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: Georgetown University
    amount: $597,792
    city: Washington, DC
    year: 2019

    To develop linkage, de-duplication, and other tools that demonstrate how administrative data can improve the accuracy of demographic and economic research

    • Program Research
    • Sub-program Economic Institutions, Behavior, & Performance
    • Investigator Maria Cancian

    Administrative data can enable a wide variety of new and more accurate statistical work by researchers in academia, government, business, and other organizations. In the United States, no statistical findings are more fundamental for economists and social scientists than those produced by the Census Bureau, including the Decennial estimates of population counts and characteristics. But declining response rates to any kind of survey, not to mention concerns about interference and privacy, have raised serious apprehensions about the accuracy of the upcoming count in 2020. This is an equity issue in addition to a statistical one, since concern is particularly acute about miscounts of historically underrepresented or underprivileged groups.   Funds from this grant support a project by the Massive Data Institute (MDI) at Georgetown to use state-level administrative data to bolster the Decennial Census. MDI will work with various states to identify government sources of administrative data that describe people from across geographic areas and subpopulations; determine how to access the data legally and securely; develop tools to clean and standardize that data; and provide documentation, training, and protocols for use by other states.

    To develop linkage, de-duplication, and other tools that demonstrate how administrative data can improve the accuracy of demographic and economic research

    More
  • grantee: Harvard University
    amount: $884,838
    city: Cambridge, MA
    year: 2019

    To develop a robust, trusted, popular, and extensible library of open-source software for privacy-protecting data analysis

    • Program Research
    • Sub-program Economic Institutions, Behavior, & Performance
    • Investigator Salil Vadhan

    An important question in the social sciences is how researchers can responsibly study large datasets containing confidential information about individuals, and how organizations can safely share such data while preserving the privacy of their users. Every query answered inevitably leaks some privacy. The only conceptual framework for specifying, measuring, and controlling such leakage is known as “differential privacy.” Imagine analysts who use a query mechanism to interrogate a dataset held by a trusted curator. An example of a differentially private mechanism would be one that returns an answer after adding a small amount of random noise drawn from a carefully selected distribution. That noise provably limits whether the analyst can even find out whether any given person is in the dataset, let alone anything else about that individual. Sloan has been an early funder of the development and application of this approach. This grant funds efforts by Salil Vadhan of the Harvard Privacy Tools Project to create a library of industrial-strength, open source differential privacy software called OpenDP. Like other open source development communities, OpenDP participants will cooperate to develop trusted, robust, and scalable tools that are easily accessible and adoptable in a wide variety of settings. Vadhan will convene a group of experts and users to guide the project’s overall architecture, features, progress, and sustainability planning.

    To develop a robust, trusted, popular, and extensible library of open-source software for privacy-protecting data analysis

    More
  • grantee: University of California, Berkeley
    amount: $405,322
    city: Berkeley, CA
    year: 2019

    To build, test, and study online platforms for collecting and cataloguing expert forecasts about the results of social science experiments

    • Program Research
    • Sub-program Economic Institutions, Behavior, & Performance
    • Investigator Stefano DellaVigna

    What constitutes progress in empirical social science research? It is easy to talk about “new knowledge,” but hard to measure it. To evaluate what constitutes new knowledge requires measuring not only what scholars think of an experiment after it is performed, but also what they forecast about the results in advance. This grant supports an initiative by a team led by Stefano DellaVigna at the University of California, Berkeley to build, test, and study an online platform for collecting and cataloguing forecasts and prior beliefs about the results of social science experiments. DellaVigna and his team will write up summaries of intended experiments that forecasters can quickly read and absorb, and will find interesting. Those experts would, in turn, use the developed platform to enter their best estimates about how the experiment will turn out, including their predictions of the effect sizes. These answers can then be compared to the actual results of the experiments. The platform DellaVigna and his collaborators will develop has the potential to allow researchers to capture forecasts, control publication bias, improve the transparency and reproducibility of research designs, and advance the use of Bayesian methods more generally by helping quantify prior probabilities.

    To build, test, and study online platforms for collecting and cataloguing expert forecasts about the results of social science experiments

    More
  • grantee: National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    amount: $399,895
    city: Cambridge, MA
    year: 2019

    To advance understanding of the economics of energy technology innovation

    • Program Research
    • Sub-program Energy and Environment
    • Investigator David Popp

    This grant supports an effort by the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) to increase scholarly attention to how market and government forces impact innovation in the energy sector. NBER will hold two open calls for papers, one on what can be learned from recent successes and failures in energy technology, and a second on the forces that contribute to breakthroughs in energy technology innovation. Fourteen projects in total will be selected for support from those responding to the calls and NBER will organize a research conference for each call where supported papers will be presented and discussed. Finally, NBER will hold a third conference aimed at sharing research findings with energy decision-makers and other interested stakeholders.

    To advance understanding of the economics of energy technology innovation

    More
  • grantee: North Carolina State University
    amount: $400,000
    city: Raleigh, NC
    year: 2019

    To utilize an open source energy system model to create an Open Energy Outlook for the United States

    • Program Research
    • Sub-program Energy and Environment
    • Investigator Joseph DeCarolis

    Temoa (Tools for Energy Model Optimization and Analysis) is a modern, open source software platform for modeling energy systems. Developed by Joe DeCarolis at North Carolina State University, Temoa is a model modeling framework. It’s open source, well-documented, small enough to run without access to huge computing resources, and accompanied by guides and tutorials that make its features accessible for new and experienced modelers alike. Funds from this grant support a project led by DeCarolis and his collaborator, Paulina Jaramillo of Carnegie Mellon University, to utilize Temoa to create an Open Energy Outlook report for the United States. The report will lay out several scenarios for how the U.S. energy system might evolve over the coming decades, including detailed consideration of how sector specific developments in buildings, electricity, fuels, heavy industry, policy and economics, and transportation might contribute to that evolution. The report promises to be an important complement to the Energy Information Administration’s Annual Energy Outlook and other similar modeling efforts. Grant funds will support two iterations of the Open Energy Outlook Report, intra-team meetings and workshops, and development of the Temoa model to support the new analysis.

    To utilize an open source energy system model to create an Open Energy Outlook for the United States

    More
  • grantee: Duke University
    amount: $513,839
    city: Durham, NC
    year: 2019

    To establish a multidisciplinary research collaboration studying the role of regional transmission organizations and independent systems operators in electricity markets

    • Program Research
    • Sub-program Energy and Environment
    • Investigator Katherine Konschnik

    Regional transmission organizations (RTOs) and independent system operators (ISOs) are key parts of the U.S. electricity system. Although RTOs and ISOs operate wholesale electricity markets that serve about two-thirds of U.S. electricity customers, there is very little research comparing how these institutions work, what influence stakeholder groups have on their behavior, or which aspects of these institutions might be portable to similar organizations. This grant funds a collaborative project, co-led by Kate Konschnik, who directs the Climate and Energy program at Duke University and associate professor Seth Blumsack of Pennsylvania State University, to undertake a set of studies to explore these and related questions associated with the governance, structure, and operation of RTOs and ISOs. Konschnik and Blumsack have assembled a multidisciplinary group of researchers from economics, law, public policy, energy systems operations, and engineering to contribute to this effort. The project will produce approximately 10 academic research articles across multiple fields, in addition to associated policy briefs or white papers for broad dissemination to a wide range of stakeholders. Grant funding will cover graduate student participation, direct support for research expenses, and bringing participating scholars together to ensure project coordination.

    To establish a multidisciplinary research collaboration studying the role of regional transmission organizations and independent systems operators in electricity markets

    More
  • grantee: Boston College
    amount: $299,148
    city: Chestnut Hill, MA
    year: 2019

    To evaluate older workers’ value to employers and to inform policymakers as to any potential hurdles to working longer that retirees will face

    • Program Research
    • Sub-program Working Longer
    • Investigator Alicia Munnell

    Many older Americans are both healthy enough to work past conventional retirement age and want or need to stay in the labor market. But do employers need and want older workers? This grant to the Center on Retirement Research (CRR) at Boston College aims to produce an enhanced understanding of the extent to which employers are ready and willing to hire and retain older workers. The CRR initiative will involve four separate, but integrated research projects. First, the CRR team will survey a large sample of employers to acquire their perceptions of the productivity and costs of their older workers relative to their younger ones. Second, they will analyze a large proprietary dataset provided by RetirementJobs.com, a nationally recognized job site for workers over the age of 50, and analyze the sorts of jobs being offered to workers on the site. Third, they will use multiple data sources to construct an index that ranks occupations by how easy it is for older workers to stay working or be hired into that occupation. Fourth, they will use data from the Longitudinal Employer-Household Dynamics Survey (LEHD), the Census Business Register (CBR), and the Longitudinal Business Register (LBR) to compare quantitative measures of worker value—the actual productivity (revenue per worker) and profitability (revenue divided by wages)—at firms based on the age distribution of their employees.

    To evaluate older workers’ value to employers and to inform policymakers as to any potential hurdles to working longer that retirees will face

    More
  • grantee: Urban Institute
    amount: $573,819
    city: Washington, DC
    year: 2019

    To provide federal and state policymakers with the necessary information to inform sound policies that eliminate work disincentives at older ages, facilitate paid employment for older adults, and improve older adults’ financial security

    • Program Research
    • Sub-program Working Longer
    • Investigator Richard Johnson

    This grant supports a project by the Urban Institute, in partnership with the American Enterprise Institute, to harness the rich research findings from the Foundation’s Working Longer program to stimulate a meaningful, nonpartisan, fact-based policy discussion on older workers and retirement security. Urban Institute will not make specific policy recommendations, but instead will use Foundation-supported research to identify challenges and impediments to working past conventional retirement age and discuss how various policy reforms might both facilitate work at older ages and improve retirement income security. Supported activities include conducting a systemic review of findings of Sloan-supported articles, reports, and books on working longer; writing a synthesis report describing the policy implications of those findings; holding an expert roundtable to assess the merits of various reform options; conducting original policy analyses of the likely impacts of promising but understudied policy options that might facilitate work at older ages; producing and disseminating briefs, blog posts, and fact sheets that highlight the most promising reform proposals; and holding a series of public forums to engage federal and state policymakers.

    To provide federal and state policymakers with the necessary information to inform sound policies that eliminate work disincentives at older ages, facilitate paid employment for older adults, and improve older adults’ financial security

    More
  • grantee: Purdue University
    amount: $25,632
    city: West Lafayette, IN
    year: 2019

    To develop a robust program at SUNY ESF to support indigenous STEM scholars and to integrate into and contribute to the national SIGP

    • Program Higher Education
    • Sub-program Diversity, Equity & Inclusion in STEM Higher Education
    • Investigator Kevin Gibson

    To develop a robust program at SUNY ESF to support indigenous STEM scholars and to integrate into and contribute to the national SIGP

    More
  • grantee: University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
    amount: $49,590
    city: Chapel Hill, NC
    year: 2019

    To study, by compiling a novel database, how and why entrepreneurs become science philanthropists

    • Program Research
    • Sub-program Economic Institutions, Behavior, & Performance
    • Investigator Maryann Feldman

    To study, by compiling a novel database, how and why entrepreneurs become science philanthropists

    More