Employee & Community Engagement

Inspiring Curiosity as We
Build Stronger Communities

Our company was founded on the principle of improving the quality of life through science. But we don’t just want to see that happen; we work to make it happen, with an ongoing commitment to three community engagement initiatives—philanthropic investments, employee volunteerism and a fair and safe workplace—that benefit our employees, customers and community.


Our Life Science employees are as proud of and committed to their work as they are to making a difference in their communities. This passion and purpose led to SPARK—a
first-of-its-kind, large-scale employee volunteer program that unites employees around the globe in a shared commitment
to give back through skills-based
and non-skills-based

Our Employee-led SPARK Activities Include:

Curiosity Labs™

Curiosity Labs™

Our flagship program that educates and inspires students around the globe through hands-on, interactive science lessons led by our Life Science employees.

Curiosity Cube

Curiosity Cube®

A 22x10-foot retrofitted shipping container that has been transformed into a mobile science lab, featuring interactive, hands-on science experiments led by our Life Science employees.

Site hosting

Site hosting

An educational experience led by employees, who invite students to their local Life Science site, including an educational tour, hands-on experiments and thought-provoking discussions about science and careers in science.

Science Day Expos

Science Day Expos

Small-scale, interactive experiments headed by our employees and held during scheduled, school-wide or community events.

Through SPARK, more than 9,700 employees have volunteered nearly 90,000 hours of their time—hosting thousands of events in 36 countries and engaging almost 235,000 young minds.

Curiosity LabsTM

Through our Curiosity LabsTM program, trained employee volunteers deliver hands-on, interactive science lessons meant to encourage students to explore, wonder and ask why.

We work with teachers to choose lessons that complement and bolster current classroom content. During those lessons, our team guides students through applying scientific principles to real-world concepts and challenges. Even better, we supply all the necessary materials and equipment.



Since 2016, the Curiosity LabsTM program has reached more than 45,000 students in 25 countries. Surveys have indicated that following participation in the program:


of students reported an increase in content knowledge


of students demonstrated confidence in science


of students also stated they “enjoy science”

Learn more about the program and how a school can become a partner


Curiosity Cube®


Through carefully chosen partnerships, we're able to use our expertise, experience and monetary investments to make a difference now, and set the stage for the future. Our aim is two-fold: to help today's scientists strive toward innovation and progress through investments in scientific research, while giving the next generation better access to hands-on science education—enabling them to be the problem solvers of the future.

Through multi-dimensional "Signature Partnerships," we make long-term commitments that allow for broader impact, while our "Localized Partnerships" create greater impact in specific communities around the world. We also support several relevant associations and memberships, as well as disaster relief efforts, in times of need or crisis.

Scientific Research:

Supporting Today’s Scientists

We are committed to supporting today's scientists to accelerate access to health in three focus areas:

  1. Investing in rare pediatric disease research by partnering with the most innovative and leading pediatric hospitals around the world.
  2. Supporting noncommunicable disease (NCD) research through investment in organizations dedicated to achieving breakthroughs to combat NCDs, particularly in low- and middle-income countries where the burden is greatest.
  3. Providing access for the global scientific community to increase global knowledge sharing and help drive innovation as well as fuel economic growth, particularly in developing countries where researchers lack access to tools and knowledge necessary to advance scientific research.
400 MIL

Half of the world’s population

does not have access to essential health services.

Source: World Health Organization, 2017

Extreme poverty

Extreme poverty

Many in low and
middle-income countries are
pushed further into extreme poverty
because of health spending.

Source: World Health Organization, 2019

of 6,000

of 0

known rare diseases, approximately
half affect children.

Source: The Lancet, 2019

70% of global deaths

0% of global

are due to
—which include cardiovascular
disease, cancers, chronic respiratory
diseases and diabetes.

Source: World Health Organization, 2019

Spotlight on Seeding Labs:
A Partner in Scientific

  • Jeffrey Whitford

    “We have realized the greatest impact comes not from just within our own walls, but in enabling our millions of customers in more than 160 countries to accelerate the impact sustainability can have globally.”

    Jeffrey Whitford



  • Christopher Famolare

    “To us, streamlined operations means producing top-quality products in the most efficient way possible, with minimal use of energy, water and waste. We are working towards a future in which the ‘waste’ of one process can be the raw material input for another process.”

    Christopher Famolare

    EIT, CEM, CEA, Global Manager of Sustainable Operations


  • Jacqueline Hollands

    “Through our industry-first recycling programs, we’re tackling the challenging waste stream of single-use plastics and offering an end-of-life solution for our plastic products. As a result, we empower customers to contribute to a circular economy and reduce their own environmental footprint.”

    Jacqueline Hollands

    global manager, customer sustainability solutions


  • Natalie Randolph

    “It’s incredible to see first-hand how the interactive science experiments inside our Curiosity Cube© mobile science lab can positively impact students’ lives-uncovering ‘aha!’ moments and helping them see what possibilities lie ahead.”

    Natalie Randolph

    Curiosity Cube® coordinator


  • Melissa Hackmeier

    “To make the greatest impact in our communities around the world, we tap the passion of our employees and partner with organizations who share our drive to support the scientists of today and tomorrow.”

    Melissa Hackmeier

    head of employee and community engagement


  • Annie Mayrose

    “Our employee and community engagement strategy connects the heart, hands, and expertise of our global employees with the know-how of local organizations to inspire scientific solutions for future generations.”

    Annie Mayrose

    Business Partner, Corporate Responsibility, Employee & Community Engagement


Science Education:
Inspiring Curiosity

Our science education efforts aim to inspire the next generation of scientists by investing in:


Direct-to-Student Programs

led by employees to expose students to science through real-world applications—encouraging them to consider a career in STEM.


Teacher Preparation & Professional Development Programs

that give more teachers access to tools and techniques needed to educate, excite and prepare students for STEM careers.


Partnerships With Science Centers and Museums

that inspire millions of children and adults worldwide to make science a bigger part of their lives with groundbreaking technology and concepts from life science.

We’ve set a 2023 goal:

Reach 500,000 students. Engage 10,000 teachers. Reach 3+ million through science center.

Case Study—Girlstart: A Partner in Science Education

We’re big fans of Austin, Texas’ Girlstart—an organization focused on increasing interest and engagement in STEM among girls in grades four to eight. We’re also long-time supporters, funding summer camp and after‑school programs, including new local programs for high‑need schools. Our partnership has helped expand and scale Girlstart services to new cities in the United States, including Houston, St. Louis, Boston, and Milwaukee.


Our employees donate their time, dollars and skills to a host of causes around the world. We’re proud to join in their efforts. In the U.S., for example, we match employees’ charitable donations dollar for dollar, up
to $1,000 per employee
per year.

Our Workplace

Talent, Diversity and Inclusion

Our people are our most valuable asset, and we place a high priority on fostering a company culture that is inclusive, innovative and collaborative—offering steady opportunities for professional and personal growth. We invest in our employees through training, tuition reimbursement, broad benefit packages and safe workplace initiatives.

Employee inclusion programs support an energetic, collaborative and team-oriented culture—this includes the International Community for employees from a variety of countries, the Rainbow Network for the LGBT community, and the Women at Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany network.

Every year we celebrate Global Diversity Days as part of an initiative to bolster awareness of diversity and inclusion within our workforce. Group-wide, employees across five continents participated in the nearly 30 events held.