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: Code for Science and Society
    amount: $609,500
    city: Portland, OR
    year: 2018

    To support better use of spreadsheets in research through continued development of software that is user-friendly, designed to integrate with existing open tools and languages, customizable by discipline, and supportive of best practices in data management and computational reproducibility

    • Program Digital Technology
    • Sub-program Data & Computational Research
    • Investigator Nokome Bentley

    Stencila is a spreadsheet tool that enables researchers to execute Python, R, or SQL code from within individual cells alongside data and Excel-style formulae. The promise of a platform like Stencila is that it allows researchers who are comfortable in Excel to exploit the universe of disciplinary and statistical libraries in open source languages like Python and R without having to wholly embrace a different way of working. Funds from this grant support efforts by New Zealand–based scientist Nokome Bentley to expand the power and user base of Stencila. Plans involve identification of and outreach to researchers most likely to find Stencila useful, the implementation of several new features designed to ease adoption of the platform, the further growth of a community of committed open source developers, and efforts to diversify the project’s funding base.

    To support better use of spreadsheets in research through continued development of software that is user-friendly, designed to integrate with existing open tools and languages, customizable by discipline, and supportive of best practices in data management and computational reproducibility

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  • grantee: Johns Hopkins University
    amount: $536,063
    city: Baltimore, MD
    year: 2018

    To support the adoption of the SciServer research data platform by new scientific communities

    • Program Digital Technology
    • Sub-program Data & Computational Research
    • Investigator Alexander Szalay

    Adapted from SkyServer, the data portal for the Sloan Digital Sky Survey, SciServer is an open source data management and archiving platform aimed at meeting the data management needs of large research collaborations at a disciplinary or interdisciplinary scope. These collaborations often have unique data management challenges anchored to a particular instrument, facility, type of data, or field campaign that are unmet by archiving and management platforms built to serve as generic data archiving platforms. SciServer, in contrast, is built to integrate datasets and lower barriers to aggregate querying and analysis. Funds from this grant provide one year of operating support for SciServer as the project’s founder, Alexander Szalay, seeks to diversify and stabilize the platform’s funding base.

    To support the adoption of the SciServer research data platform by new scientific communities

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  • grantee: New York University
    amount: $186,897
    city: New York, NY
    year: 2018

    To investigate how academics are using Git hosting platforms and how those platforms can be better adapted to academic needs

    • Program Digital Technology
    • Sub-program Data & Computational Research
    • Investigator David Millman

    The grant funds work by a team at the NYU Libraries including David Millman, director of Digital Library Technology Services, and Vicky Steeves, reproducibility librarian, to examine how researchers use the popular code versioning site Github and its underlying technology platform Git. The team will document the ways in which current Git-based systems are incompletely serving the needs of academic researchers and libraries during the software design process. This will include a gap analysis, landscape research, user study, and development of functional requirements to improve Git from the standpoint of academic research. The result will be a set of recommendations to more overtly align Git platforms with academic institutions and incentive structures.

    To investigate how academics are using Git hosting platforms and how those platforms can be better adapted to academic needs

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  • grantee: SUNY Polytechnic Institute
    amount: $197,851
    city: Albany, NY
    year: 2018

    To support the scaling-up of a community of scholars and practitioners focused on technology maintenance

    • Program Digital Technology
    • Sub-program Data & Computational Research
    • Investigator Andrew Russell

    In 2016, Andrew Russell (now Professor and Dean of Arts & Sciences at SUNY Polytechnic Institute) and Lee Vinsel (now Assistant Professor of Science, Technology, and Society at Virginia Tech) hosted a three-day workshop, “The Maintainers,” held at the Stevens Institute for Technology, that included presentations from a handful of practitioners who were responsible for maintenance of technological infrastructure such as aerospace, transportation, information technology, and the military. Interest in the workshop was robust and a second workshop followed in 2017, also well attended. This grant provides support to Russell and Vinsel for plans to grow and formalize the set of experts, researchers, and practitioners interested in issues of technological maintenance. Over the next year they request funds to develop two pilot “maintenance communities,” one of “information maintainers” and the other of “maintainers in the workforce.” Through these two pilot communities Russell and Vinsel hope to produce a blueprint for how maintainer communities might be effectively structured. Additional grant funds support preparatory work in advance of a 2019 Maintainers conference.

    To support the scaling-up of a community of scholars and practitioners focused on technology maintenance

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  • grantee: University of Washington
    amount: $420,815
    city: Seattle, WA
    year: 2018

    To improve the capacity of data infrastructures to provide access to and sharing of sensitive qualitative data

    • Program Digital Technology
    • Sub-program Data & Computational Research
    • Investigator Nicholas Weber

    The conversation around data privacy and what constitutes appropriate access to sensitive data for research purposes has generally focused on quantitative data. Social scientists who work in whole or part with qualitative data have largely been left out of the data privacy conversation, and platforms for archiving ethnographic, interview, video, and other qualitative data haven’t yet engaged issues of cross-study search or analysis. This grant funds a two-year study led by Nic Weber and Carole Palmer of the University of Washington School of Library and Information of the privacy dimensions of qualitative research data. The project aims to produce a set of functional and technical specifications that will enable appropriate access to and sharing of qualitative data. Weber and Palmer will gather a broad set of use cases from both research case studies and scenario-focused interviews, which will then inform the initial design of a data curation protocol that ensures the contextual integrity of sensitive data collections and enhances the propensity of sensitive data to be reused. That protocol will then be implemented in both a tool for researchers to easily generate structured provenance metadata for sensitive qualitative data and a set of functional and technical requirements that will be piloted at Syracuse University’s Qualitative Data Repository.

    To improve the capacity of data infrastructures to provide access to and sharing of sensitive qualitative data

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  • grantee: American Association for the Advancement of Science
    amount: $649,893
    city: Washington, DC
    year: 2018

    To continue to promote the professionalization and institutionalization of the role of the community engagement manager in scientific societies and large-scale research collaborations

    • Program Digital Technology
    • Sub-program Scholarly Communication
    • Investigator Joshua Freeman

    In 2015 the Foundation funded a pilot Community Engagement Fellows program at the American Association for the Advancement of Science. The program is run by longtime scientific community manager Lou Woodley, who led a yearlong planning process to develop a curriculum that tailors community engagement skills training to the scientific research context, and then recruited the first cohort of fellows for the 2017 calendar year. Drawn from professional societies and large scientific collaborations, fellows came together for in-person workshops at the beginning, middle, and end of the fellowship year, as well as for regular webinars and other online discussions. A robust program evaluation made clear that the fellowship year wasn’t just extremely effective for the participants, it also led to tangible investments in and foregrounding of community management by many of the host organizations. This grant funds a continuation of the Community Engagement Fellows program, which includes funds for administration, for the recruitment and support of the 2019 fellows cohort, and for a shorter-term “visiting scholars” program that could draw on program alumni and other community management professionals.

    To continue to promote the professionalization and institutionalization of the role of the community engagement manager in scientific societies and large-scale research collaborations

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  • grantee: Aspiration
    amount: $448,800
    city: San Francisco, CA
    year: 2018

    To reduce barriers to data publication by providing context-specific guidance on sharing best practice, including suitable repositories

    • Program Digital Technology
    • Sub-program Scholarly Communication
    • Investigator Kristen Ratan

    Recent years have seen a proliferation of policies coming from research funders, universities, and publishers intended to prod scientists toward more proactive archiving, citation, and data sharing practices. The mere presence of a policy, however, doesn’t guarantee compliance, so the Foundation has looked to support technologies that make it easier to adopt best practices in research data and software management. The grant funds work by the Collaborative Knowledge Foundation and the California Digital Library to develop DataSeer, an open sourced rule-based platform that would be able to automatically identify data referenced explicitly or implicitly in a grant proposal, data management plan, or draft article and suggest appropriate repositories for deposit of that data. By providing nudges and suggestions at specific targeted moments in the research lifecycle (like the creation of a data management plan, submission of a grant proposal, or submission of a manuscript), DataSeer has the potential to substantively improve proactive data sharing and archiving by researchers, while reducing the costs of compliance checking for funders, libraries, and publishers.

    To reduce barriers to data publication by providing context-specific guidance on sharing best practice, including suitable repositories

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  • grantee: American Institute of Physics
    amount: $646,697
    city: College Park, MD
    year: 2018

    To support global, digital access to the Wenner Collection on the history of physics via detailed cataloging, description, online availability, and initial outreach

    • Program Digital Technology
    • Sub-program Universal Access to Knowledge
    • Investigator Melanie Mueller

    This grant supports efforts by the American Institute of Physics (AIP) to catalog and digitize the Wenner Collection, a unique collection of 3,800 rare books and documents that cover the early development of physics and astronomy. The collection was carefully assembled and annotated by David Wenner, a wealthy, philanthropic science aficionado, and contains works—some more than five centuries old—by Ptolemy, Galileo, Huygens, Halley, Newton, Laplace, and many early-19th-century natural philosophers. AIP will scrupulously organize, classify, and catalog the entire collection in accordance with international and national library standards. Grant funds will support the hiring of a rare book cataloger to make decisions about priorities, storage facilities for the materials that will preserve Wenner’s original ordering and grouping, and the hiring of a digital assessment specialist to facilitate efficient, high-quality digitization of the collection. Additional funds will support various outreach activities to facilitate user engagement with the collection.

    To support global, digital access to the Wenner Collection on the history of physics via detailed cataloging, description, online availability, and initial outreach

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  • grantee: Annual Reviews
    amount: $800,000
    city: Palo Alto, CA
    year: 2018

    To develop and expand Knowable Magazine, a new digital publication that unlocks scientific research to inform the public discourse with compelling, timely, and impartial knowledge

    • Program Digital Technology
    • Sub-program Universal Access to Knowledge
    • Investigator Richard Gallagher

    Funds from this grant provide one year of support to Knowable Magazine, a new digital-native publication launched in October 2017 by Annual Reviews. Annual Reviews, publisher of a prestigious series of comprehensive, high-quality scientific field reviews, has a large following among scientists. Knowable is an attempt to bring that content to a broader demographic. Its articles use established scientific knowledge and research-based facts to highlight the issues society is grappling with, such as health and disease, aging, and climate change. Grant funds will provide general operating support and enhanced outreach for Knowable as it expands its audience, forms relationships with corporate partners, and moves toward independent sustainability.

    To develop and expand Knowable Magazine, a new digital publication that unlocks scientific research to inform the public discourse with compelling, timely, and impartial knowledge

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  • grantee: American Friends of Toulouse School of Economics
    amount: $300,000
    city: Salisbury, MD
    year: 2018

    To build out an open-source platform for reproducibly running large-scale behavioral experiments both online and in the laboratory

    • Program Economics
    • Sub-program Economic Institutions, Behavior, & Performance
    • Investigator Daniel Chen

    The suite of open source software tools known as “oTree” makes it simple to conduct behavioral experiments online or in laboratories. (The word “Tree” in the name refers to decision trees, and the prefix “o” stands for “open.”) Without the need for sophisticated programming, researchers can easily build and run games on oTree that test all kinds of hypotheses about human decision-making. This grant funds a project by Toulouse economics professor Daniel Chen to expand oTree’s capabilities. Planned improvements include handling large-scale experiments, supporting continuous-time games, integrating oTree with other open source tools, improving documentation, diversifying its users and funders, and enhancing its long-term sustainability.  

    To build out an open-source platform for reproducibly running large-scale behavioral experiments both online and in the laboratory

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