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: University of Texas, Austin
    amount: $49,973
    city: Austin, TX
    year: 2011

    To determine feasibility of a follow-up study of the High School and Beyond (HSB) respondents to provide vital information about linkages of early cognitive and non-cognitive skills to labor force outcomes for older Americans

    • Program Working Longer
    • Investigator Chandra Muller

    To determine feasibility of a follow-up study of the High School and Beyond (HSB) respondents to provide vital information about linkages of early cognitive and non-cognitive skills to labor force outcomes for older Americans

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  • grantee: Stanford University
    amount: $315,860
    city: Stanford, CA
    year: 2011

    To support research and analysis of the economics of series versus parallel retirement income strategies

    • Program Working Longer
    • Investigator John Shoven

    As the U.S. retirement landscape has shifted from one dominated by defined benefit plans (DB) to one dominated by defined contribution plans (DC), older Americans have had to assume more responsibility, as well as more risk, in ensuring their long-term financial security. To that end, they must make complicated income strategy decisions: how long to work; when to retire; whether to work post-retirement; and how strategically to utilize their DC assets and Social Security benefits. This grant supports a project by Stanford economist John Shoven, and Occidental College professor Sita Slavov to analyze and evaluate the potential financial benefits of a specific income strategy that they refer to as the "series" strategy. Utilizing this strategy, older Americans would first deplete their DC assets before drawing on their Social Security benefits, hence using their retirement resources serially. Shoven and Slavov plan to clarify how-under specific conditions that individuals and couples face, such as both working or one earning more than the other-the "series strategy" could lead to more attractive returns relative to the more typically-used "parallel" strategy, where older Americans simultaneously use their defined pension accumulations to supplement Social Security, hence using them in parallel to one another. Preliminary analyses suggest there are substantial financial benefits to the "series" strategy for older Americans, in large part due to the fact that Social Security benefits are indexed to inflation and increase as initial payments are delayed. Addition grant funds will support the publication of a publicly available brochure laying out Shoven and Slavov's conclusions and a conference directed at informing federal policymakers, researchers, financial advisors, and other relevant stakeholders about the research.

    To support research and analysis of the economics of series versus parallel retirement income strategies

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  • grantee: Center For Independent Documentary
    amount: $315,000
    city: Sharon, MA
    year: 2011

    To support the production of a PBS documentary on "Coming of Age in Aging America"

    • Program Working Longer
    • Investigator Christine Herbes-Sommers

    This grant provides funds for the production of a 60 to 90 minute primetime documentary, Coming of Age in Aging America, to be broadcast nationally on PBS. The documentary will focus on the changing demographics of the U.S. and the challenges posed to American cultural, governmental, and other societal institutions by an aging U.S. populace. The documentary will devote considerable attention to issues of aging and work, including looking at the costs and benefits of working longer, the consequences of various retirement practices on the U.S. social security and Medicare systems, ageism and social biases affecting older workers, and new research on age and productivity.

    To support the production of a PBS documentary on "Coming of Age in Aging America"

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  • grantee: Institute for Women's Policy Research
    amount: $20,000
    city: Washington, DC
    year: 2011

    To better understand the relationship between education and employment, earnings, and occupations among older Americans

    • Program Working Longer
    • Investigator Jeffrey Hayes

    To better understand the relationship between education and employment, earnings, and occupations among older Americans

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  • grantee: Boston College
    amount: $2,775,220
    city: Chestnut Hill, MA
    year: 2011

    For a renewal grant for the Boston College Center on Aging and Work

    • Program Working Longer
    • Investigator Marcie Pitt-Catsouphes

    In a recent study, three out of four workers aged 50 or over, and who have never retired, report that they intend to work during retirement. Given the increasing presence of older workers, employers will be well-served to identify talent management strategies for maximizing the engagement and productivity of these workers. One way to maximize engagement and productivity is through providing employees with more autonomy over when, how, and where they work through the implementation of time and place management policies. This grant to the Boston College Center on Aging and Work supports a three-year research project to analyze the effects of such policies. The Boston College research team will partner with up to six major U.S. employers with labor forces larger than 10,000 employees to study the effects of implementing time and place management policies. The team will study the costs and benefits of such programs both for employers and employees, shedding light on how time and place management policies effect such metrics as worker productivity, absenteeism, turnover, and employee job satisfaction. The research has the potential to have wide-reaching impact as employers search for solutions on how to meet the diverse needs of an aging U.S. workforce.

    For a renewal grant for the Boston College Center on Aging and Work

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  • grantee: National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    amount: $1,087,900
    city: Cambridge, MA
    year: 2011

    To support fellowships for Ph.D. students working on the economics of working longer

    • Program Working Longer
    • Investigator David Card

    Funds from this grant will support the development and administration of a fellowship program aimed at encouraging young economists to work on understudied or poorly understood issues at the intersection of aging and work. Over the course of five years, eleven two-year fellowships will be awarded, providing a stipend and tuition support to qualified pre-doctoral students interested in studying the economics of labor market activity by older workers in the U.S. The fellowships will be administered by David Card, a leading labor economist and program director of NBER's Labor Studies Program.

    To support fellowships for Ph.D. students working on the economics of working longer

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  • grantee: University of Michigan
    amount: $4,398,616
    city: Ann Arbor, MI
    year: 2011

    To create and analyze datasets that combine the Health and Retirement Study (HRS) with data from the Census Bureau from the firms where HRS respondents have worked

    • Program Working Longer
    • Investigator Margaret Levenstein

    Funded by the National Institute on Aging, the Health and Retirement Study (HRS) is a nationally representative panel study of Americans over the age of 50 and their spouses. Respondents are interviewed every two years. The core survey collects information on income and wealth, employment, pension plans and health insurance, physical health and functioning, cognition, expectations, preferences, demographics, family structure, and some biomarkers. Supplemental surveys of subsets of the respondents cover more extensive biological, cognitive, and genetic measures; consumption, education, and human capital; information technology use; prescription drug use; happiness and well being; and education and human capital expenditures. This grant will fund a project by a team of researchers led by Maggie Levenstein of the Michigan Census Research Data Center to link HRS data to the U.S. Business Register, a list of business establishments in the U.S. compiled and maintained by the U.S. Census Bureau. Successfully linking these two datasets will greatly increase the potential usefulness of the HRS, allowing researchers to measure how various health and wellness markers of older workers vary and correlate with the characteristics of the firms that employ them and opening new research possibilities in economics, psychology, organizational behavior, sociology, and demography. In addition to the work required to link the two datasets, funds will support the creation and dissemination of a publicly-available version of the new, linked dataset (suitably anonymized to protect the privacy of survey respondents), a series of papers conducting preliminary analysis of the data, and a conference to promote the new dataset and its use.

    To create and analyze datasets that combine the Health and Retirement Study (HRS) with data from the Census Bureau from the firms where HRS respondents have worked

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  • grantee: University of California, Los Angeles
    amount: $285,820
    city: Los Angeles, CA
    year: 2011

    To improve our understanding of how intergenerational support for parents, adult children, and grandchildren influences labor supply of older adults nearing retirement

    • Program Working Longer
    • Investigator Judith Seltzer

    Men and women nearing retirement often experience multiple family obligations-to aging parents, to spouses, to adult children, and to young grandchildren-yet there is little research on how these obligations affect the labor market activities of older Americans. This grant aims to address this gap in our understanding by supporting work by Dr. Suzanne Bianchi of UCLA and Dr. Emily Weimers of the University of Michigan to study how family obligations affect the labor market behavior of older workers. Using the Panel Study of Income Dynamics, a nationally representative longitudinal sample of over 18,000 individuals from 5,000 families across the U.S., Bianchi and Weimers will address the following questions: 1. How does the need for or the need for financial support-of parents,spouses, adult children, and grandchildren-affect current labor force behavior (including labor force participation and hours worked) of men and women in late middle ages and early older ages? Is there any variance across cohorts? 2. Do people with considerable demands from family stop working or work less, or do people who have always worked less care more for family members?

    To improve our understanding of how intergenerational support for parents, adult children, and grandchildren influences labor supply of older adults nearing retirement

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  • grantee: Michigan State University
    amount: $419,203
    city: East Lansing, MI
    year: 2011

    To fill a gap in research by investigating how the "employment environment" promotes or impedes the ability of individuals to remain at work past traditional ages of retirement

    • Program Working Longer
    • Investigator Peter Berg

    Much of the empirical research on aging and work actually focuses on aging and "end of work"-retirement. Significantly less research has been conducted on how the non-financial, as well as financial, conditions of work affect the decision to stay in the labor force beyond conventional retirement. To address this, Michican State University professor Peter Berg and his colleagues Chris Ruhm and Mary Hamman intend to assess how the "employment environment," defined to include characteristics of the job, employer, and the industry, facilitates or impedes individuals' abilities to work past conventional retirement age. To conduct their analysis, Berg and his team will rely on a uniquely rich German dataset, which includes detailed questions regarding the employment environment and contains extensive data on such relevant factors as staffing patterns, scheduling, hours of work, modifications to jobs demands, financial information, and turnover. Funds from this grant will support this research. The results of this study will likely shed light on the kinds of variables that could in the future be included in U.S. survey instruments, such as the Health and Retirement Study and could be important in identifying what U.S. employers might consider doing in order to keep employees working past age 65.

    To fill a gap in research by investigating how the "employment environment" promotes or impedes the ability of individuals to remain at work past traditional ages of retirement

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  • grantee: RAND Corporation
    amount: $609,511
    city: Santa Monica, CA
    year: 2011

    To understand the role of employers in facilitating or impeding continued employment of older workers following onset of a work-limiting disability

    • Program Working Longer
    • Investigator Nicole Maestas

    The viability of the current Social Security system and its need for reform has been a topic of recent public and political concern. What has not been getting comparable public or political attention, however, is the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program, which provides benefits to American workers who suffer from disabilities. SSDI's eligibility rules act as a major disincentive for continued employment for those applying for its benefits, since they provide income support and Medicare coverage to individuals with work-limiting disabilities only if they do not engage in substantial gainful employment. Yet despite this disincentive, some disabled workers continue working in some capacity. Funds from this grant will support research by the RAND Corporation to advance our understanding of how employer practices affect workers' continued employment after the onset of a work-limiting disability. Questions to be addressed by this research include: 1. How does workplace accommodation (with regard to how, when, and where work is done) affect the duration of continuing employment by an older worker following onset of disability? 2. How does health insurance coverage (availability, continuity, and source) and pension coverage (type and eligibility ages) affect the duration of continuing employment by an older worker following onset of disability? This project will rely on the longitudinal, cross-sectional data of the Health and Retirement Study (HRS), which has detailed questions on health insurance, as well as employer accommodations, including work schedules and work modifications.

    To understand the role of employers in facilitating or impeding continued employment of older workers following onset of a work-limiting disability

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