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: Lyrasis
    amount: $750,000
    city: Philadelphia, PA
    year: 2010

    For continued digitization of member collections and development of a self-sustaining regional scanning center

    • Program Digital Technology
    • Sub-program Universal Access to Knowledge
    • Investigator Laurie Gemmill

    For continued digitization of member collections and development of a self-sustaining regional scanning center

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  • grantee: Harvard University
    amount: $36,288
    city: Cambridge, MA
    year: 2010

    To hold a two-day conference on creating a National Digital Library

    • Program Digital Technology
    • Sub-program Universal Access to Knowledge
    • Investigator Robert Darnton

    To hold a two-day conference on creating a National Digital Library

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  • grantee: Massachusetts Institute of Technology
    amount: $108,425
    city: Cambridge, MA
    year: 2010

    To investigate gender gaps and achievement gaps across schools among high-achieving mathematics students

    • Program Initiatives
    • Investigator Glenn Ellison

    To investigate gender gaps and achievement gaps across schools among high-achieving mathematics students

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  • grantee: University of California, Los Angeles
    amount: $800,000
    city: Los Angeles, CA
    year: 2010

    To help design and build a pioneering mass spectrometer for the Deep Carbon Observatory to trace the provenance of tiny volumes of methane and other gaseous species in natural environments

    • Program Science
    • Sub-program Deep Carbon Observatory
    • Investigator Edward Young

    A fundamental challenge of the Deep Carbon Observatory (DCO) is to distinguish methane (CH4) produced by degradation of relict organic matter ("fossil" fuel) from that produced by inorganic synthesis or from the activity of microbes ("methanotrophs") in the deep biosphere. This grant supports a project to develop and build a tandem gas-source, electron-impact mass spectrometer with sufficient mass resolving power and sensitivity to make it possible to analyze the rare isotopologues of gas molecules present in hydrocarbon deposits, deep crustal reservoirs, and other settings. The proposed instrument will be the first to combine exceptionally high mass resolving power with a gas source inlet to a mass spectrometer. The full cost of the instrument is $2 million. Proposals submitted to the National Science Foundation (NSF) and Department of Energy (DOE) for $1.15 million have won very favorable reviews, and both agencies have indicated a desire to fund the instrument, with Foundation funding completing the funding gap. The Foundation believes support for the mass spectrometer powerfully exemplifies the effective leveraging of Sloan funds, and a working instrument within 24 months could produce significant published scientific results on the provenance of deep methane in natural environments within three to four years.

    To help design and build a pioneering mass spectrometer for the Deep Carbon Observatory to trace the provenance of tiny volumes of methane and other gaseous species in natural environments

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  • grantee: Carnegie Institution of Washington
    amount: $900,000
    city: Washington, DC
    year: 2010

    To encourage development of scientific instruments for the International Deep Carbon Observatory

    • Program Science
    • Sub-program Deep Carbon Observatory
    • Investigator Robert Hazen

    When the Foundation initiated support for the Deep Carbon Observatory (DCO), advisors and reviewers emphasized the importance of timely instrument development. The success of the DCO's ten-year plan depends not only on network building, fund-raising, and drilling but on instruments ready to do the range of analyses foreseen. Much effort since the July 1, 2009 launch of the DCO has gone into understanding and addressing instrument needs. The DCO leadership invited ten groups to submit requests and plans for instruments that the international leadership deemed especially important and promising. This resulted in seven highly promising projects totaling $1.7 million. This grant will support six of these seven instrument development projects, oversight of which is to be conducted by the Deep Carbon Observatory leadership at the Carnegie Institution of Washington. The seventh project is funded through a separate Sloan Foundation grant to the University of California at Los Angeles. The instruments to be developed and the developing institutions to be funded under this grant are: Institution Instrument University of Southern California Down-hole logging instrumentation University of New Mexico Volcano gas monitoring Stanford University Synchrotron X-ray spectrometer Institute of High Pressure Physics, Troitsk Russia Diamond-anvil cells (high pressure-temperature devices) Moscow State University Gas chromatograph Institute for Physics of the Globe, Paris Gas-source mass spectrometer The inherent challenges of technical progress as well as required matching funds introduce considerable uncertainty into the process of instrument development, but the Foundation believes these projects position the Deep Carbon Observatory well for timely success in this crucial dimension of its activity.

    To encourage development of scientific instruments for the International Deep Carbon Observatory

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  • grantee: University of California, Berkeley
    amount: $244,343
    city: Berkeley, CA
    year: 2010

    To study energy efficiency gains and participation rates associated with the Federal Weatherization Assistance Program through randomized-control trials using data from Michigan

    • Program Economics
    • Sub-program Economic Institutions, Behavior, & Performance
    • Investigator Catherine Wolfram

    Under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, the federal budget for its Weatherization Assistance Program jumped from $250 million per year to $5 billion. But how much energy will retrofitted weatherization really save among households eligible for such support? Researchers Catherine Wolfram and Meredith Fowlie want to know. They have designed large-scale randomized-control field trials to study if and when consumers take advantage of the newly available federal funds to support weatherization. The U.S. Department of Energy is interested in supporting research on its Weatherization Assistance Program, but cannot provide funding in a timely manner. Sloan funding will allow the project to move ahead now rather than waiting another year or more for the U.S. Department of Energy to provide support.

    To study energy efficiency gains and participation rates associated with the Federal Weatherization Assistance Program through randomized-control trials using data from Michigan

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  • grantee: New Venture Fund
    amount: $117,640
    city: Washington, DC
    year: 2010

    To study experimentally the market for retail financial advice

    • Program Economics
    • Sub-program Economic Institutions, Behavior, & Performance
    • Investigator Antoinette Schoar

    The decisions individual households make about consumer financial products can be complicated, and so many people rely on expert advice. But is such advice any good? How well can consumers tell if it is or it isn't? Antoinette Schoar, a finance professor at MIT, and her collaborators have already conducted a pilot "audit study" to address the first question by dispatching trained actors to visit selected advisors. In addition to expanding this research on the supply side of the market for retail consumer financial advice, Schoar's team also plans new laboratory experiments to investigate the demand side of that market by measuring how consumers react to videotapes of different financial advisors. This project has already secured some highly competitive funding from the National Science Foundation, but more is needed to cover the experimental costs of sample sizes large enough to be statistically convincing. Sloan support will provide the necessary funds.

    To study experimentally the market for retail financial advice

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  • grantee: Integrated Ocean Drilling Program Management International
    amount: $142,785
    city: Washington, DC
    year: 2010

    To explore the value and feasibility of reaching pristine mantle rock as part of the field program of the Deep Carbon Observatory

    • Program Science
    • Sub-program Deep Carbon Observatory
    • Investigator Kiyoshi Suyehiro

    The Foundation's Deep Carbon Observatory (DCO) science program initiated in 2009 aims to revolutionize understanding of the carbon at great depths in Earth's crust and even below, in the mantle. With Foundation support, the sea floor scientific drillers, now united worldwide in the International Ocean Drilling Program (IODP), propose to meet with the emerging deep carbon community, to explore whether the time is ripe to pursue a project to drill a borehole down to the boundary between the Earth's crust and its mantle and whether such an effort should be associated with the Deep Carbon Observatory. Funds from this grant will support this meeting, hosted by the DCO leadership at the Carnegie Institution of Washington, which will aim to achieve clarity about the risks, costs, and benefits of such a project with an eye towards a well-informed decision by the Deep Carbon Observatory about whether it should form a part of the DCO.

    To explore the value and feasibility of reaching pristine mantle rock as part of the field program of the Deep Carbon Observatory

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  • grantee: WGBH Educational Foundation
    amount: $100,000
    city: Boston, MA
    year: 2010

    To develop a screenplay about physicist Lise Meitner for a financing package leading to a theatrical feature film and/or a television broadcast

    • Program Public Understanding
    • Sub-program Film
    • Investigator Paula Apsell

    This grant to the WGBH Educational Foundation provides development funds for a screenplay about physicist Lise Meitner, who, with Otto Hahn, did the critical research leading to the discovery of nuclear fission, but who was excluded from the Nobel Prize that went to Hahn. Funds will go towards hiring a professional screenwriter to work with the director on the project and for a financing package that will enable a theatrical release and television broadcast on PBS's NOVA.

    To develop a screenplay about physicist Lise Meitner for a financing package leading to a theatrical feature film and/or a television broadcast

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  • grantee: Coolidge Corner Theatre Foundation
    amount: $150,318
    city: Brookline, MA
    year: 2010

    To support screenings and discussion of science films at art house theaters across the country

    • Program Public Understanding
    • Sub-program Film
    • Investigator Denise Kasell

    This grant provides support to the Coolidge Corner Theater, regularly voted the best movie theater in Boston and boasting a national reputation, as it continues its pioneering Science on Screen series and expands the series to movie theaters across the country. The Science on Screen series is notable because-in addition to screening traditional Sloan-style science films like Primer, 2001: A Space Odyssey and A Brief History of Time-it takes non-scientific movies like American Beauty, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and Fight Club and shines a serious scientific lens on major themes in these films, following each showing with in-depth discussions led by working scientists. At the Arthouse Convergence, a major meeting of Art House theater professionals held in advance of the Sundance Film Festival, Coolidge plans to make a formal presentation and hold a Science on Screen workshop, distributing the syllabus, showcasing videos of speakers, discussing programming ideas, and exploring potential marketing and audience development tactics. This effort is an experiment that seeks to build on build on Coolidge's existing successes and scale them up in a meaningful way.

    To support screenings and discussion of science films at art house theaters across the country

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