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: University of Colorado, Boulder
    amount: $399,984
    city: Boulder, CO
    year: 2021

    To explore the underlying instructor belief systems that can help us understand why STEM weed-out courses are taught in distinctive ways that have longstanding, dysfunctional consequences, particularly for students historically marginalized in STEM fields

    • Program Higher Education
    • Sub-program Diversity, Equity & Inclusion in STEM Higher Education
    • Investigator Anne-Barrie Hunter

    Introductory undergraduate courses play an outsized role in steering women and students of color out of STEM majors. One recent study, reported in Talking about Leaving Revisited, found that 35% of all decisions to switch out of a STEM major could be attributed to these courses, with women leaving at significantly higher rates than men. What is less well understood, however, is what it is about these courses that cause such differential responses across race and gender. This grant funds a team led by Anne-Barrie Hunter at the University of Colorado, Boulder, to conduct a large ethnographic study of introductory STEM courses across six U.S. college campuses. Focusing on courses in mathematics, computer science, chemistry, and biology with high DFWI (grades D, F, withdrawal, or incomplete) rates, the research team will conduct 240 in-depth, semi-structured interviews with professors, administrators, instructional staff, and teaching assistants and then link the information collected with university data on student performance. Interviews will be structured to examine the role that individual—as well as departmental and institutional—incentives, beliefs, attitudes, and practices have on student outcomes with an emphasis on teaching practices. The ethnography promises to yield important, actionable insights into the mechanisms that lead to differential racial and gendered outcomes among STEM students.

    To explore the underlying instructor belief systems that can help us understand why STEM weed-out courses are taught in distinctive ways that have longstanding, dysfunctional consequences, particularly for students historically marginalized in STEM fields

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  • grantee: Howard University
    amount: $1,423,003
    city: Washington, DC
    year: 2021

    To enhance the teaching and educational training of Black and other minority students pursuing degrees in economics

    • Program Higher Education
    • Sub-program Diversity, Equity & Inclusion in STEM Higher Education
    • Investigator Omari Swinton

    This grant provides support for a series of interrelated activities designed to support and strengthen the economics department at Howard University, the nation’s leading producer of Black PhDs in economics and the only Historically Black College or University that offers a doctorate in economics. Over the three-year grant period, funds will be used to increase Howard’s capacity to recruit, educate, and graduate economics students through providing fellowship support for undergraduate students, doctoral students, and a post-doctoral researcher. In addition, grant funds will be used to augment and strengthen the resources of the Howard economics department, including an upgrade to the department’s computer lab and seminar facilities, the launch of a faculty development program, and the creation of a mentoring program that pairs students with dedicated faculty mentors.

    To enhance the teaching and educational training of Black and other minority students pursuing degrees in economics

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  • grantee: National Academy of Sciences
    amount: $400,000
    city: Washington, DC
    year: 2021

    To conduct a consensus study that will address anti-racism within the scientific enterprise and the need to make the STEM workforce more reflective of the population

    • Program Higher Education
    • Sub-program Diversity, Equity & Inclusion in STEM Higher Education
    • Investigator Adrienne Stith Butler

    This grant provides partial support for a study by the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine that will report on the current expert consensus about the influence of systemic racism in academia on the careers of individuals belonging to racial and ethnic groups historically underrepresented in the scientific, technical, and medical workforce. The Academies will assemble a study committee of top experts to commission papers that synthesize the collective body of scholarship on this issue; develop practical, evidence-based recommendations to address the challenges the scholarship identifies; surface gaps in our understanding; and recommend an ambitious research agenda aimed to fill those gaps. This 21-month consensus study is a partial response to a request made by the Chairwoman of the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, Congresswoman Edie Bernice Johnson. The Academies will plan a diverse variety of outreach and dissemination activities designed to ensure the report and its recommendations are circulated widely among key stakeholders and decision-makers inside and outside academia.

    To conduct a consensus study that will address anti-racism within the scientific enterprise and the need to make the STEM workforce more reflective of the population

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  • grantee: National Book Foundation, Inc.
    amount: $525,387
    city: New York, NY
    year: 2021

    To honor exceptional books with scientific or technological themes or characters from diverse authors and to support public programming with the winning authors

    • Program Public Understanding
    • Sub-program Books
    • Investigator Jordan Smith

    The National Book Foundation (NBF), which has for 70 years bestowed the prestigious National Book Awards, is launching a new “Science + Literature” program that aims to identify and honor outstanding books that deepen readers’ understanding of science and technology, that celebrates and contributes to the diversity of voices in scientific writing, and that uses literature as a catalyst to create discourse and understanding through public programming. Each year, a diverse, independent five-person selection committee of well-known authors, scientists, and thinkers will select three outstanding books with scientific or technological themes or characters, published in the last three years. Winning authors will receive a cash prize of $10,000 and be celebrated at an annual awards event. NBF will also host three public events per year, or one per winning author.

    To honor exceptional books with scientific or technological themes or characters from diverse authors and to support public programming with the winning authors

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  • grantee: Academy Foundation
    amount: $450,000
    city: Beverly Hills, CA
    year: 2021

    To support film screenings, filmmaker discussions, and public programs focused on science and the science and technology of motion pictures

    • Program Public Understanding
    • Sub-program Film
    • Investigator Jacqueline Stewart

    This grant supports science and technology programming at the new Academy Museum of Motion Pictures. Foundation-supported programming will include screenings of Oscar nominated and winning films focused on science and scientists, a selection of talks and panel discussions with filmmakers and scientists, and an exhibit exploring the accomplishments of six Black visual effects artists. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, host of the Academy Awards and a membership organization for preeminent film professionals, is opening this new museum in Los Angeles as the definitive showcase devoted to the art, science, and myriad creators of cinema. It will occupy 300,000 square feet across two buildings, including six floors of exhibition galleries and public spaces and two theaters, and will reach an estimated 600,000 visitors in its first year.

    To support film screenings, filmmaker discussions, and public programs focused on science and the science and technology of motion pictures

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  • grantee: The Graduate Center Foundation, Inc.
    amount: $330,000
    city: New York, NY
    year: 2021

    To support an annual scientific biography fellowship at the Leon Levy Center for Biography that will result in three new major biographies of scientists and/or technologists

    • Program Public Understanding
    • Sub-program Books
    • Investigator Kai Bird

    This grant underwrites an annual fellowship at the Leon Levy Center for Biography (the Center) at the City University of New York (CUNY) to support an author writing a biography of a scientist, engineer, inventor, or mathematician. The Center is the only academic institution in the country devoted to promoting the practice of biography. Founded in 2007, its mission is to foster excellence in biographical writing and to encourage the academy to understand biography as a scholarly and rigorous discipline. Fellows receive a one-time award of $72,000, a graduate research assistant, dedicated office space, and access to both the Center’s fellow biographers and CUNY’s science faculty as advisors. Additional grant funds support outreach to publicize the fellowship with relevant audiences. The current fellows are: Dr. Laura J. Snyder, writing a biography of neurologist Oliver Sacks; Miriam Horn, writing a biography of biologist and conservationist George Schaller; and Patchen Barss, writing a biography of mathematician and cosmologist Roger Penrose.

    To support an annual scientific biography fellowship at the Leon Levy Center for Biography that will result in three new major biographies of scientists and/or technologists

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  • grantee: Electronic Frontier Foundation
    amount: $376,684
    city: San Francisco, CA
    year: 2021

    To support the research, development, and launch of “How to Fix the Internet,” an in-depth podcast about the problems of the modern Web geared towards a lay audience

    • Program Public Understanding
    • Sub-program Radio
    • Investigator Rainey Reitman

    This grant supports the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s (EFF) new podcast series, How to Fix the Internet, which explores the challenges posed by big tech and what consumers can do to protect themselves and their privacy and security. EFF is an international digital rights group focusing on technical tools, litigation, and public education. Over the course of two seasons of ten one-hour episodes, its new podcast will give listeners an awareness of and appreciation for the technologies that surround us every day, the policies and choices embedded in those technologies, and the role of corporations and laws in steering our digital world—allowing people to make more informed choices as they gain a deeper understanding of new technologies.

    To support the research, development, and launch of “How to Fix the Internet,” an in-depth podcast about the problems of the modern Web geared towards a lay audience

    More
  • grantee: University of California, Los Angeles
    amount: $356,868
    city: Los Angeles, CA
    year: 2021

    To support the development and production of science and technology films, television, and new media projects by top film students

    • Program Public Understanding
    • Sub-program Film
    • Investigator Brian Kite

    This grant provides three years of renewed support to the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), for a series of activities, programs, and initiatives designed to encourage UCLA film students to engage with scientific and technological themes in their filmmaking and to produce science-themed films and screenplays. UCLA’s Sloan Foundation-supported activities include four annual prizes: a $30,000 production award; two $15,000 screenwriting awards; and a $15,000 episodic television award, as well as an annual colloquium that brings film students together with leading researchers to discuss the newest developments in science and technology. This grant also provides funds for dedicated scientific advisors to help students with their projects, independent judges to evaluate student submission, and faculty support and other operational costs associated with administration of the program.

    To support the development and production of science and technology films, television, and new media projects by top film students

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  • grantee: American Film Institute
    amount: $375,000
    city: Los Angeles, CA
    year: 2021

    To support the development and production of science and technology films, television, and new media projects by top film students

    • Program Public Understanding
    • Sub-program Film
    • Investigator Tom Engfer

    This grant provides three years of continued support to the American Film Institute’s (AFI) efforts to encourage young screenwriters and filmmakers to write and produce compelling narrative films that explore scientific themes or have scientists, engineers, or mathematicians as major characters. AFI’s Sloan Foundation-supported activities include four annual prizes: a $25,000 production award; a $20,000 annual screenwriting award; a $25,000 development award; and a $45,000 tuition award. In addition, AFI holds a seminar series where established actors, writers, directors, and producers talk to students about science and Hollywood, and provides access to working scientists to serve as mentors on student scripts.

    To support the development and production of science and technology films, television, and new media projects by top film students

    More
  • grantee: Research Foundation for SUNY at Buffalo
    amount: $496,909
    city: Amherst, NY
    year: 2021

    To better understand how communities and stakeholders perceive negative emissions technologies and solar radiation management technologies

    • Program Research
    • Sub-program Energy and Environment
    • Investigator Holly Buck

    There are many complex societal questions associated with the development and deployment of negative emissions technologies, which are designed to remove carbon dioxide from the air, and solar radiation management technologies, which attempt to reflect sunlight from the atmosphere and thereby reduce warming. These include, but are not limited to, issues related to public perception and acceptance, willingness to site such novel technological infrastructure in different communities, and analyzing how costs and benefits might accrue differentially across populations. This grant will support high-quality social science research to understand community stakeholder views on negative emissions and solar radiation management in different regions of the country. Researchers will conduct interviews and focus groups across five geographically diverse regions where negative emissions or solar radiation interventions are likely to be located.  The multi-disciplinary, multi-institutional research team, led by Holly Buck at the University of Buffalo, will supplement the local perspectives garnered through these interviews by fielding a nationally representative survey to examine public perceptions of both technologies and provide baseline information across a wide cross-section of the population. The team expects to produce up to six research papers that report on their results, train at least one postdoctoral scholar, and disseminate findings to practitioners and local communities.

    To better understand how communities and stakeholders perceive negative emissions technologies and solar radiation management technologies

    More
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