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: Carnegie Mellon University
    amount: $321,615
    city: Pittsburgh, PA
    year: 2018

    To support the development and production of science and technology films, television, and new media projects by top film students

    • Program Public Understanding
    • Sub-program Film
    • Investigator Robert Handel

    This grant continues support for a program at the Carnegie Mellon University School of Drama (CMU) that exposes top dramatic writing students to science and technology and awards prizes to student screenwriters who write science- or technology-themed scripts. The CMU program includes a fall symposium that brings scientists to the drama school to introduce students to recent developments in a variety of scientific disciplines; a year-long screenwriting workshop that meets weekly and focuses on the challenges and opportunities posed by incorporating science into dramatic or comedic narratives, a mentorship program that pairs film students with working scientists to help them depict science accurately in their work, an annual screenwriting competition that awards $17,500 to the two best science-themed scripts submitted, and a yearly showcase in Los Angeles and New York to bring student filmmakers into contact with leading producers, directors, and distributors in the film and television industry. Grant funds provide core support for these activities for another three years.

    To support the development and production of science and technology films, television, and new media projects by top film students

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  • grantee: Flint Cultural Center Corporation
    amount: $500,000
    city: Flint, MI
    year: 2018

    To support the Science Discovery Hall at the Sloan Museum of Discovery in Flint, Michigan, and to advance public understanding of science to an underserved population

    • Program Public Understanding
    • Sub-program New Media
    • Investigator Todd Slisher

    The Sloan Museum in Flint Michigan was created through a personal gift from Alfred P. Sloan Jr. and still bears his name. The museum is currently engaged in a $24 million modernization campaign to transform itself into the premier regional resource for early childhood and K-12 STEM and history education. Plans include the construction of a 10,000-square-foot Science Discovery Hall featuring a Makers Lab, interactive physical science and earth science exhibits, a spaceship earth climbing structure, and a specially designed entryway focusing on “what is science.” The museum estimates that more than 200,000 people will visit annually, including 90,000 K-12 students, many of whom will come from underserved communities. Funds from this grant support the Sloan Museum’s modernization campaign.

    To support the Science Discovery Hall at the Sloan Museum of Discovery in Flint, Michigan, and to advance public understanding of science to an underserved population

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  • grantee: Retro Report
    amount: $65,000
    city: New York, NY
    year: 2018

    To support research and production of a short digital documentary and accompanying videos on the science and technology behind driverless cars

    • Program Public Understanding
    • Sub-program New Media
    • Investigator Kyra Darnton

    To support research and production of a short digital documentary and accompanying videos on the science and technology behind driverless cars

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  • grantee: Southern California Institute of Architecture
    amount: $200,000
    city: Los Angeles, CA
    year: 2018

    To support architecture students in the creation and dissemination of multi-media fictional narratives based on the latest research on AI and automation

    • Program Public Understanding
    • Sub-program New Media
    • Investigator Liam Young

    Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc) is host to a unique program, “Fiction and Entertainment,” devoted to the notion that architectural training and a strong design background provide an excellent foundation for success in nonarchitectural fields such as media and entertainment. Funds from this grant support an expansion of the Fiction and Entertainment program that will help 16 master’s students incorporate the latest research in AI and automation technologies into multimedia fictional narratives including short films, animations, documentaries, video games, VR environments, music videos, and web series. Grant funds will allow students to engage in a year-long exploration of AI and automation technologies guided by eight experts in these fields—from Google, Uber, Sidewalk Lab, and elsewhere. Additional workshops and labs will pair students with leading artists to discuss world building, storytelling, character development, and production. As they refine their projects, each student will be matched with an appropriate technologist collaborator whose research they will crystallize into fictional projects. The grant will be capped by a daylong storytelling symposium, Fear & Wonder, which draws 500 people to hear leading directors, conceptual artists, video game designers, and storytellers “share their approach to imagining alternative worlds as a means to understanding our own.” The resulting work products, which may take a variety of multimedia forms, will then be screened at a Future of Automation symposium, which will be interspersed with themed panel discussions to further contextualize the issues. Experts and well-known figures in technology and the arts will be invited to participate. Last, Sci-Arc will produce a 12-minute documentary about all the projects and distribute it via social media.

    To support architecture students in the creation and dissemination of multi-media fictional narratives based on the latest research on AI and automation

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  • grantee: Greater Washington Educational Telecommunications Association Inc.
    amount: $1,000,000
    city: Arlington, VA
    year: 2018

    To support production and outreach for The Gene: An Intimate History, a three-hour documentary, based on Siddhartha Mukherjee’s book, to air nationally on PBS primetime

    • Program Public Understanding
    • Sub-program Television
    • Investigator Dalton Delan

    This grant is to the Greater Washington Educational Telecommunications Association (WETA) to produce and air a three-part television documentary series, The Gene: An Intimate History. Produced by legendary documentary filmmaker Ken Burns and based on the critically acclaimed bestseller by physician and oncologist Siddhartha Mukherjee, The Gene: An Intimate History will use human case studies of the genetic treatment of illness to tell the story of genetic research while exploring its scientific, medical, social, and ethical implications. In addition to a three-hour documentary and associated website, the broadcast will be accompanied by a major public engagement effort around genetics, as well as a wealth of educational curricula.

    To support production and outreach for The Gene: An Intimate History, a three-hour documentary, based on Siddhartha Mukherjee’s book, to air nationally on PBS primetime

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  • grantee: Manhattan Theatre Club
    amount: $650,000
    city: New York, NY
    year: 2018

    To support the MTC/Sloan Initiative commissioning, developing, and producing new science and technology plays

    • Program Public Understanding
    • Sub-program Theater
    • Investigator Scott Kaplan

    This grant continues a partnership with New York City’s Manhattan Theatre Club (MTC) to commission, develop, and produce science and technology plays. Over the next three years, MTC will commission between 18 and 24 new plays from both rising and established playwrights that explore scientific themes or feature scientists, engineers, inventors, or mathematicians as major characters. Commissions are selected twice yearly in consultation with an independent scientific advisory panel that serves as a year-round resource to help playwrights ensure scientific accuracy. In addition to the commissions, grant funds will support three-to-four readings or workshops for Foundation-commissioned plays per year, and one annual presentation of a Foundation-developed play before a public audience of over 100 people.

    To support the MTC/Sloan Initiative commissioning, developing, and producing new science and technology plays

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  • grantee: University of California, Berkeley
    amount: $678,684
    city: Berkeley, CA
    year: 2018

    To create the E2e Evidence-Based Policy Fellowship program that will bring energy efficiency program evaluation research capacity to state agencies

    • Program Energy and Environment
    • Investigator Catherine Wolfram

    The E2e network is a consortium of scholars evaluating the impact of energy efficiency programs using randomized controlled trials and high-quality quasi-experimental research. Under the leadership of Catherine Wolfram (University of California, Berkeley), Michael Greenstone (University of Chicago), and Christopher Knittel (Massachusetts Institute of Technology), the network has grown since its 2012 launch to include nearly 30 affiliated faculty and has produced close to 40 papers on the cost-benefit impacts of energy efficiency programs. Practitioners in state governments have started to take notice and there is a growing desire to infuse government evaluations of energy efficiency programs with the rigor that E2e researchers bring to their academic studies. This grant provides funds to place at least two “E2e Evidence-Based Policy Fellows” within select state energy agencies to serve as a resource to agency staff, to improve plans for evaluating energy efficiency programs, and to advise agency policymakers on the initial design and implementation of such programs. Fellows will be supervised on a daily level by an agency supervisor and will hold regular check-ins with the E2e faculty leads.

    To create the E2e Evidence-Based Policy Fellowship program that will bring energy efficiency program evaluation research capacity to state agencies

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  • grantee: Colorado School of Mines
    amount: $277,334
    city: Golden, CO
    year: 2018

    To continue a summer school training program that provides early career economists and social scientists with an understanding of technological dimensions of electricity distribution systems

    • Program Energy and Environment
    • Investigator Ian Lange

    This grant provides support for a series of intensive, week-long summer training programs for early-career economists and social scientists to introduce these scholars to the technological and engineering dimensions of electricity distribution systems. This Colorado Technology Primer for Economists and Social Scientists has been well received and well attended by doctoral students, postdoctoral researchers, and assistant professors across several fields, including economics, public policy, and environmental sustainability. Topics covered include an introduction to power system planning and operation, distribution system principles, grid interface with bulk power supply, determinants of electricity demand, and opportunities and challenges presented by multidisciplinary research. Grant funds provide two years of operational support for the effort.

    To continue a summer school training program that provides early career economists and social scientists with an understanding of technological dimensions of electricity distribution systems

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  • grantee: Columbia University
    amount: $400,591
    city: New York, NY
    year: 2018

    To continue the Energy Journalism Initiative and educate journalists on recent research topics and key findings related to energy economics, policy, security, and technology

    • Program Energy and Environment
    • Investigator Jason Bordoff

    The Energy Journalism Initiative at Columbia University’s Center on Global Energy Policy brings together nearly 20 journalists annually for a week-long seminar that introduces reporters to the latest research findings related to a wide range of energy issues. Topics covered at the seminar address issues such as energy economics, new technology development, energy policy, and energy security.  Funds from this grant provide support for the operation of the Energy Journalism Initiative for two years, along with funds for expanded outreach and ongoing engagement with the energy journalism community.

    To continue the Energy Journalism Initiative and educate journalists on recent research topics and key findings related to energy economics, policy, security, and technology

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  • grantee: Association of American Universities
    amount: $301,550
    city: Washington, DC
    year: 2018

    To construct more student-centered educational environments for all graduate students by active institutional and departmental support for a variety of career options and for increased inclusion of students from underrepresented groups

    • Program Higher Education
    • Sub-program Science of Learning STEM
    • Investigator Tobin Smith

    Funds from this grant support a multidimensional national effort by the Association of American Universities (AAU) to help make U.S. graduate education more student-centered. The need for such an effort stems from a recognition that the organization of much of graduate education has been too focused on the singular goal of research productivity at the expense of preparing doctoral students for a broader array of professional careers inside and outside the academy. AAU will run a pilot program at 8 universities drawn from its 62 highly respected member institutions. Over the course of three years, two departments from each university will conduct analyses to support the development and implementation of action plans to provide greater support for students’ pursuits of diverse Ph.D. career pathways The project will also increase transparency by making Ph.D. and career outcomes data readily available, and foster cross-institutional learning and broad dissemination of effective strategies and practices through workshops, virtual webinars, and activities aimed at fostering more student-centered educational environments for all doctoral students.

    To construct more student-centered educational environments for all graduate students by active institutional and departmental support for a variety of career options and for increased inclusion of students from underrepresented groups

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