Grants Database

The Foundation awards approximately 200 grants per year (excluding the Sloan Research Fellowships), totaling roughly $80 million dollars in annual commitments in support of research and education in science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and economics. This database contains grants for currently operating programs going back to 2008. For grants from prior years and for now-completed programs, see the annual reports section of this website.

Grants Database

Grantee
Amount
City
Year
  • grantee: ICPO-INTERPOL
    amount: $1,600,000
    city: Lyon, France
    year: 2011

    To provide partial support to develop INTERPOL's Radiological and Nuclear Terrorism Prevention Program

    • Program Energy and Environment
    • Investigator Ronald Noble

    Funds from this grant provide partial support to INTERPOL to develop a Radiological and Nuclear Terrorism Prevention Program (RNTPP). Building on the success of their Biological Terrorism Prevention Program, INTERPOL 's work plan for developing the RNTPP will include organizing three terrorism prevention courses and one tabletop terrorism prevention exercise per year for three years, holding a international working group meeting to produce a report targeting the needs of police services in preventing nuclear and radiological terrorism, developing an investigative handbook, and designing and deploying five e-learning modules. Partnering with the International Atomic Energy Agency, INTERPOL will also develop a joint course aimed specifically at educating and training emergency personnel and other likely first responders to potential nuclear or radiological attacks.

    To provide partial support to develop INTERPOL's Radiological and Nuclear Terrorism Prevention Program

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  • grantee: National Information Standards Organization
    amount: $222,706
    city: Baltimore, MD
    year: 2011

    To develop a new specification for the real-time synchronization of web resources housed in separate repositories

    • Program Digital Technology
    • Sub-program Scholarly Communication
    • Investigator Todd Carpenter

    No central authority tracks updates to an article or a dataset as it moves through various publication channels or institutional, disciplinary, or personal repositories over the course of its lifetime. A scholarly research paper, for example, might be available on a preprint server, the author's home page, a journal's website, and in an institutional repository. Imagine the difficulty an author would face should she wish to add a passage about updated findings to previous versions of the paper. The proliferation of copies means online materials behave surprisingly like physical paper; once you print out a copy of an article, the author can't push revisions to your copy. To address this need, the National Information Standards Organization (NISO) is beginning a project to convene a group of key computer and information scientists to develop a standard for the versioning and synchronization of web resources. They also plan to hold a series of workshops that follow the community development process, resulting in a codified standard that meets the needs of publishers, repositories, and other stewards of scholarly products. Alongside other work on data citation, annotation, and canonical author identifiers, the resulting NISO standard would be a valuable tool to facilitate the publication of scholarship and research data on the web, and is likely to be useful in other contexts as well. Funds from this grant will provide partial support for NISO's efforts over the next two years.

    To develop a new specification for the real-time synchronization of web resources housed in separate repositories

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  • grantee: Public Library of Science
    amount: $353,393
    city: San Francisco, CA
    year: 2011

    To develop, deploy, and promote Article Level Metrics tools and approaches

    • Program Digital Technology
    • Sub-program Scholarly Communication
    • Investigator Peter Binfield

    From a user's perspective, rapid-publication "megajournals" like PLoS ONE share a common problem with preprint servers like arXiv or the Social Science Research Network: without traditional quality indicators, researchers are left having to make sense of an ever-growing pile of undifferentiated articles. Readers need better mechanisms at the article level to enable them to see in a moment how one paper relates to others in terms of citation, usage, and other indicators of quality so that they can easily make informed choices about which papers are most relevant to their own research and interests. This two-year grant to the Public Library of Science supports efforts to develop, deploy, and promote just such article-level metrics both for PLoS and for the wider academic community. Funds will support three related activities. First, the PLoS team will extend their existing publishing platform to pull in data well beyond basic download counts, from inbound web links to usage statistics via popular research management platforms like Mendeley and Zotero. Second, PLoS will substantially refine the interfaces used to present that data, testing a number of design approaches to determine what visualizations are most helpful to their users. Finally, PLoS will launch a substantial outreach program, circulating white papers and engaging both open-access and commercial publishers in a broad conversation about article-level metrics adoption. Code developed through this grant will be released under a free/open-source license.

    To develop, deploy, and promote Article Level Metrics tools and approaches

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  • grantee: National Academy of Sciences
    amount: $334,667
    city: Washington, DC
    year: 2011

    To study the feasibility of an online and open access Mathematical Heritage Library

    • Program Digital Technology
    • Sub-program Scholarly Communication
    • Investigator Scott Weidman

    Funds from this grant support a project by the National Academy of Sciences' Board on Mathematical Sciences and their Applications to study the feasibility of creating an online, open-access Mathematical Heritage Library. Issues to be addressed by the study include evaluating the potential value of such a library, identifying desired and useful capabilities for the library, assessing potential obstacles and challenges to the development process, and estimating probable costs of the library's development, deployment, and maintenance.

    To study the feasibility of an online and open access Mathematical Heritage Library

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  • grantee: New York University
    amount: $474,400
    city: New York, NY
    year: 2011

    For an annual feature film production grant over three years to enable film students to shoot a first feature film about science and technology

    • Program Public Understanding
    • Sub-program Film
    • Investigator Sheril Antonio

    This grant funds a project by New York University's Maurice Kanbar Institute of Film & TV to spur the production of high-quality, feature-length films about science and technology through a competitive awards open to all NYU film students. Each year for the next three years, NYU will offer $100,000 to the best student script exploring scientific, mathematical, or technological themes or featuring a scientist, mathematician, or engineer as a main character, with award funds to be used to turn the script into a feature length film. NYU will administer the awards process, accepting applications, convening a faculty panel to select quarter-finalists, advising filmmakers on needed script revisions, and arranging for scripts that advance as semi-finalists to procure an appropriate science advisor to ensure technical accuracy. Three scripts moving on to the final round will each receive $5,000 awards.

    For an annual feature film production grant over three years to enable film students to shoot a first feature film about science and technology

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  • grantee: Stanford University
    amount: $315,860
    city: Stanford, CA
    year: 2011

    To support research and analysis of the economics of series versus parallel retirement income strategies

    • Program Working Longer
    • Investigator John Shoven

    As the U.S. retirement landscape has shifted from one dominated by defined benefit plans (DB) to one dominated by defined contribution plans (DC), older Americans have had to assume more responsibility, as well as more risk, in ensuring their long-term financial security. To that end, they must make complicated income strategy decisions: how long to work; when to retire; whether to work post-retirement; and how strategically to utilize their DC assets and Social Security benefits. This grant supports a project by Stanford economist John Shoven, and Occidental College professor Sita Slavov to analyze and evaluate the potential financial benefits of a specific income strategy that they refer to as the "series" strategy. Utilizing this strategy, older Americans would first deplete their DC assets before drawing on their Social Security benefits, hence using their retirement resources serially. Shoven and Slavov plan to clarify how-under specific conditions that individuals and couples face, such as both working or one earning more than the other-the "series strategy" could lead to more attractive returns relative to the more typically-used "parallel" strategy, where older Americans simultaneously use their defined pension accumulations to supplement Social Security, hence using them in parallel to one another. Preliminary analyses suggest there are substantial financial benefits to the "series" strategy for older Americans, in large part due to the fact that Social Security benefits are indexed to inflation and increase as initial payments are delayed. Addition grant funds will support the publication of a publicly available brochure laying out Shoven and Slavov's conclusions and a conference directed at informing federal policymakers, researchers, financial advisors, and other relevant stakeholders about the research.

    To support research and analysis of the economics of series versus parallel retirement income strategies

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  • grantee: Harvard University
    amount: $2,498,168
    city: Cambridge, MA
    year: 2011

    For an intense two-year process of workshops, meetings, plenaries, research, pilot digitization, prototype development, and community building that will result in the launch of the Digital Public Library of America

    • Program Digital Technology
    • Sub-program Universal Access to Knowledge
    • Investigator John Palfrey

    This grant to John Palfrey and Harvard University's Berkman Center for Internet and Society (Berkman Center) provides funding for an intense process of meetings, workshops, plenaries, research, pilot digitization, technical prototype development, and community building that will lead to the launch of a Digital Public Library of America (DPLA). Over the next two years, Palfrey and his team will coordinate at least 22 workshops divided among six major interrelated workstreams covering various aspects of the DPLA: content and scope, audience participation, technical architecture, finance/business models, legal issues, and governance. Each workstream will arrive at a plan of action for ensuring the best outcome for an integrated national digital library system that provides seamless access to digital resources.

    For an intense two-year process of workshops, meetings, plenaries, research, pilot digitization, prototype development, and community building that will result in the launch of the Digital Public Library of America

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  • grantee: University of Colorado, Boulder
    amount: $1,202,738
    city: Boulder, CO
    year: 2011

    To assess the microbiology of municipal water delivery systems in the U.S.

    • Program Science
    • Sub-program Microbiology of the Built Environment
    • Investigator Norman Pace

    Little is known about the biology of microbial populations living in our drinking water. Current systems monitor drinking water for the absence of fecal bacteria using coliform counts, a very old method, and for total bacterial load, which is determined by growing cultures of bacteria found in water samples. Yet 99.99% of bacteria cannot be successfully grown in culture, and thus are missed by using such methods. Our drinking water, in other words, is monitored using very old and inaccurate techniques. This three year grant will fund a project led by Professor Norman Pace at the University of Colorado, Boulder, to use state-of-the art gene sequencing techniques to begin to characterize the microbial populations in municipal water delivery systems. Preliminary work by Pace and his research team on the municipal water supply in Boulder, Colorado has revealed a diverse and (perhaps) stable microbial profile in the Boulder municipal water system, one that differs significantly from the microbial populations in water supplies in New York, New Orleans, and Austin. Funds from this grant will allow Pace to continue and expand this work, as well as provide support for a smaller project to measure how concrete degradation, a common problem in aging municipal water deliver infrastructure, affects microbial populations in the water supply, and funds to complete Pace's ongoing work examining how the flooding of an engineering building on the University of Colorado, Boulder campus changed the characteristics of microbial communities inside the building.

    To assess the microbiology of municipal water delivery systems in the U.S.

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  • grantee: University of Colorado, Boulder
    amount: $575,000
    city: Boulder, CO
    year: 2011

    To organize and convene three annual meetings on the microbiology of the built environment

    • Program Science
    • Sub-program Microbiology of the Built Environment
    • Investigator Mark Hernandez

    The goal of the Foundation's Indoor Environment program is to grow a new field of scientific inquiry that eventually will be funded by traditional U.S. government funding agencies. This grant to Mark Hernandez of the University of California, Boulder will fund three annual conferences to bring together the large, diverse, multidisciplinary community of biologists, engineers, architects, and others studying the microbiology of built environments. At the conferences, scientists will share research results, develop and advance a coordinated research agenda for studying indoor microbial populations, and educate NGOs and key federal agencies about the importance of directing research and regulatory to this new field of inquiry.

    To organize and convene three annual meetings on the microbiology of the built environment

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  • grantee: Science Festival Foundation
    amount: $1,300,000
    city: New York, NY
    year: 2011

    To support programming and dissemination of the World Science Festival for two years

    • Program Public Understanding
    • Sub-program New Media
    • Investigator Tracy Day

    This grant provides two years of continuing support to the Science Festival Foundation to produce the World Science Festival, a weeklong series of more than 50 lectures, demonstrations, and public exhibits designed to celebrate science and scientific discovery. In addition to funding the organization and production of the festival for the next two years, funds from this grant will also support the Science Festival Foundation's continued efforts to increase its impact by establishing national and international distribution networks for Festival-created content, to expand its online media platform, and to develop programming for use in science classrooms in New York and beyond.

    To support programming and dissemination of the World Science Festival for two years

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