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 California, Los Angeles
    amount: $45,000
    city: Los Angeles, CA
    year: 2017

    To support the inaugural Gordon Research Conference on deep carbon science as a legacy of the Deep Carbon Observatory

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

    To support the inaugural Gordon Research Conference on deep carbon science as a legacy of the Deep Carbon Observatory

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

    To complete and synthesize the work of the Deep Energy community of the Deep Carbon Observatory

    • Program Science
    • Sub-program Deep Carbon Observatory
    • Investigator Edward Young

    The grant provides two years of support to Deep Energy (DE) community of the Deep Carbon Observatory. Representing 176 researchers in 32 nations, the group is about half from the United States and half from the rest of the world, the Deep Energy Community is the branch of the DCO that examines the abundance, distribution, and origins of deep Earth abiotic hydrocarbons and the reactions between energy and rock that produce energy. Grant funds will provide research support to the community as it completes a set of eight initiatives on reduced carbon formation, the fate of reduced carbon, confined hydrogen behavior, isotopic bond ordering of methane, ocean floor serpentinization, Precambrian cratons, analysis of sediment cores taken from a drilling site in Oman, and monitoring of subsurface microbial activity rates. The last project, joint with the Deep Carbon Observatory’s Deep Life community, aims to determine how rapidly changes in subsurface metabolic activity occur in response to seismic events. (In plain words, earthquakes might cause deep microbial blooms.) Along with completing these studies, the DE community would carry out a range of activities to synthesize and integrate the component activities, including through the DCO’s collective effort to create a system of models of deep Earth carbon.

    To complete and synthesize the work of the Deep Energy community of the Deep Carbon Observatory

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  • grantee: Carnegie Institution of Washington
    amount: $1,250,000
    city: Washington, DC
    year: 2017

    To synthesize the work of the Reservoirs and Fluxes Community of the Deep Carbon Observatory

    • Program Science
    • Sub-program Deep Carbon Observatory
    • Investigator Erik Hauri

    This grant continues support for two years for research conducted by the Reservoirs and Fluxes community of the Deep Carbon Observatory. Led by Marie Edmonds of Cambridge University and Erik Hauri of the Carnegie Institution for Science and comprising some 120 core members across the globe, the Reservoirs and Fluxes community is engaged in a coordinated research program to advance our understanding of the volume, distribution, and movement of Earth’s carbon. Major research goals include improving our knowledge of the global budget of fluxes of gases from volcanoes; learning about carbon in the mantle and its changes through time by studying the diamonds and their inclusions that were formed very deep; improving estimates of the global circulation of carbon in Earth’s interior and fluid dynamics of carbon; and improving knowledge of the chemical forms, mineral hosts, and reactions of carbon moving between reservoirs. The third and fourth activities are key for the DCO’s program-wide initiative to build a system of models simulating the origins and movements of deep carbon through Earth’s history, the paramount synthetic effort of the DCO, which could also be its greatest scientific legacy. The majority of grant funds provide partial support for each of about ten post-docs at six different institutions.

    To synthesize the work of the Reservoirs and Fluxes Community of the Deep Carbon Observatory

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  • grantee: St. Edmunds College, University of Cambridge
    amount: $55,000
    city: Cambridge, United Kingdom
    year: 2016

    To write the first history of deep carbon science, a book titled “Carbon from Crust to Core”

    • Program Science
    • Sub-program Deep Carbon Observatory
    • Investigator Simon Mitton

    To write the first history of deep carbon science, a book titled “Carbon from Crust to Core”

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  • grantee: Universita di Roma La Sapienza
    amount: $102,753
    city: Roma, Italy
    year: 2016

    To conduct the third workshop of early career scientists of the Deep Carbon Observatory

    • Program Science
    • Sub-program Deep Carbon Observatory
    • Investigator Vincenzo Stagno

    To conduct the third workshop of early career scientists of the Deep Carbon Observatory

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  • grantee: University of Oxford
    amount: $464,129
    city: Oxford, United Kingdom
    year: 2016

    To conduct a field campaign of the Deep Carbon Observatory (DCO) on differentiation of biotic and abiotic carbon uniting a dozen early career scientists representing all four DCO communities in a synoptic study exemplifying fulfillment of the DCO’s decadal goals

    • Program Science
    • Sub-program Deep Carbon Observatory
    • Investigator Peter Barry

    Funds from this grant support a field project that aims to separate and quantify the sources, pathways, and fates of carbon that originated as mantle rock or as sedimentary biomass. The location of the fieldwork is west of Costa Rica, where the seafloor sinks or “subducts” beneath the Caribbean plate. A team led by Peter Barry of the University of Oxford will look closely at this subduction zone to see to what extent the burial of microbes (organic material rich in carbon) on the slab during oceanic sedimentation is a one-way road to death. Prior research estimates that 85 percent of the subducted carbon sinks under the tremendous pressure of gravity and the overlying plate into the deep, lifeless mantle, but recent measurements have detected unusually high carbon dioxide degassing from the zone. This opens the possibility that quite a lot of “biotic” carbon in deep seafloor mud might recycle as surface life. The project is a continuation of ongoing work by Deep Carbon Observatory scientists to probe the limits to life and accurately characterize the outer bound of pressures and temperatures that are nonlethal to some environmental microorganisms.

    To conduct a field campaign of the Deep Carbon Observatory (DCO) on differentiation of biotic and abiotic carbon uniting a dozen early career scientists representing all four DCO communities in a synoptic study exemplifying fulfillment of the DCO’s decadal goals

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  • grantee: Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
    amount: $750,000
    city: Troy, NY
    year: 2016

    To continue to lead the data science and management dimensions of the Deep Carbon Observatory and contribute to program synthesis

    • Program Science
    • Sub-program Deep Carbon Observatory
    • Investigator Peter Fox

    This grant continues support to the Data Science Team of the Deep Carbon Observatory (DCO), which provides data and computational infrastructure and services to the DCO membership. Led by Peter Fox at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, the Data Science Team provides key services to the DCO. Supported activities include the development and progressive improvement of deepcarbon.net, management of the DCO’s scholar database, and hosting an archive of all DCO plans, policies, publications by member scholars, and scientific data collected or generated by hundreds of individual DCO research projects. In addition, the team is responsible for the DCO’s data science efforts, working with the community to turn DCO data into a searchable corpus that can be agglomerated and analyzed to reveal new geoscientific insights. Finally, the Data Management team is a crucial player in the larger effort to synthesize a series of deep Earth carbon models from knowledge gained from the DCO’s decade of research. Grant funds will provide operational support for these core functions for two years.

    To continue to lead the data science and management dimensions of the Deep Carbon Observatory and contribute to program synthesis

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  • grantee: University of Arizona
    amount: $231,050
    city: Tucson, AZ
    year: 2016

    To elucidate the concept of carbon mineral evolution

    • Program Science
    • Sub-program Deep Carbon Observatory
    • Investigator Robert Downs

    This grant funds efforts by Robert Downs of the University of Arizona and Robert Hazen, cofounder of the Deep Carbon Observatory, to undertake a systematic application of evolutionary theories to carbon minerals. Downs and Hazen have argued persuasively that the lens of evolution fruitfully explains key aspects of diversification of mineral species, mineralization rates, and structural complexity through Earth’s 4.5 billion-year history. Two-thirds of Earth’s mineral species are biologically mediated, inextricably linking the geosphere and biosphere in co-evolution. Grant funds support two interconnected activities. First, Downs and Hazen will develop and exploit data resources, statistical modeling, and visualization tools to understand quantitatively Earth’s changing carbon mineralogy from crust to mantle. Second, they will expand and explore the Deep-Time Data Infrastructure, which combines mineralogy, petrology, geochemistry, and proteomics resources. Planned outputs include an open-access carbon mineral data base with more than 10,000 data sets for carbon-bearing minerals that include age, locality, and depth.

    To elucidate the concept of carbon mineral evolution

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  • grantee: University of Michigan
    amount: $125,000
    city: Ann Arbor, MI
    year: 2016

    To identify the five most important reactions governing deep carbon and use these to synthesize and lift understanding of deep carbon

    • Program Science
    • Sub-program Deep Carbon Observatory
    • Investigator Jie Li

    To identify the five most important reactions governing deep carbon and use these to synthesize and lift understanding of deep carbon

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  • grantee: OFM Research
    amount: $331,064
    city: Redmond, WA
    year: 2016

    To integrate modeling of melts and fluids for the 4D Deep Carbon in Earth Model of the Deep Carbon Observatory

    • Program Science
    • Sub-program Deep Carbon Observatory
    • Investigator Mark Ghiorso

    The state of deep carbon modeling today resembles that of climate modeling 40 years ago, when models of the atmosphere, oceans, sea ice and glaciers, forests, and land surface were all partially developed but were not integrated. In today’s geoscience, models exist of the workings of the Earth’s core, the lower and upper mantle, the crust, and of particular processes such as volcanism and plate tectonics, but no system or framework embraces all of these, especially across time scales ranging from thousands to hundreds of millions of years. Funds from this grant support efforts to integrate two popular models: MELTS, Mark Ghiorso’s model of the thermodynamic properties of magmas, and DEW, a model developed by Dmietri Sverjensky that simulates the behavior of water and water-dissolved carbon in the deep Earth. Funds will support the development of an integrated model that will be open source, freely available, released to the scientific community, and suitable for integration into the larger Deep Carbon Observatory (DCO) system of models. Also funded is a workshop that will introduce the new model to the DCO community. Development of comprehensive numerical simulations of the origins, movements, and forms of deep carbon has emerged over the past three years as a major, integrative goal of the Deep Carbon Observatory. The proposed integration of melts and fluid models, if successful, represents significant progress toward to achieving that goal.

    To integrate modeling of melts and fluids for the 4D Deep Carbon in Earth Model of the Deep Carbon Observatory

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