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: San Francisco Film Society
    amount: $467,500
    city: San Francisco, CA
    year: 2017

    To nurture, develop, and champion films that explore scientific or technological themes and characters

    • Program Public Understanding
    • Sub-program Film
    • Investigator Noah Cowan

    This grant supports a series of activities by the San Francisco Film Society (SFFS) to nurture, develop, and champion films that explore scientific or technological themes and characters. Supported activities include the awarding of two $35,000 fellowships per year to promising screenwriters who are exploring scientific or technological themes in their work. In addition, SFFS will give an annual award, the Sloan Science in Cinema Prize, to the best science-themed feature film submitted to the the San Francisco Film Festival and will promote the winning film at the festival with a ceremony, screening, post-screening panel, and reception. The Festival will also host a yearly Since in Cinema Project Summit, which will bring together scientists and screenwriters to identify and publicize an annual “top ten” list of new scientific stories that would lend themselves to narrative screenplays. Lastly, SFFS will partner with the Blacklist to identify promising science-themed scripts and bring them to the attention of developers, producers, and other film industry executives. Grant funds support these activities and associated operational costs for the next two years.

    To nurture, develop, and champion films that explore scientific or technological themes and characters

    More
  • grantee: Coolidge Corner Theatre Foundation
    amount: $761,440
    city: Brookline, MA
    year: 2017

    To sustain and expand the national Science on Screen program, with a focus on enhanced web and social media promotion

    • Program Public Understanding
    • Sub-program Film
    • Investigator Katherine Tallman

    This grant provides two years of continued support for the Coolidge Corner Theatre Science on Screen series, a grant program that helps independent theaters across the country pair current, classic, cult, and documentary film screenings with thoughtful introductions by notable figures from the fields of science, technology, and medicine. Grant funds will allow Coolidge to make 56 grants to independent theaters over the next two years, bringing to 70 the number of participating cinemas across the country. Each theater in the Science on Screen series receives a grant of between $4,000-$8,500 to facilitate three screenings a year with expert STEM speakers, at least one of which is a film developed or awarded a prize through the Sloan Foundation’s Film program. Additional grant funds support a National Evening of Science on Screen in which all the participating theaters hold coordinated screenings as well as funds for marketing and promotion of the program, website improvement, SEO optimization, and social media outreach.

    To sustain and expand the national Science on Screen program, with a focus on enhanced web and social media promotion

    More
  • grantee: WNET
    amount: $750,000
    city: New York, NY
    year: 2017

    To support a two-hour public television broadcast of a multimedia live stage play about Albert Einstein’s journey to the general theory of relativity

    • Program Public Understanding
    • Sub-program Television
    • Investigator David Horn

    This grant funds a project by WNET, working with physicist Brian Greene, the World Science Foundation, 59 Productions and CounterPunch Studios, to adapt the live stage piece “Light Falls: Space, Time, and an Obsession of Einstein” for broadcast on public television. The piece, which debuted at Lincoln Center during the 2016 World Science Festival and is narrated by Greene, traces Einstein’s journey to the discovery of the general theory of relativity. The piece walks the audience through the stages in Einstein’s journey—from his boyhood fascination with a compass to his desperate efforts to understand gravity to his fear that mathematician David Hilbert would beat him to the general theory. In addition to providing historical information about Einstein himself, the production will explain, explore, and make compelling key scientific ideas related to the general theory such as Lorentz contraction, time dilation, the equivalence principle, Riemannian geometry, and curved spacetime. The producers, working with the award-winning CounterPunch Studios, will also explore deploying a pioneering holographic rig that can generate a digital, life-like, three-dimensional rendering of Einstein so that Greene can interact and converse with a realistic looking historical figure. The completed production will be broadcast on the one hundredth anniversary of the 1919 solar eclipse measurements that confirmed Einstein’s theory and made him the most famous scientist in the world.

    To support a two-hour public television broadcast of a multimedia live stage play about Albert Einstein’s journey to the general theory of relativity

    More
  • grantee: Open Mind Legacy Project
    amount: $200,000
    city: New York, NY
    year: 2017

    To support eight to ten interviews with Sloan-supported authors and Sloan-related thinkers each year on The Open Mind

    • Program Public Understanding
    • Sub-program Television
    • Investigator Alexander Heffner

    This grant provides two years of support for continued production and broadcast of Open Mind. Hosted by Alexander Heffner and broadcast on 214 PBS stations, Open Mind is a 30-minute, one-on-one interview show that dives deeply into a rich variety of topics pertinent to the public discourse. Grant funds will allow Heffner and the Open Mind team to interview five Foundation-supported science and technology authors per year, allowing them to discuss their books and the ideas behind them in a thoughtful and engaging public forum. An additional 3-5 interviews per year will focus on topics of Sloan Foundation interest such as the Digital Public Library of America, the Sloan Digital Sky Survey, or the economics of the aging workforce. Additional grant funds support efforts to improve the reach of the program, including expanded outreach on social media and enhanced promotion of the Open Mind podcast.

    To support eight to ten interviews with Sloan-supported authors and Sloan-related thinkers each year on The Open Mind

    More
  • grantee: University of Colorado, Boulder
    amount: $1,251,611
    city: Boulder, CO
    year: 2017

    To initiate the development of community building and data infrastructure for the CIE program through HOMEChem, an interdisciplinary collaborative field experiment

    • Program Science
    • Sub-program Chemistry of Indoor Environments
    • Investigator Marina Vance

    This grant funds a project led by Assistant Professor Marina Vance of the University of Colorado, Boulder, in collaboration with Associate Professor Delphine Farmer of Colorado State University to initiate the development of a data infrastructure for the field of indoor chemistry through an interdisciplinary collaborative field experiment named “House Observations of Microbial and Environmental Chemistry” (HOMEChem). The HOMEChem experiment will take place at a test house at the University of Texas at Austin in the summer of 2018, where researchers from 9 universities will aim to identify the most important factors controlling chemistry in indoor environments. Teams from each of these nine universities will make a wide range of measurements of the test house, including building and ventilation metrics; environmental parameters; spectral radiance and photolysis rates; aerosol concentrations and size distributions; aerosol composition; and the presence or absence of elemental and oxidized carbon, gas and particle phase organics, nitrogen oxides, ozone, nitrous acid, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, and methane. Many of these factors will be the subject of multiple measurements by more than one instrument, allowing comparison of instruments and collection methodologies. In addition, Vance and Farmer will conduct controlled experiments regarding cooking and cleaning, so see how these common household activities affect the chemistry that takes place inside the house. The HOMEChem experiment promises not only to result in new knowledge about indoor chemistry, but to surface important issues regarding shared data and metadata needs among indoor chemists and to build community as the various research teams work together to execute the experiment and interpret their joint findings. Research results will be shared through at least eight publications and twenty presentations at high-profile sessions and plenaries at national and international meetings.

    To initiate the development of community building and data infrastructure for the CIE program through HOMEChem, an interdisciplinary collaborative field experiment

    More
  • grantee: Marine Biological Laboratory
    amount: $1,250,000
    city: Woods Hole, MA
    year: 2017

    To integrate and synthesize the activities of the Deep Life community of the Deep Carbon Observatory

    • Program Science
    • Sub-program Deep Carbon Observatory
    • Investigator Mitchell Sogin

    Funds from this grant provide two years of operational and research support to the Deep Life Community of the Deep Carbon Observatory. Led by US microbiologist Mitch Sogin and German biogeochemist Kai Hinrichs, the Deep Life Community is a global collaborative network of some 250 researchers working together to enhance our understanding of the nature, distribution, abundance, and limits of the deep biosphere. Funds from this grant will allow the Deep Life Community to conclude its research as the Deep Carbon Observatory approaches its planned conclusion in 2019, as well as begin integrative work to synthesize the community’s findings with the work of the larger DCO community. Grant funds will support the completion of three major sampling studies: one in mainland Oman, one in the Atlantis Massif on the north Atlantic seafloor, and one in the Nankai Trough off the coast of Japan. Other funded research includes the completion of a “Census of Deep Life” that draws on deep life surveys of more than 90 locations worldwide. In addition, the Deep Life community continue laboratory studies of “extreme biophysics” that probe how biological molecules behave at high temperatures and pressures. Finally, the Deep Life Community will contribute several chapters to the technical volume that will summarize the entire body of DCO work and will contribute to the Deep Earth Carbon modeling initiative that provides integrative frameworks for the many faces of the DCO. The modeling has the exciting, maximal aim to predict the distribution of all deep life on Earth in space and time.

    To integrate and synthesize the activities of the Deep Life community of the Deep Carbon Observatory

    More
  • grantee: University of California, Los Angeles
    amount: $1,250,000
    city: Los Angeles, CA
    year: 2017

    To lead and synthesize the activities of the Extreme Physics and Chemistry community of the Deep Carbon Observatory

    • Program Science
    • Sub-program Deep Carbon Observatory
    • Investigator Craig Manning

    Funds from this grant provide two years of operational and research support to the Extreme Physics and Chemistry Community of the Deep Carbon Observatory (DCO). The Extreme Physics and Chemistry community is a global network of researchers working together to better our understanding of the physical and chemical properties of carbon in the high temperature, high pressure environments characteristic of the deep Earth. Led by geophysicist Wendy Mao of Stanford and geologist Craig Manning of UCLA, the community is concerned with the 90% of Earth’s carbon that resides in the interior as solids, magmas and melts, and low density fluids. It addresses the transformations that occur both as carbon rises from the core to the mantle to the crust and also as surface carbon is subducted beneath the crust and subjected to extraordinary temperatures and pressures. Grant funds will support research and administrative costs of the Extreme Chemistry community as it moves towards the planned conclusion of the DCO in 2019, with the majority of funds supporting a network of postdoctoral research associates at 20 participating institutions. Other funds support workshops, “hackathons,” and computational simulation and modeling work associated with integrating insights from the community with discoveries by the larger DCO community.

    To lead and synthesize the activities of the Extreme Physics and Chemistry community of the Deep Carbon Observatory

    More
  • grantee: University of Oregon
    amount: $1,000,000
    city: Eugene, OR
    year: 2017

    To provide final renewed support for the Biology and the Built Environment (BioBE) Center

    • Program Science
    • Sub-program Microbiology of the Built Environment
    • Investigator Kevin Wymelenberg

    This grant provides research and operating support for the Biology of the Built Environment (BioBE) Center at the University of Oregon. Founded in 2010 with Sloan support, the BioBE Center conductsc research on the indoor microbiome and provides education about the microbiology of built environments. This grant provides continuing support for the Center’s ongoing outreach, research, and training activities and promotes Center efforts to implement a sustainable financing model that integrates their work with industry practice. BioBE’s central research question is: how does the design and operation of the built environment impact the built environment microbiome? The BioBE team has planned a series of experiments organized around three primary architectural decision realms that each have implications for health, energy-efficiency, and microbiome composition and function: (1) design for air (moving air for contaminant removal and thermal tempering), (2) light (illumination for visual tasks and definition of form), and (3) material selection (finish, substrates, and structure). Other funded work under this grant includes plans to expand and strengthen the nascent Health and Energy Industry Consortium, a group of 75 companies, professional firms, academics, and associations, and plans to educate undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral students in architecture/biology about how design impacts the microbiome of built environments. The Center will also increase interdisciplinary course offerings that create new methodological approaches to education at the architecture-biology interface.  

    To provide final renewed support for the Biology and the Built Environment (BioBE) Center

    More
  • grantee: Astrophysical Research Consortium
    amount: $16,000,000
    city: Seattle, WA
    year: 2017

    To undertake the Sloan Digital Sky Survey V (SDSS-V), which will utilize all-sky spectroscopic observations to explain the genesis of the Milky Way and its neighbors, comprehensively test stellar astrophysics and star-planet relations, probe supermassive black hole physics, and map, on unprecedented scales, the Milky Way’s interstellar gas and that of nearby galaxies

    • Program Science
    • Sub-program Sloan Digital Sky Survey
    • Investigator Juna Kollmeier

    This grant provides partial support for the planning and implementation of the fifth research phase of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS-V). The five-year project aims to use two telescopes (one in New Mexico and one in Chile) fitted with state of the art spectroscopic instruments to answer fundamental questions in astronomy, astrophysics, and cosmology about the forces shaping the origin, structure, and future of galaxies; the nature of supermassive black holes; and how regions between stars and galaxies, known as the interstellar medium, impact how these celestial objects form and grow. SDSS-V will be the most extensive spectroscopic observatory program in operation through the middle of the next decade. Over the course of five years, it will collect infrared spectra of over six million stars in the Milky Way (an order of magnitude more than have ever been observed), optical spectra of over 400,000 black holes, and over 25 million optical spectra of interstellar gas. As with previous phases, all data collected by SDSS-V will be released to both the scientific community and the general public under open principles, allowing non-affiliated scientists and stargazers alike to partake in SDSS discoveries. Planned technological improvements to the SDSS telescopes will make it one of the only observation programs capable of enhancing, complementing, and making the best use of data from other large astronomical surveys. Both SDSS-V telescopes will be equipped with rapidly reconfigurable fiber positioning technologies that will reduce the time it takes to collect object spectra from hours down to minutes. This will allow the SDSS to rapidly shift its focus and observe interstellar phenomena identified by the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope, the Kepler and TESS space missions, the Gaia space mission, and the eROSITA satellite. This grant provides approximately 25 percent of the total SDSS-V project budget and includes funds for project infrastructure and planning, research, instrumentation and technology development, and outreach and education. The remainder of funds will be raised from within the scientific community.

    To undertake the Sloan Digital Sky Survey V (SDSS-V), which will utilize all-sky spectroscopic observations to explain the genesis of the Milky Way and its neighbors, comprehensively test stellar astrophysics and star-planet relations, probe supermassive black hole physics, and map, on unprecedented scales, the Milky Way’s interstellar gas and that of nearby galaxies

    More
  • grantee: National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    amount: $971,750
    city: Cambridge, MA
    year: 2017

    To examine the link between the receding retirement age of older workers and the shifts in demand for these workers associated with the expansion of artificial intelligence and robotic substitutes

    • Program Working Longer
    • Investigator Richard Freeman

    Funds from this grant support research by Harvard economist Richard Freeman that will link and then analyze 16 different data sets in order to examine the relationship between the increased employment/postponement of retirement by older workers and shifts in the demand for these workers associated with the changing composition of industries and the expansion of artificial intelligence (AI) and robotic automation. Freeman will examine differences in employment and earnings of these workers by gender, education, health status, and income, and by industry, occupation, and firm and will study the impacts of these technologies on earnings, as well as employment. Overall, this project seeks to identify new patterns of work and retirement, determine their effect on worker well-being, and project whether these patterns are likely to continue among younger cohorts as they age. In addition to his own analysis, Freeman will commission 10 additional papers from leading economists using this new linked dataset, which will then be made available for public access through application to the Census Bureau research centers. All papers will be published as NBER Working Papers and submitted for publication in leading peer-reviewed journals.

    To examine the link between the receding retirement age of older workers and the shifts in demand for these workers associated with the expansion of artificial intelligence and robotic substitutes

    More