended at the end of each fiscal year shall not revert to the General Fund and shall be available for expenditure in the subsequent fiscal year.
(b) The center shall invest and reinvest the fund and the income thereof only as follows: (1) making qualified grants pursuant to subsection (c); (2) investing funds not required for immediate disbursement in the purchase of such securities as may be lawful investments for fiduciaries in the commonwealth; (3) paying binding obligations associated with such qualified investments which shall be secured by the fund as the same become payable; and (4) paying principal or interest on qualified investments secured by the fund or paying any redemption premium required to be paid when such qualified investments shall be redeemed prior to maturity; provided, however, that monies in the fund shall not be withdrawn at any time in such an amount as would reduce the amount of the fund to less than the minimum requirement thereof established by the center, except for the purpose of paying binding obligations associated with qualified investments which shall be secured by the fund as the same become payable.
(c) The fund shall be held and applied by the center to make qualified grants to graduate level and doctoral students and post-doctoral fellows studying or employed in the life sciences for living expenses; provided, however, that the center shall make no such qualified grants unless said grant has been approved by a majority vote of the board. Grants awarded from the fund shall, in addition to any restrictions adopted by the center, shall be awarded in $5,000 increments not to exceed $15,000 annually per recipient and further restrictions include: (1) recipients shall be enrolled in a graduate or doctorate level program or shall be working as postdoctoral fellows at a college, university, independent research institution or an academic medical center in the commonwealth; (2) recipients shall be commonwealth residents; and (3) the annual total household income of a recipient shall not exceed 300 per cent of the federal poverty level. The center shall make no such qualified grants pursuant to said clause (1) of said subsection (b) unless such qualified grant conforms with rules approved by the board.
Said rules shall establish the terms and conditions for grants which constitute qualified grants and shall establish the terms, procedures, standards and conditions which the center shall employ to identify qualified applications, process applications, make grant determinations, safeguard the fund, oversee the progress of qualified grants and secure the participation of other public instrumentalities, private institutions or the federal government in such qualified grants.
(d) The center may solicit investments by private institutions or investors in the activities of the fund and may reach agreements with such private institutions or investors regarding the terms of any such investments including, but not limited to, the rights of such investors to participate in the income or appropriation of the fund. To further the objective of securing investments by private institutions or investors in the activities of the fund pursuant to the preceding sentence, the center may develop a proposal creating a separate investment entity which shall permit the commingling of the fund’s resources with the maximum participation by such private institutions or investors in a manner consistent with the public purpose of the fund and under the terms and conditions established to protect and preserve the assets of the fund.
(e) Copies of the approved rules, and any modifications thereto, shall be submitted to the clerks of the house of representatives and the senate, who shall forward the same to the house and senate committees on ways and means and the joint committee on economic development and emerging technologies.
(f) Qualified grants and investment transactions made by the center pursuant to the provisions of this section shall not, except as specified in this chapter, be subject to the provisions of chapter 175, or any successor thereto, and shall be payable solely from the Dr. Judah Folkman Higher Education Grant Fund, established by this section and shall not constitute a debt or pledge of the full faith and credit of the commonwealth, the center or any subdivision of the commonwealth.
(g) The center shall not make expenditure from or commitment of the assets of the fund including, but not limited to, the making of qualified investments secured by the fund, if following the making of said qualified investment, the amount of the fund shall be less than the minimum requirement established by the board.