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: 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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  • grantee: California Institute of Technology
    amount: $308,614
    city: Pasadena, CA
    year: 2018

    To develop, test, and apply neuro-economic models of how decision-makers switch between habit-driven and goal-seeking behaviors

    • Program Economics
    • Sub-program Economic Institutions, Behavior, & Performance
    • Investigator Colin Camerer

    This grant supports a project by Caltech economist Colin Camerer to use insights from neuroscience to develop better predictions and explanations of consumer behavior. Camerer is developing, testing, and applying neuro-economic models of how people switch between behaviors that are habit-driven or routine on the one hand and behaviors that are goal-seeking and deliberative on the other—with particular focus on measuring the differences in price elasticities associated with one type of behavior vs. the other. Camerer will test the predictions of his model against a meta-analysis of previous results as well as in a field experiment using vending machines to measure economic variables, including price and quantity responses, and psychological variables, including response times and attention patterns.

    To develop, test, and apply neuro-economic models of how decision-makers switch between habit-driven and goal-seeking behaviors

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  • grantee: University of California, Berkeley
    amount: $287,500
    city: Berkeley, CA
    year: 2018

    To support a special semester on the foundations and applications of data privacy research

    • Program Economics
    • Sub-program Economic Institutions, Behavior, & Performance
    • Investigator Shafi Goldwasser

    The Simons Institute for the Theory of Computing at the University of California, Berkeley regularly devotes a semester to a given research topic, inviting interested researchers to make progress on the selected topic by either visiting regularly or taking up residence. This grant supports a semester at the Simons Institute devoted to advancing the theory and practice of data privacy. Funds will support visitors, events, and projects covering three themes: foundations of data privacy; interactions with other areas, such as statistics and geometry; and socio-technical aspects of data privacy—including modern privacy regulation, practical deployment challenges, and fairness, accountability, and transparency (FAT) issues. Program participants will include 23 senior visitors, 8 postdoctoral fellows, and over 20 graduate students. Expected outputs from this grant include a series of academic papers published by collaborating attendees and a white paper that describes findings and their implications for policy and practice.

    To support a special semester on the foundations and applications of data privacy research

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  • grantee: The Pennsylvania State University
    amount: $234,416
    city: University Park, PA
    year: 2018

    To strengthen the microfoundations of macroeconomics by building and calibrating behavioral models of order-book activity in financial markets

    • Program Economics
    • Sub-program Economic Institutions, Behavior, & Performance
    • Investigator John Liechty

    An “order book” is a list of various traders’ buy or sell instructions for a given financial instrument.  A stock exchange uses such an order book to keep track of how many shares are being bid or offered at each potential price point.  That information, in turn, determines the actual price quoted by the exchange at any moment in time.  This grant funds work by John Liechty and Mark Flood to study the behavior of traders when they send messages to a financial exchange for inclusion in an order book. The researchers will model how trader behavior depends on available information and attentiveness, exploring how asymmetries in these qualities can have dramatic effects.  Liechty and Flood will also focus very specifically on whether detailed order-book data could help financial regulators predict or mitigate systemic market failures. 

    To strengthen the microfoundations of macroeconomics by building and calibrating behavioral models of order-book activity in financial markets

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  • grantee: ideas42
    amount: $189,873
    city: New York, NY
    year: 2018

    To field test how machine-learning algorithms compare with traditional techniques for estimating heterogeneous effects in behavioral experiments

    • Program Economics
    • Sub-program Economic Institutions, Behavior, & Performance
    • Investigator Josh Wright

    Funds from this grant support research by Josh Wright, working in concert with economists Sendhil Mullainathan of the University of Chicago and Susan Athey of Stanford, to test innovative new machine learning techniques in economics field experiments. The group intends to investigate whether machine learning can improve randomly controlled trials in two ways. First, can machine learning enhance the assignment of subjects to control and treatment groups in ways that can lower necessary sample size without sacrificing rigor? Second, can machine learning techniques expand our ability to identify and analyze heterogenous treatment effects? Wright and his team will deploy state-of-the-art machine learning techniques in a series of actual economic field experiments and then share their findings via conferences, talks, and papers.

    To field test how machine-learning algorithms compare with traditional techniques for estimating heterogeneous effects in behavioral experiments

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  • grantee: Boston College
    amount: $450,048
    city: Chestnut Hill, MA
    year: 2018

    To strengthen Network member engagement of the Sloan Research Network and successfully transition to a new structure and leadership

    • Program Working Longer
    • Investigator Jacquelyn James

    The Sloan Research Network on Aging & Work (SRNAW) is the only multidisciplinary research network focused on the aging of the workforce in the United States and abroad. Bringing together 235 members from 21 countries and more than 24 disciplines including economics, psychology, sociology, and management studies, SRNAW is a critical communication hub for the development of shared theories, frameworks, and research projects on aging and work. Funds from this grant support continued operation of the network along with activities designed to increase and strengthen member engagement in SRNAW. Additional grant funds support the development of plans for sustainable long-term financing of the network.

    To strengthen Network member engagement of the Sloan Research Network and successfully transition to a new structure and leadership

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  • grantee: University of California, Berkeley
    amount: $219,875
    city: Berkeley, CA
    year: 2018

    To shed new light on the prevalence and nature of independent contracting (including gig work), with a focus on documenting how both pre- and post-retirement older workers combine independent contracting with other sources of income

    • Program Working Longer
    • Investigator Annette Bernhardt

    This grant funds a project led by Annette Bernhardt and Jesse Rothstein at the University of California, Berkeley to study the incidence and characteristics of independent contracting using tax return data for California from 2013 to 2017. The study will focus, in particular, on how both pre- and postretirement older workers combine independent contracting with other sources of income. Analyzing both W-2s and 1099s, Bernhardt and her team will look closely at persons with both types of incomes, permitting an assessment of whether independent contracting is the main or supplemental work activity. The richness of the dataset will also allow preliminary analysis of trends and patterns into and out of independent contracting work over time and correlations between independent contracting and race, gender, ethnicity, and age. The linked dataset created will also provide a significant resource to the state of California, to other states wanting to broaden data sources on independent contractors, and to researchers who can apply to use the datasets in their own work.

    To shed new light on the prevalence and nature of independent contracting (including gig work), with a focus on documenting how both pre- and post-retirement older workers combine independent contracting with other sources of income

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  • grantee: Harvard University
    amount: $561,331
    city: Cambridge, MA
    year: 2018

    To develop a better and more cohesive understanding of current and future trends in aging and labor force participation in the United States and to impart that information to the general public

    • Program Working Longer
    • Investigator Lisa Berkman

    Changes in health, family, and work may make working longer difficult if not risky for substantial sections of the future U.S. population. This grant supports a community of scholars to produce 12 papers involving original research that will introduce a new framework for understanding current and future trends in working longer. The resulting volume—published either as a book or in a high-impact special journal issue—will examine multiple contexts that shape Americans’ likelihood of working longer, with emphasis on two cross-cutting themes of change across cohorts and heterogeneity across population subgroups, which have not been sufficiently studied to date. Under the leadership of Lisa Berkman of Harvard, this project will bring together a multidisciplinary group of distinguished scholars and invite them to collaborate with promising junior scholars, inviting the next generation of researchers to critically examine conventional thinking in this area. Grant funds will support three meetings so that authors can integrate objectives, gain important feedback from each other, and present their results in a policy-relevant setting. The project’s goals are threefold: to publish original research that brings critical, new perspectives to the scholarship on working longer; to build a new, intergenerational community of scholars who will set the agenda for future research; and to disseminate high-impact findings that have the potential to influence policymakers and public discourse.

    To develop a better and more cohesive understanding of current and future trends in aging and labor force participation in the United States and to impart that information to the general public

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  • grantee: Urban Institute
    amount: $376,162
    city: Washington, DC
    year: 2018

    To assess and better understand the labor supply, economic and health impacts of Paid Family Leave policies on older working adults who provide care to elderly family members

    • Program Working Longer
    • Investigator H. Elizabeth Peters

    The aging of the population and the concomitant demands on families to provide elder care raise important questions about the effectiveness of state-level Paid Family Leave (PFL) policies, which purport to protect adults who provide care to aging parents and spouses. This grant to H. Elizabeth Peters at the Urban Institute funds a study of how well PFL policies in California and New Jersey protect caregivers. The study will examine two separate sets of questions. First, Peters and her team will begin by examining differential outcomes on labor supply, economic well being, and health for older caregivers in states with PFL programs and states without, and within states both before and after the establishment of the programs. Second, the team will employ focus groups to explore and explain the curiously low utilization rate of PFL policies by workers.

    To assess and better understand the labor supply, economic and health impacts of Paid Family Leave policies on older working adults who provide care to elderly family members

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  • grantee: The Graduate Center Foundation, Inc.
    amount: $330,750
    city: New York, NY
    year: 2018

    To pilot a new, 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

    The Leon Levy Center for Biography at the City University of New York (CUNY) 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.” This grant underwrites an annual fellowship at the Center to support an author writing a biography of a scientist, engineer, inventor, or mathematician. Fellows will receive a one-time award of $72,000 and be provided 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 will support outreach to publicize the fellowship with relevant audiences.

    To pilot a new, 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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