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: Urban Institute
    amount: $1,876,012
    city: Washington, DC
    year: 2017

    To identify, simulate, and evaluate policy reform options that could reduce work disincentives at older ages, more equitably and efficiently provide retirement benefits to older adults, and ensure long-term solvency of U.S. retirement programs

    • Program Working Longer
    • Investigator Richard Johnson

    To make sound decisions about potential changes to Social Security, Medicare, and other retirement programs, policymakers need reliable, objective predictions based on the best available data on how reforms would likely affect retiree income and benefits, labor market activities, taxpayer burdens, and program costs and solvency. The predictions are often provided by DYNASIM, the Urban Institute’s well-respected microsimulation model. This grant funds a project by the Urban Institute to expand and improve the DYNASIM model. DYNASIM is a more ambitious tool than nearly every policy evaluation model in use today. It attempts to predict a wider range of outcomes than do most models developed by CBO or the analytical offices of Cabinet agencies. For example, a raise in the early and full retirement ages would almost certainly affect retirement ages, earnings, savings patterns, and the distribution of incomes of those 60 to 74 years in age. It may also influence marriage rates and living arrangements, and could indirectly affect the health status and health insurance coverage of some older Americans. Simple models often focus on just one or two of these outcomes. DYNASIM’s predictions, however, attempt to capture all these indirect effects. With this grant, the Urban Institute will develop further the predictive capabilities of DYNASIM so that the model can be used to produce credible and detailed predictions of the impact of government policy reforms that affect the nation’s elderly. The programs of interest include Social Security, including its Disability Insurance (SSDI), Medicare, tax policies that affect retirement saving, and important components of Medicaid. The grant will examine how reforms in one or more of these programs will affect old-age labor supply, the prevalence of old-age poverty, the distribution of income in old age, out-of-pocket spending on health care in old age, and tax burdens of the elderly. The DYNASIM model will also produce predictions of the effects of these policy changes on both the elderly and the nonelderly. In addition to providing for the needed improvements, the grant includes funds to maintain DYNASIM during the project period, such as by incorporating the latest economic and demographic assumptions used by Social Security and updating tax and other policy parameters. In addition, the Urban Institute team will use some funds to train additional DYNASIM analysts, to ensure the sustainability of the model, and to find ways to provide access to other researchers, so that it can continue to provide the research and policy community with the best information on the effects of retirement policy reforms after the grant period ends.

    To identify, simulate, and evaluate policy reform options that could reduce work disincentives at older ages, more equitably and efficiently provide retirement benefits to older adults, and ensure long-term solvency of U.S. retirement programs

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  • grantee: National Academy of Sciences
    amount: $500,000
    city: Washington, DC
    year: 2017

    To sustain the Science and Entertainment Exchange and the role of science and science consultants in Hollywood and to provide science advisors for the Sloan Film Program

    • Program Public Understanding
    • Sub-program Film
    • Investigator Ann Merchant

    The Science and Entertainment Exchange was launched by the National Academy of Sciences in 2008 to pair members of the science community with the entertainment industry. The Exchange works to ensure accuracy when science is used in film, tries to seed new ideas within the film and television industry by exposing them to new content, and acts as a resource of professional science advice, including to Sloan’s myriad film partners. This grant funds a series of activities by the Exchange to bolster scientific representation in Hollywood films and television, increase the diversity of its science consultants, and strengthen ties with the Sloan Film program. Grant funds will support the Exchange as it provides science consultants to the film and television community and to Sloan filmmakers on some 300 television and film projects per year. Additional funds will support efforts to increase the number of women and underrepresented minorities in the Exchange’s scientist database and on efforts to include Sloan-supported filmmakers in their Exchange events and outreach.

    To sustain the Science and Entertainment Exchange and the role of science and science consultants in Hollywood and to provide science advisors for the Sloan Film Program

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  • grantee: Film Independent, Inc.
    amount: $398,668
    city: Los Angeles, CA
    year: 2017

    As support for the triennial Sloan Film Summit: a three-day event of screenings, panels, staged readings, project updates, networking opportunities, and community building for Sloan film grantees

    • Program Public Understanding
    • Sub-program Film
    • Investigator Maria Bozzi

    This grant provides funds to Film Independent (FIND) to organize and host the 2017 Sloan Film Summit, the major convening of all Sloan film grantees held every three years. The summit offers a rare opportunity for interaction and networking between students, faculty, and administrators from the Foundation’s six film schools; filmmakers and staff from the five screenplay development and film festival partners; and Sloan grantees at Museum of the Moving Image (MoMI), Coolidge Corner Theatre, and the Science and Entertainment Exchange. 150 Sloan grantees are expected to attend. The three-day summit will open with a Friday night film screening on the theme of women and science, followed by an opening dinner. Saturday morning will feature Sloan award recipient updates as well as case studies with filmmakers and scientist collaborators. In the afternoon, there will be a networking lunch that connects filmmakers with scientists, followed by an industry connect program allowing filmmakers to meet with agents, casting directors, distributors, and other industry representatives. During this time, representatives from all of Sloan’s film partners will meet with Sloan program staff to share experiences and discuss best practices. Later, breakout sessions involving the latest in virtual reality will be followed by a special evening event. Sunday will open with a science and storytelling keynote from a prominent member of the film or television industry. After the keynote, there will be staged readings of excerpts from Sloan-winning screenplays for an industry audience. The summit will conclude with a showcase of Sloan-supported feature films, including one completed feature and sneak previews of upcoming features. Grant funds support administrative costs associated with hosting the event, along with associated publicity and outreach in print and social media.

    As support for the triennial Sloan Film Summit: a three-day event of screenings, panels, staged readings, project updates, networking opportunities, and community building for Sloan film grantees

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  • grantee: Film Independent, Inc.
    amount: $699,236
    city: Los Angeles, CA
    year: 2017

    To provide direct support to develop and distribute science and technology scripts, teleplays, and films

    • Program Public Understanding
    • Sub-program Film
    • Investigator Jennifer Kushner

    This grant continues a Sloan Foundation partnership with Film Independent (FIND), producer of the Independent Spirit Awards and the Los Angeles Film Festival, to support filmmakers and television writers who explore scientific or technical themes in their work or create films that feature scientists, engineers, technologists, or mathematicians as major characters. The FIND program includes a host of interrelated and mutually supportive activities that promote this goal. FIND selects one producer per year to develop a science-themed script in FIND’s Producing Lab, with a $30,000 producer’s grant and a reception and promotion around this project; award one producer or producing team per year a Sloan Fast Track Fellowship with a $20,000 grant and invitation to the Fast Track film financing market; select one outstanding episodic television writer per year and award him or her with a $10,000 grant to develop a science-themed series in FIND’s new Episodic Lab; and award two distribution grants of $50,000 each to an exceptional science-themed film to incentivize buyers to acquire it for distribution. Grant funds will support these awards and associated administration and outreach costs for the next three years.

    To provide direct support to develop and distribute science and technology scripts, teleplays, and films

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  • grantee: Arizona State University
    amount: $248,648
    city: Tempe, AZ
    year: 2017

    To create a free, open source, interactive, digital edition of Frankenstein: Annotated for Scientists, Engineers and Creators of All Kinds that bridges the sciences and humanities and seeks to foster an engaged community of readers

    • Program Public Understanding
    • Sub-program New Media
    • Investigator Ed Finn

    The grant provides support for an initiative by the Center for Science and Imagination at Arizona State University, partnering with MIT Press, MIT Media Lab, and Plympton Literary Studio, to create an open-access digital edition of Mary Shelley’s landmark novel Frankenstein. The digital “Living Frankenstein” edition—titled Frankenstein: Annotated for Scientists, Engineers and Creators of All Kinds—will present an innovative reading experience and compelling new digital content to the 21st century reader, including a podcast series, videos, and graphical interactives. It is also constructed on the software platform PubPub, developed by MIT to facilitate large-scale collaborative authorship and peer review, which will allow readers to explore multiple layers of content while annotating, commenting, and curating material that they can share with a wide community. The project tackles the novel’s age-old themes of creation and responsibility—and its contemporary relevance to artificial intelligence, robotics, genetic engineering, and more—to foster an engaged community of readers and a new interactive reading experience timed to the novel’s 200th anniversary in 2018. The digital edition will offer a unique encounter between a great literary text and contemporary issues of science and technology refracted through an interactive digital medium that seeks to transform the reading experience and advance public understanding and community engagement with science and technology.

    To create a free, open source, interactive, digital edition of Frankenstein: Annotated for Scientists, Engineers and Creators of All Kinds that bridges the sciences and humanities and seeks to foster an engaged community of readers

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  • grantee: PRX Incorporated
    amount: $510,744
    city: Cambridge, MA
    year: 2017

    To support PRX in developing a new generation of science shows and expanding science-themed audio content for radio broadcast and podcast

    • Program Public Understanding
    • Sub-program Radio
    • Investigator Kerri Hoffman

    Funds from this grant support efforts by PRX Incorporated to develop, distribute, and promote podcasts featuring high-quality scientific content or that explore scientific themes. Over the next two years, PRX plans to produce 10 episodes of the Orbital Path podcast, a new monthly program hosted by astronomer Michelle Thaller which covers astronomy, space science, and cosmology; 12 episodes of The Outside, an outdoor-focused podcast about survival science and the science of adventure; 1 science-themed episode of The Moth podcast 2 science-themed episodes of the 99% Invisible podcast 1 science-themed episode of the Theory of Everything podcast 12 episodes of Go Flight, a podcast developed in partnership with the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum 12 episodes of Sidedoor, a new podcast developed with the Smithsonian that tells stories about science, art, history, humanity and their surprising interconnections. In addition, PRX will continue to develop and promote Transistor, a broad science channel that showcases audio pieces from the open-call STEM Story Project and tests new ideas and formats from independent producers. PRX intends to use this platform to develop a new signature podcast and will launch with 18 new episodes.

    To support PRX in developing a new generation of science shows and expanding science-themed audio content for radio broadcast and podcast

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  • grantee: City Lore, Inc.
    amount: $500,000
    city: New York, NY
    year: 2017

    To support the theatrical release, festival run, and PBS broadcast of Oliver Sacks: The Life of the Mind, a documentary about the renowned neurologist, clinician, and writer

    • Program Public Understanding
    • Sub-program Television
    • Investigator Steve Zeitlin

    The grant provides production support to filmmaker Ric Burns for a new documentary about Oliver Sacks, the celebrated neurologist, clinician, and bestselling writer who died in 2015. Upon receiving his fatal diagnosis, Sacks invited Burns to film his final days and this production will draw on some 80 hours of unique footage from the end of Sack’s life, as well as other footage covering the full arc of Sacks’ remarkable career. Foundation funding includes support for the addition of three science advisors to the project, to ensure the accuracy of the film’s portrayal of Sack’s work The finished film will have a theatrical release, a US and international film festival run, and will be broadcast on American Masters on PBS.

    To support the theatrical release, festival run, and PBS broadcast of Oliver Sacks: The Life of the Mind, a documentary about the renowned neurologist, clinician, and writer

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  • grantee: Columbia University
    amount: $254,994
    city: New York, NY
    year: 2017

    To continue support for the Women in Energy program at the Center on Global Energy Policy to improve the engagement of women in energy policy, security, and technology communities

    • Program Energy and Environment
    • Investigator Jason Bordoff

    The Women in Energy (WIE) program is an initiative developed by the Center on Global Energy Policy at Columbia University to provide professional development and networking opportunities to female students interested in a range of energy issues. Launched in 2015 with Sloan Foundation support, the program hosts seminars and networking events, provides mentoring, and gives summer internship stipends for students at universities both in the greater New York City region and, increasingly, the larger northeastern area of the United States. The program also connects current female students with female leaders in the energy sector from government, industry, and nonprofits. This grant provide two years of renewed support for the program.

    To continue support for the Women in Energy program at the Center on Global Energy Policy to improve the engagement of women in energy policy, security, and technology communities

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  • grantee: Environmental Defense Fund Inc.
    amount: $589,260
    city: New York, NY
    year: 2017

    To understand the economic and environmental impacts of cost-reflective electricity pricing schemes related to distributed energy resources deployment

    • Program Energy and Environment
    • Investigator Beia Spiller

    Funds from this grant support a multi-institutional and multidisciplinary research project led by two economists at the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) (Beia Spiller and Kristina Mohlin) working in collaboration with power systems engineers at MIT (Karen Tapia-Ahumada and Ashwini Bharatkumar) and regulatory analysts at New York University (Burcin Unel) to understand how alternative electricity rate designs might impact the reliability of electricity distribution grids. Many households face a fixed, per kilowatt hour rate from their utility for their electricity use—whether it is midnight in the winter (when overall demand for electricity is low) or whether it is late afternoon on a hot, sunny summer day (when demand is high). Some utilities, however, are experimenting with a host of demand-varying pricing schemes, so that consumers pay higher per kilowatt hour costs when demand is high. There are many versions of these time varying rate design schemes (real time pricing, time of use pricing, variable and critical peak pricing, etc.). By changing the economic incentives facing consumers, these policies could impact the introduction of various distributed energy resources on the grid. You may, for example, be more inclined to install solar panels on your roof to generate your own power on hot, sunny summer afternoons to avoid paying much higher electricity rates during those times. Spiller, Mohlin, and their team plan to expand existing engineering simulation models and then apply them to real world data supplied through a partnership with ComEd of Illinois. This will allow them to estimate how various dynamic pricing schemes would affect investments in solar panels and other distributed energy resources, and how the subsequent impacts such investments would have on pollution, electricity prices, and total system costs.

    To understand the economic and environmental impacts of cost-reflective electricity pricing schemes related to distributed energy resources deployment

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  • grantee: University of California, Davis
    amount: $412,564
    city: Davis, CA
    year: 2017

    To quantify existing and pending distribution system impacts of high levels of penetration of distributed energy resources and loads

    • Program Energy and Environment
    • Investigator James Bushnell

    This grant funds a collaboration between University of California, Davis energy economists James Bushnell and David Rapson and distribution systems engineer, Duncan Callaway of the University of California at Berkeley. The group plans to study how the rise of distributed energy resources (DERs) like rooftop solar panels and electric vehicles impact power quality and distribution system performance in California. Working with utilities (such as Southern California Edison and Pacific Gas & Electric Company) and state government regulators (including the California Public Utilities Commission and the California Air Resources Board), Bushnell and his colleagues will collect and combine data on solar photovoltaic installations and electric vehicle registrations and then map them to individual circuits in the California electricity distribution grid. This will allow the team to analyze in fine-grained detail how increases in solar photovoltaic installations and electric vehicles are likely to strain elements of the California electricity distribution system. The team will then investigate how the performance of distribution systems maps to various socioeconomic and demographic characteristics of California residents.

    To quantify existing and pending distribution system impacts of high levels of penetration of distributed energy resources and loads

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