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: The Alexandria Archive Institute
    amount: $109,850
    city: San Francisco, CA
    year: 2011

    To promote greater professional acceptance and recognition for scientific data dissemination by developing editorial processes that enhance data quality and usability

    • Program Technology
    • Sub-program Data & Computational Research
    • Investigator Eric Kansa

    To promote greater professional acceptance and recognition for scientific data dissemination by developing editorial processes that enhance data quality and usability

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  • grantee: Stuart Firestein
    amount: $40,000
    city: New York, NY
    year: 2011

    For research and writing of a book on the value of ignorance in science

    • Program Public Understanding
    • Sub-program Books
    • Investigator Stuart Firestein

    For research and writing of a book on the value of ignorance in science

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  • grantee: New Media Studio
    amount: $32,450
    city: Santa Barbara, CA
    year: 2011

    To build and test an open-source, active archiving service for science/engineering meeting posters

    • Program Technology
    • Sub-program Scholarly Communication
    • Investigator Bruce Caron

    To build and test an open-source, active archiving service for science/engineering meeting posters

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  • grantee: Clean Air Task Force
    amount: $248,832
    city: Boston, MA
    year: 2011

    To organize the formulation of a study group, a research framework, and a request-for-proposals to investigate the energy efficiency paradox

    • Program Research
    • Sub-program Economic Institutions, Behavior, & Performance
    • Investigator Steven Brick

    Economists have been talking about the "Energy Efficiency Paradox" for nearly twenty years. The puzzle is why so few people take simple steps-such as replacing inefficient light bulbs or fixing home insulation-that engineers and other experts assure us would save energy, save money, and perhaps even help save the planet. Funds from this grant will support a project by Stephen Brick, Armond Cohen, and Joseph Chaisson of the Clean Air Task Force to start a process for studying the Energy Efficiency Paradox systematically, comprehensively, theoretically, empirically, and impartially. Their first step will be to survey what is known, unknown, and unknowable about the energy efficiency paradox. This will be accomplished in cooperation with a group of experts they will convene, including not just economists but also other social scientists, policymakers, marketers, and industry experts. Based on the survey findings, the main task for that group will be to develop and publish an overall conceptual framework for organizing research on energy efficiency. The focus will be on end-user efficiency decisions concerning residential and commercial buildings and will include considerations about costs and benefits, engineering and behavior, trends and uncertainties, finance and discounting, technology and regulation, etc. The expert group's output will also include a draft "Request for Proposals." This document, when circulated together with the framing paper, would ask appropriate research institutions to formulate plans and projects that the Sloan Foundation and others might consider for future funding to help resolve the fundamental questions this project will identify about energy efficiency and its supposed paradoxes.

    To organize the formulation of a study group, a research framework, and a request-for-proposals to investigate the energy efficiency paradox

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  • grantee: University of California, Berkeley
    amount: $270,250
    city: Berkeley, CA
    year: 2011

    To collect and analyze experimental data for powerful statistical tests of how weatherization affects household energy efficiency

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

    In the United States, buildings account for about 39% of all energy use, 68% of all electricity consumption, and 38% of all carbon dioxide emissions. Engineers estimate that retrofits for weatherizing built environments can substantially reduce waste enough to quickly pay for themselves, while also helping to decrease energy consumption and curb carbon emissions. But given the chance to save money and energy this way, the conventional wisdom is that many individuals and businesses do not take full advantage of energy efficiency investments that can save them money in the long run. The Sloan Foundation has begun funding work on this important issue by different kinds of researchers, ranging from behavioral economists to environmental engineers. Sloan funds have also helped launch the first large-scale randomized experiment to study weatherization programs. Based at the University of California, Berkeley, this pilot project has already discovered unexpected evidence that low-income homeowners are even less willing to take advantage of weatherization programs than previously thought. Moreover, such reluctance remains strong even among homeowners randomly chosen to receive encouragement and help with the process of weatherization. One implication of this finding is that the pilot study as originally planned will not have enough "statistical power" to justify robust policy conclusions. In order to refine the statistical validity of the findings, a larger sample of households is needed. Funds from this grant will support efforts by the University of California, Berkeley team to strengthen their experimental design and expand the number of households surveyed, allowing for more robust statistical conclusions that have the potential to appropriately shape policy discussions about energy utilization.

    To collect and analyze experimental data for powerful statistical tests of how weatherization affects household energy efficiency

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  • grantee: National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    amount: $392,955
    city: Cambridge, MA
    year: 2011

    To advance understanding of household financial behavior and policy

    • Program Research
    • Sub-program Economic Institutions, Behavior, & Performance
    • Investigator Brigitte Madrian

    The study of markets for mortgages, credit cards, annuities, and other consumer financial products was neither organized nor widely recognized as an academic research field of its own before the subprime mortgage crisis began in 2007. Since then, the Sloan Foundation has staked out a coherent role in helping establish such a field by funding research on topics that range from retirement planning to energy efficient home improvement investments. Funds from this grant will provide continued support to one of the main components of Sloan's strategy for advancing the study of consumer financial product : The Household Finance Working Group (Working Group) based at the National Bureau of Economic Research. Launched in December 2009, the Household Finance Working Group organizes workshops, hosts conferences, and commissions research on the economics of household finance. Activities funded through this grant include two conferences, one to be held in Washington to provide policy perspectives, and another to be held jointly with the Sloan/Russell Sage Working Group on Behavioral Economics and Consumer Financial Markets. Also supported are attempts to build up the field of household finance by expanding support for research projects conducted by graduate students and young faculty.

    To advance understanding of household financial behavior and policy

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  • grantee: Wellesley College
    amount: $308,075
    city: Wellesley, MA
    year: 2011

    To examine how firms shape the immigration of scientists, engineers, and other highly skilled workers to the United States

    • Program Research
    • Sub-program Economic Institutions, Behavior, & Performance
    • Investigator Sari Kerr

    When scientists and engineers immigrate to the United States, is it an important and enabling enhancement for our high-tech economy, or does it discourage and displace natives who would otherwise fill the jobs that these foreigners take? There is no shortage of entrenched views and vehement arguments on all sides of such questions. Though very little reputable research had been done on this subject not so many years ago, now immigration policy for highly skilled workers has become a controversial and polarizing topic among both politicians and academics. What is needed are dispassionate empirical studies of how the immigration of highly skilled workers can affect wages, employment, innovation, and productivity. This grant will support the work of Sari and William Kerr, rare examples of immigration researchers who are themselves highly skilled, but who are not readily associated with any political, methodological, or ideological camps. Rather, they have a reputation for working with interesting data, then letting the results fall where they may and speak for themselves. Their research under this grant will make pioneering use of sophisticated datasets that have only recently become available, including the Longitudinal Employer-Household Dynamics (LEHD) files now maintained by the U.S. Census Bureau. Their work will be the first study of highly skilled immigration based on data and analysis at the firm level. The project will also address the question of whether firms are substituting younger highly skilled immigrants for older highly skilled native workers.

    To examine how firms shape the immigration of scientists, engineers, and other highly skilled workers to the United States

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  • grantee: University of Texas, Austin
    amount: $1,501,154
    city: Austin, TX
    year: 2011

    To determine the capability of U.S. shale gas to contribute significantly to natural gas supply over the next twenty years, given various assumptions about natural gas prices

    • Program Research
    • Initiative Shale Gas
    • Sub-program Energy and Environment
    • Investigator Scott Tinker

    Though new technology has recently led to a huge increase in the estimates of the amount of natural gas that can be produced economically from U.S. shale deposits, detailed objective analysis of how much gas can actually be produced from these deposits has not yet been done. This grant to the University of Texas at Austin's Bureau of Economic Geology (BEG) will support just such an analysis. BEG will obtain government and company data-some public and some proprietary-on all existing gas wells in the five major shale gas regions of the United States and use these data to perform a well-by-well analysis of production capacity. Although the BEG project will not cover all shale regions, the ones included are expected to yield the lion's share of shale gas over the next 20 years, the time horizon for the study. BEG will also quantify the needs for land and water use to enable various levels of shale gas production to be achieved.

    To determine the capability of U.S. shale gas to contribute significantly to natural gas supply over the next twenty years, given various assumptions about natural gas prices

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  • grantee: Carnegie Institution of Washington
    amount: $1,499,995
    city: Washington, DC
    year: 2011

    To initiate the Reservoirs and Fluxes directorate of the Deep Carbon Observatory

    • Program Research
    • Sub-program Deep Carbon Observatory
    • Investigator Erik Hauri

    Established in June 2009, the Deep Carbon Observatory (DCO) aims to address two fundamental questions: the origins, abundance, and distribution of hydrocarbons (including so-called fossil fuels) and the origins of life, for which carbon is the key element. The DCO has organized itself into four "directorates", each tasked with executing a different element of the DCO's ambitious research agenda. In October 2010, the Foundation supported the launch of the DCO's first directorate, on deep life. This grant will fund the operation of the second directorate, on deep carbon reservoirs and fluxes. The ambitious aim of the Reservoirs and Fluxes directorate is to integrate, in an unprecedented way, an interdisciplinary group of researchers to study of the upper part of Earth's deep carbon cycle (about 400 kilometers). In a series of simultaneous research projects, the directorate will engage an international group of researchers to conduct fundamental field, laboratory, and modeling research tracing the origin of carbon at the global mid-ocean ridge system, the addition of carbon to oceanic plates, the subduction of carbon at subduction zones, the release of carbon-bearing fluids in the shallow mantle, the delivery of carbon to sources of subduction zone magmatism, and the emission of carbon from convergent margin volcanoes.

    To initiate the Reservoirs and Fluxes directorate of the Deep Carbon Observatory

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  • grantee: Institute of International Education
    amount: $750,000
    city: New York, NY
    year: 2011

    To provide life-saving fellowships and academic placements for persecuted scholars so they can continue their work before returning to their native countries when it is safe to do so

    • Program
    • Investigator Jim Miller

    This three-year grant to the Institute of International Education (IIE) will support its important humanitarian work rescuing endangered scientists, engineers, and mathematicians through the Scholar Rescue Fund (SRF). As a result of their academic work, scholars and intellectuals-professors, teachers, researchers, writers-often come under attack in repressive regimes where freedom of thought and freedom of speech pose a challenge to authoritarian rule. In 2002, the IIE-which also runs international scholarship programs like the Fulbright-established the Scholar Rescue Fund as a permanent agency to help scholars anywhere in the world. The idea was to establish an around-the-clock, year-round operation that could swiftly relocate threatened scholars to safe locations in other countries where they could continue their academic work-and ideally, return to their original countries when conditions improved. Since 2002, SRF has provided safe haven to 400 threatened scholars worldwide. Funds from this grant will provide for the relocation and safe shelter of an additional 40 scholars in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics fields.

    To provide life-saving fellowships and academic placements for persecuted scholars so they can continue their work before returning to their native countries when it is safe to do so

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