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: Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
    amount: $774,770
    city: Troy, NY
    year: 2017

    To support the Research Data Alliance regional U.S. organization

    • Program Digital Technology
    • Sub-program Data & Computational Research
    • Investigator Leslie Borrelli

    The Research Data Alliance is an international grassroots organization that brings technologists, developers, and researchers together to jointly develop and adopt data-sharing infrastructure, tools, and practices. RDA working groups tackle some of the thorniest topics facing data science today, including reproducibility, data preservation, interoperability, data citation, and best practices for data repositories. RDA provides useful services to the data-driven research community, including to many grantees supported through the Foundation’s Digital Information Technology program. Funds from this grant provide core operating support to the U.S. regional chapter of the RDA and support efforts to build out the organization’s U.S. administrative infrastructure and grow its membership base. Funded activities over the next three years include the production of reports detailing RDA data sharing recommendations, member outreach, creation of adoption case studies for RDA products and services, trainings, annual stakeholder meetings, and the development of a long term business plan for independent sustainability.

    To support the Research Data Alliance regional U.S. organization

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  • grantee: Council on Library and Information Resources
    amount: $925,362
    city: Washington, DC
    year: 2017

    To support data and software curation postdoctoral fellowships, in order to develop emerging leaders in the field and build capacity within academic libraries

    • Program Digital Technology
    • Sub-program Data & Computational Research
    • Investigator Charles Henry

    This grant provides three years of support to an ongoing postdoctoral fellowship program administered by the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) that aims both to grow data and software curation capacity within research libraries and to develop the next generation of data and software curators who will bring deep research experience into the organizational context of the university library. Fellows are PhD-level researchers who are selected, in part, for their potential to build collaborative relationships with natural and social scientists across the university. Since the launch of the program in 2012, fellows have been placed at a wide variety of universities, working with scientists and library staff on projects to improve the university’s data and software curation services and responding to requests from researchers to build tools and resources that speak to their needs. Recent participating institutions include UC Berkeley, MIT, Yale, the California Digital Library, Vanderbilt, the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City and the U.S. Agency for International Development. Funds from this grant will support the 2018-2020 class of CLIR fellows, which includes a cohort of four software curation fellows as well as four additional data curation fellows in the natural and social sciences. In addition to covering some salary, travel, and professional development support for fellows, grant funds cover operational costs associated with the administration of the program.

    To support data and software curation postdoctoral fellowships, in order to develop emerging leaders in the field and build capacity within academic libraries

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  • grantee: Yale University
    amount: $1,000,000
    city: New Haven, CT
    year: 2017

    To expand emulation and software preservation infrastructure in order to ensure that software and software-dependent digital content is accessible by future generations

    • Program Digital Technology
    • Sub-program Scholarly Communication
    • Investigator Euan Cochrane

    Yale University Library digital archivist Euan Cochrane leads one of the most ambitious software archiving programs in United States research libraries. Currently accessible to Yale faculty and students, the Yale software collection relies on open source software called bwFLA that enables the creation, management, and distribution of “virtual machines” which can simulate the hardware of an older computer on a newer computer and then run older software on the simulated machine. In practice this means that if you have the right credentials, you can go to the Yale Library website, click a link, and suddenly be running Windows 3.1, the original MacOS, or any other operating system and software, right in your browser. This grant supports efforts by Cochrane and his team at Yale to further develop this infrastructure and, working with the Software Preservation Network, to cultivate this capability at other institutions. The grant will support focused work on four use cases: scientific software, CD-ROM archiving, restricted-access reading rooms, and a “Universal Virtual Interactor” that would automatically launch the correct software and version to open any given digital file. Other supported activities include technical refinements to the bwFLA platform and the archiving of the National Software Reference Library currently held by the National Institutes of Standards and Technology.

    To expand emulation and software preservation infrastructure in order to ensure that software and software-dependent digital content is accessible by future generations

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  • grantee: Paris School of Economics
    amount: $900,000
    city: Paris, France
    year: 2017

    To improve the quality, quantity, and accessibility of data in the World Wealth and Income Database (WID.world) for researchers of all backgrounds and for the general public

    • Program Digital Technology
    • Sub-program Universal Access to Knowledge
    • Investigator Thomas Piketty

    The World Wealth and Income Database (WID.world), co-directed by Facundo Alvaredo, Lucas Chancel and Thomas Piketty at the Paris School of Economics and Emanuel Saez and Gabriel Zucman at the University of California at Berkeley, provides high quality, fully public access to comprehensive and reliable data on income and wealth inequality. Surprisingly easy to use, the website allows researchers, journalists, and the public to access raw data, read the methodology of how those data were collected and processed, and improve them through their own contributions. WID.world datasets combine fiscal, survey and national account data in a novel, systematic way that produces reliable income time series and minimizes well known problems related to self-reporting and “under-reporting at the top.” Funds from this grant support the continued expansion and improvement of WID.world. Plans include expanding the number of countries covered to include China, India, Brazil, and several African states; improving data on the full income distribution; using collected income data to study issues such as tax fraud; improving the sites statistical tools; and adding new data variables like gender and environmental inequality. In addition, the research team will hold several workshops to facilitate use of the site and improve coordination with other researchers and large organizations such as the World Bank and IMF.

    To improve the quality, quantity, and accessibility of data in the World Wealth and Income Database (WID.world) for researchers of all backgrounds and for the general public

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  • grantee: American Association for the Advancement of Science
    amount: $500,251
    city: Washington, DC
    year: 2017

    To pilot a Center for Scientific Evidence in Public Issues whose reports on policy-relevant scientific findings will be impartial, respected, timely, and informed by expertise in the social and behavioral sciences

    • Program Economics
    • Initiative Economic Analysis of Science and Technology (EAST)
    • Sub-program Economic Institutions, Behavior, & Performance
    • Investigator Rush Holt

    The new Center for Scientific Evidence in Public Issues (the “Scientific EPI Center”) being launched by the American Association for the Advancement of Science aims to help bring scientific evidence to bear on public policy issues. The need for such a center has been discussed in Washington for decades, beginning when Congress closed its own Office of Technology Assessment in 1995. As impartial scientific expertise in government and think tanks has dwindled, policymakers increasingly turn to lobbyists or other self-interested parties. What is needed, instead, is a source of impartial experts who can bring our best scientific understandings to bear on policy issues as diverse as climate change, cybersecurity, AI, and renewable energy. This grant provides funds to the new Scientific EPI Center for the hiring of a full-time economist or other empirical social scientist. The addition of such a full-time staff will allow the Center to benefit from the rigorous frameworks and models developed within economics for the analysis of incentives and behavior, provide a guide to the voluminous economic literature that bears on policy issues, and ensure that Center reports and recommendations are informed by economic insights about trade-offs, opportunity costs, nudges, and elasticities. Qualifications for this position include a Ph.D. as well as years of scholarly achievement, policy experience, and management practice.

    To pilot a Center for Scientific Evidence in Public Issues whose reports on policy-relevant scientific findings will be impartial, respected, timely, and informed by expertise in the social and behavioral sciences

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  • grantee: Columbia University
    amount: $299,989
    city: New York, NY
    year: 2017

    To support the Columbia Energy Exchange podcast series to disseminate information and deepen dialogue around energy and environment issues

    • Program Energy and Environment
    • Investigator Jason Bordoff

    This grant provides two years of support for the continued production and improvement of the Columbia Energy Exchange podcast series, produced by Columbia University’s Center on Global Energy Policy (CGEP). Launched in 2015 and hosted by veteran energy journalist Bill Loveless, the 30-minute, weekly podcast features in-depth, one-on-one discussions with top thought leaders in the energy sector. The podcast series has featured an impressive network of leaders from across the energy system, including former government agency heads from the United States and abroad, CEOs of energy companies involved in a wide range of industries (oil, gas, electricity, nuclear, and renewables), and top analysts from energy think tanks, consultancies, and NGOs. Past guests include former Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz, Canada’s Minister of Environment Catherine McKenna, Chevron CEO John Watson, and the World Bank’s Head of Energy Riccardo Puliti. The podcast series also features research results from CGEP-affiliated scholars and its weekly release schedule enables CGEP to address topical and relevant energy issues as they rise in the public discourse. Sloan grant support will provide funds for the production of 50 episodes of the series over each of the next two years, allow CGEP to produce transcripts of each episode, and enable necessary technical improvements to upgrade the podcast’s audio quality.

    To support the Columbia Energy Exchange podcast series to disseminate information and deepen dialogue around energy and environment issues

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  • grantee: University of California, San Diego
    amount: $271,207
    city: La Jolla, CA
    year: 2017

    To assess the economic, policy, institutional, and technological barriers and opportunities associated with the development and deployment of carbon capture, utilization, and sequestration technologies

    • Program Energy and Environment
    • Investigator David Victor

    Many analyses examining the transition to a low-carbon energy system in the United States identify carbon capture, utilization, and sequestration (CCUS) technologies as critical in order to make progress toward deep decarbonization. These technologies have proven difficult to develop and scale, however, and much uncertainty remains about the durability and longevity of policies and incentive structures designed to demonstrate their feasibility. Funds from this grant support work by David Victor and his team at the University of California, San Diego to examine the economic, political, institutional, and technological barriers that are impeding the development of CCUS technologies. First, the team will survey the literature and develop a typology of canonical CCUS technology features being used in different CCUS demonstration facilities, such as the adopted method of carbon dioxide sequestration or the planned industrial use of the carbon dioxide byproduct. They will then select a set of demonstration plants that represent a broad array of different CCUS features to study, conducting semi-structured interviews with a wide range of industry leaders, government representatives, scientists, engineers, and non-governmental actors involved in these projects. Their analysis will focus on the regulatory, institutional, and technological barriers and opportunities that have shaped the development of CCUS technologies to date with the aim of extracting relevant lessons that can be learned as this suite of technologies moves ahead. At the end of the project, the UCSD team will organize a structured workshop to review the research results and share findings with the broader community of researchers and practitioners.

    To assess the economic, policy, institutional, and technological barriers and opportunities associated with the development and deployment of carbon capture, utilization, and sequestration technologies

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  • grantee: Arizona State University
    amount: $299,574
    city: Tempe, AZ
    year: 2017

    To examine alternative governance approaches and institutions associated with geoengineering research, focusing on solar radiation management field experiments, using participatory deliberation methodologies

    • Program Energy and Environment
    • Investigator Daniel Sarewitz

    There is a growing debate in the energy and environment community about the role to be played by geoengineering as a response to climate change. Solar radiation management (SRM) technologies, which involve injecting aerosol particles into the atmosphere to cool the Earth by reflecting sunlight, are increasingly central to these discussions. SRM technologies may be developed quickly, have the potential to be relatively inexpensive, and could be easily scaled. However, SRM research and its associated deployment raises many underexplored concerns related to moral hazard, technological uncertainty, unintended externalities, and potential irreversibility. In particular, little is known about the public’s understanding of SRM technologies, their potential concerns, and what procedural and governance safeguards might be put in place to allay them. A multidisciplinary team of scholars at Arizona State University (ASU) proposes to conduct a series of public dialogues with the aim to better understand public views on the development, and deployment of SRM technologies. First, the ASU team will conduct an initial framing and design workshop with subject matter experts to develop rubrics for discussing SRM technologies with the public. Next, they will hold two forums, one in Arizona and the other in Boston, each involving over a hundred members of the lay public. Trained social scientists will lead structured focus groups that will inform participants about SRM technologies and solicit their views and perspectives. Multiple forms of qualitative and quantitative data will be collected throughout the process, including pre- and post- event surveys and interviews. A final expert workshop will then integrate and assess collected data and present findings to policymakers and the research community.

    To examine alternative governance approaches and institutions associated with geoengineering research, focusing on solar radiation management field experiments, using participatory deliberation methodologies

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  • grantee: University of Colorado, Denver
    amount: $218,239
    city: Denver, CO
    year: 2017

    To support a pilot study that will analyze case examples of policy conflict and concord among key stakeholders related to the siting of energy infrastructure, including solar and wind energy production projects, pipelines, and transmission lines

    • Program Energy and Environment
    • Investigator Christopher Weible

    Researchers Tanya Heikkila and Chris Weible from the University of Colorado, Denver plan to undertake a research project that will examine the role played by different stakeholders and policy actors in contributing to the degree of conflict and concord surrounding the siting of energy infrastructure projects. Heikkila and Weible will examine stakeholder coalitions formed during the planning, permitting, and approval stages of various energy infrastructure projects, including renewable energy projects (wind farms and large-scale solar installations), transmission lines, and pipeline build-outs. They will first identify a variety of recently proposed large-scale energy infrastructure siting projects. They will then focus on a select set of each project type, representing a diverse array of stakeholder coalition characteristics, for more detailed study. Projects under study will include not only successful siting projects but also those that were terminated or abandoned due to stakeholder opposition. Heikkila and Weible will then interview key stakeholders and policy actors involved in the siting of each project and conduct detailed textual analyses of media coverage and public records related to permitting decisions.

    To support a pilot study that will analyze case examples of policy conflict and concord among key stakeholders related to the siting of energy infrastructure, including solar and wind energy production projects, pipelines, and transmission lines

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  • grantee: Duke University
    amount: $225,000
    city: Durham, NC
    year: 2017

    To support an Energy Data Analytics predoctoral fellows program to advance multidisciplinary training and collaboration among early career researchers in energy data analytics

    • Program Energy and Environment
    • Investigator Brian Murray

    This proposed grant will provide partial funding for four Ph.D. students per year for two years (eight total) to conduct research on energy data analytics at Duke University’s Energy Data Analytics Lab (EDAL). Candidates will be drawn from a range of natural and social science disciplines—economics, engineering, environmental science, computer science, statistics, mathematics—and will be required to have faculty supervisors drawn from both energy-related domains and data-science relevant disciplines. Each pre-doctoral fellow will be expected to produce at least one paper that emerges from their fellowship research. All datasets produced will be made available through the EDAL repository. Fellows will has access to EDAL’s high performance computing environments and have the opportunity to lead an undergraduate energy data science team over a summer term. An Energy Data Analytics Symposium will be held at the end of the grant period to feature student work and that of invited internal and external senior scholars.

    To support an Energy Data Analytics predoctoral fellows program to advance multidisciplinary training and collaboration among early career researchers in energy data analytics

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