Capita Foundation is a private 501(c)(3) charitable organization dedicated to the support of innovative hearing research.

Named for its founder, EMIL CAPITA, Capita Foundation was established in 1985 to support hearing research at Colombia University. In 2004, Capita Foundation expanded its mission to include the support of pioneering research worldwide. Capita Foundation achieves its mission by direct funding of innovative research. We encourage new approaches in hearing research. We share knowledge, and we connect people and ideas.

For additional information or to personally speak with someone within the foundation, please feel free to contact us through any of the channels provided on our contact page.


  • Our Mission: The Capita Foundation mission is to support innovative research that works toward the prevention and cure of hearing disorders.
  • Our Vision:Capita Foundation seeks to initiate and inspire worldwide support for innovative research of hearing-related disorders. As one of the few privately-funded nonprofit organizations specializing in the advocacy of ground-breaking auditory research, Capita Foundation sustains research programs that are often left unfunded and untested by traditional scientific funding. Capita Foundation continues to play a key role in identifying and supporting scientists on the leading edge of research for hearing-related disorders while simultaneously expanding its efforts to share its knowledge of developments in auditory research.
  • Our Values: Above all else, Capita Foundation values creative, novel research with the potential for practical application. Capita Foundation is an independent, privately-funded 501(c)(3) organization that does not receive funding from government or public funds. Capita Foundation values the rights of scientists to retain ownership and control of their work. The Foundation does not retain rights or patents to any research conducted under Capita Foundation Auditory Research (CFAR) grants. CFAR grant applications are welcomed from all scientists conducting research in line with the Foundation’s mission statement. Grant recipients are not required to have university affiliation as applications are evaluated on the basis of scientific merit alone.


Capita Foundation is one of the few privately funded nonprofit organizations specializing in the support of innovative auditory research worldwide.

  • We Advocate Visionary Thinking: CFAR grants provide seed money to scientific researchers with significant vision but little or no financial support. These grants not only ensure that innovative projects progress, but also help researchers leverage additional grants to continue important research. The Foundation directly funds hearing-related projects by some of the brightest scientific researchers in the field.
  • We Invest Carefully: Our Scientific Review Board reviews and vets a great number of qualified applications but awards funding to six or fewer applicants per calendar year. Selected research projects meet a strict standard for scientific rigor and innovation and simultaneously maintain the potential for practical application. Grants are extended a second year only if a grantee makes meaningful progress and meets all of the benchmarks stipulated in his or her original grant proposal.
  • We Are Nimble: As an independent, privately-funded charitable organization, Capita Foundation is more readily able to fund innovative scientific research than government programs. The majority of Capita Foundation grants fund early-stage research and projects by early-career research scientists, allowing them to produce the preliminary results needed to secure grants from the National Institute of Health and other major funders. Capita Foundation does not receive contributions from government resources.
  • We Meet a Critical Need: Many of the pioneering research projects awarded grants by the Capita Foundation would otherwise go unfunded. We provide financial support to scientists whose burgeoning research might not otherwise come to fruition.
  • We Are Prepared to Lead: As one of the few privately-funded nonprofit organizations specializing in auditory research,  Capita Foundation supports novel approaches to hearing research through traditional funding efforts. Additionally, the Foundation is in position to encourage worldwide innovation by sharing knowledge and by connecting people and ideas. Even when Capita Foundation is not directly funding research, we’re still supporting hearing research scientists in other innovative ways.


  • Robert E. Capita - President
  • Bart Ziegler, Ph.D. - Vice President
  • Kim Deering Thomas - Secretary
  • Marianna N. Capita - Treasurer
  • Dr. Petar Petkovic - Trustee
  • Braddon R. Capita - Trustee



Capita Foundation-funded research has resulted in at least 37 direct and indirect publications; 11 additional publications are in progress. According to 2004-2005 recipient Claus-Peter Richter, M.D., Ph.D., “The funding resulted in at least partial contribution to… a book chapter and to ~9 papers of which 4 are peer reviewed.” Similarly, 2007 recipient Paul Webster, Ph.D., reported that his team’s research resulted in “seven publications… [with] another four papers in the process of being published.” Funded research has even been reported in the news. According to 2009 recipient Karen Doherty, Ph.D., her team’s study “was highlighted by Syracuse University [see story here] and was written up on the front page of the SUNY Upstate Medical University Newspaper.”

Capita Foundation is proud to support innovative researchers.
  • “I find the effort of the Capita Foundation truly extraordinary, especially in its determination to fund innovative projects and young scientists with limited support.” — Kiriaki Domenica Karavitaki, Ph.D. (2010 recipient)
  • “…funds from the Capita Foundation came at a critical time and allowed me to maintain employment of a key member of the laboratory while I was in between grants…. I very much admire and respect what the Capita Foundation is trying to accomplish. You have done an exceptional job of reaching out to the hearing research community and really trying to make a difference. Few organizations make the same kind of effort to establish a personal connection with the researchers they support.” — Lisa Goodrich, Ph.D. (2009 recipient)
  • “I cannot say enough good things about the Capita Foundation.” — Karen Doherty, Ph.D. (2009 recipient)
  • “Your grant process couldn’t have been easier or more personal…. The personal nature of the grant improved motivation to spend frugally and to deliver on the stated objectives. Thanks [to] Capita Foundation.” — Kevin Franck, Ph.D. (2006 recipient)
  • “I think you are all doing an incredible job there. The financial climate has been affecting us all. I believe that with more funds available, you could support more projects and ensure the already funded research gets its full funding as requested.” — Amir Lahav, Sc.D, Ph.D (2010 recipient)
  • “Capita funding came at precisely the right time to launch this new microscope, which has greatly exceeded our expectations and is now being replicated by other investigators due to its great capabilities especially for investigating inner ear morphology.” — Peter Santi, Ph.D. (2008 recipient)
  • “…the challenges of getting sustainable funding from NIH are now so great that foundations like the Capita Foundation are critical for supporting innovative research in both new (and old!) researchers. I am certainly very grateful for their support.” — Henry Ou, M.D. (2010 recipient)
  • “The Emil Capita story is a good one and it would be great to have it communicated.” — Kevin Franck, Ph.D. (2006 recipient)
  • “I am using the Capita Grant to support… research which is in line with the scope of the Capita Foundation to fund cutting-edge research not funded by other agencies.” — Kiriaki Domenica Karavitaki, Ph.D. (2010 recipient)