IRS Code 501(c)(3) allows for a scientific organization to be tax-free:
Application must be made on IRS Form 1023-series application.
This organization is required to have formally incorporated before we can apply for tax exemption.
Prior to applying for exemption, the organization will need an IRS-issued Employment Identification Number. This can be accomplished on-line, by telephone, by fax or by mail, requires submission of form SS-4.
The Organization will have 27 months from the end of the month in which it was incorporated to have a completed application submitted to the IRS. The deadline can be extended under certain circumstances, but I think that the sooner we gain tax-exempt status, the better off we will be.
It looks like the fee is $400.
Apparently, the application must be accompanied by the Articles of Incorporation, the Adopted Bylaws and a business plan.