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: Wesleyan University
    amount: $34,856
    city: Middletown, CT
    year: 2021

    To support the design, development, and testing of a generalizable active privacy choice mechanism

    • Program Technology
    • Sub-program Universal Access to Knowledge
    • Investigator Sebastian Zimmeck

    To support the design, development, and testing of a generalizable active privacy choice mechanism

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  • grantee: Stanford University
    amount: $1,000,000
    city: Stanford, CA
    year: 2020

    To pilot a prototype for the first open-source, privacy-protecting virtual assistant and an open voice web that will keep knowledge open

    • Program Technology
    • Sub-program Universal Access to Knowledge
    • Investigator Monica Lam

    Virtual assistants like Amazon’s Alexa are quickly becoming the gateway to all other digital products and services. The convenience and power of these assistants has led more than 50 million American households to adopt a virtual assistant over the past two years, an astonishing pace. Yet the marketplace for virtual assistants is dominated by just two firms, with Amazon and Google controlling 95% of the market. Because virtual assistants usefully connect to other digitally enabled devices and services, and because they need to constantly listen for voice prompts from their owners, they are poised to collect unprecedented amounts of personal information about consumers, from listening in on all the Internet of Things devices in our houses, to our communications on social media, from email to Facebook, and from our search history and purchasing records to our finances and health. In addition, unlike browser-enabled searches that return a full page of search results, queries of a virtual assistant yield only one answer, giving them a unique ability to shape (and manipulate) what we encounter and what we know via the World Wide Web. Since virtual assistants are powerful intermediaries between consumers and the wider world, it would benefit all consumers if the market for these assistants was robust, giving consumers many options to choose from.       This grant funds a project by Monica Lam, professor of computer science and director of the Open Virtual Assistant Lab at Stanford University, to build and pilot the first prototype of an open source, privacy preserving virtual assistant. The project, if successful, promises to expand the options available to consumers and offer the ease and convenience of a first-class virtual assistant without the sacrifice of personal privacy or transparency.

    To pilot a prototype for the first open-source, privacy-protecting virtual assistant and an open voice web that will keep knowledge open

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  • grantee: Annual Reviews
    amount: $477,300
    city: Palo Alto, CA
    year: 2020

    To support new content, including articles, essays, interviews, opinion pieces, infographics, comics, and online events focusing on COVID-19

    • Program Technology
    • Sub-program Universal Access to Knowledge
    • Investigator Richard Gallagher

    Funds from this grant support the production and dissemination of a special series by Annual Reviews’s online publication Knowable Magazine that aims to provide fresh, science-based, and publicly accessible perspectives issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Called Reset: The Science of Crisis and Recovery, the 9-month series will feature articles, essays, profiles, interviews, infographics, video, and comics exploring the scholarly work that informs the best response to the coronavirus pandemic. Content will include reporting and expert commentary in the digital publication Knowable Magazine and republished content in diverse media outlets. In addition, the team at Knowable will launch a series of online events featuring renowned scholars from an array of fields discussing timely topics around COVID-19 and providing reliable, evidence-based information and guidance. Content will be informed by Annual Review’s roster of 51 journals and 1,000 scholars, scientists, and journalists. Additional grant funds will support efforts to reach new audiences, including potential content distribution partnerships with Yahoo! News, local radio stations, the Smithsonian, the Aspen Institute, and the Huffington Post, among others.

    To support new content, including articles, essays, interviews, opinion pieces, infographics, comics, and online events focusing on COVID-19

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  • grantee: New America Foundation
    amount: $150,000
    city: Washington, DC
    year: 2020

    To support a report about use of libraries’ digital materials by educators, leaders of community organizations, and the general public during the Covid-19 pandemic

    • Program Technology
    • Sub-program Universal Access to Knowledge
    • Investigator Lisa Guernsey

    To support a report about use of libraries’ digital materials by educators, leaders of community organizations, and the general public during the Covid-19 pandemic

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  • grantee: Digital Public Library of America, Inc.
    amount: $250,000
    city: Boston, MA
    year: 2020

    To support a suite of COVID-19 response activities, including community archives capturing the experiences of African-American communities and expanded online resources

    • Program Technology
    • Sub-program Universal Access to Knowledge
    • Investigator John Bracken

    To support a suite of COVID-19 response activities, including community archives capturing the experiences of African-American communities and expanded online resources

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  • grantee: Wikimedia Foundation
    amount: $2,100,000
    city: San Francisco, CA
    year: 2020

    To support the extension of structured data from Wikimedia Commons across all Wikimedia content, improving the search function and making it easier to read, edit, and access knowledge

    • Program Technology
    • Sub-program Universal Access to Knowledge
    • Investigator Katherine Maher

    With help from a prior grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, the Wikimedia Foundation in 2017 launched an ambitious project to add structured metadata to files in the Wikimedia Commons, Wikimedia’s repository of more than 65 million photos, videos and other media files. The project allowed users to add machine readable information to each file, including information on the file creator, the copyright status of the file, and the object, event, or subject depicted. This structured metadata makes files in the Commons much more easily discoverable, searchable, and shareable, and since 2017, metadata has been added to more than 11 million files in the Commons.     Funds from this grant support an expansion of this project and will help Wikimedia expand its use of structured metadata to the entire universe of Wikimedia sites, including Wikipedia and Wikidata. The potential benefits of this project are significant. For example, with content metadata, machine prompts could suggest appropriate images to add to a page being edited or could identify data that appears on the Spanish-language version of a Wikipedia article, but is missing from that page in Vietnamese. Grant funds will support the development of a set of structured data standards to apply across Wikimedia products, the creation of editing tools and interfaces to help users implement those standards, and outreach and public engagement efforts to engage the global Wikimedia community in the process. Over the three-year grant period, the project aims to add structured metadata to 5 million Wikipedia articles.

    To support the extension of structured data from Wikimedia Commons across all Wikimedia content, improving the search function and making it easier to read, edit, and access knowledge

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  • grantee: Digital Public Library of America, Inc.
    amount: $215,633
    city: Cambridge, MA
    year: 2019

    To develop infrastructure for the ingestion of data from national aggregators into Wikimedia Commons using content from the Digital Public Library of America in a pilot effort

    • Program Technology
    • Sub-program Universal Access to Knowledge
    • Investigator Michael Della Bitta

    To develop infrastructure for the ingestion of data from national aggregators into Wikimedia Commons using content from the Digital Public Library of America in a pilot effort

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  • grantee: New York Public Library
    amount: $500,000
    city: New York, NY
    year: 2019

    To support the continued development of the SimplyE e-reader application in order to make the DPLA Exchange and other ebooks available to an increasing number of large libraries and consortia under nonproprietary conditions

    • Program Technology
    • Sub-program Universal Access to Knowledge
    • Investigator Tony Ageh

    The grant supports a collaboration between the New York Public Library (NYPL), the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA), and LYRASIS to enhance and improve SimplyEСa state-of-the-art open source e-reader application that is used by libraries to make ebooks readily available to their patrons. Planned improvements include enhancing SimplyEХs user experience (UX), particularly for first-time users, improving accessibility and document rendering, and upgrading the systemХs digital rights management. Additional grant funds will go toward promotion and outreach activities aimed at speeding adoption of the platform among libraries, with a goal of 1,000 public libraries using SimplyE by the end of 2022.

    To support the continued development of the SimplyE e-reader application in order to make the DPLA Exchange and other ebooks available to an increasing number of large libraries and consortia under nonproprietary conditions

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  • grantee: American Institute of Physics
    amount: $646,697
    city: College Park, MD
    year: 2018

    To support global, digital access to the Wenner Collection on the history of physics via detailed cataloging, description, online availability, and initial outreach

    • Program Technology
    • Sub-program Universal Access to Knowledge
    • Investigator Melanie Mueller

    This grant supports efforts by the American Institute of Physics (AIP) to catalog and digitize the Wenner Collection, a unique collection of 3,800 rare books and documents that cover the early development of physics and astronomy. The collection was carefully assembled and annotated by David Wenner, a wealthy, philanthropic science aficionado, and contains works—some more than five centuries old—by Ptolemy, Galileo, Huygens, Halley, Newton, Laplace, and many early-19th-century natural philosophers. AIP will scrupulously organize, classify, and catalog the entire collection in accordance with international and national library standards. Grant funds will support the hiring of a rare book cataloger to make decisions about priorities, storage facilities for the materials that will preserve Wenner’s original ordering and grouping, and the hiring of a digital assessment specialist to facilitate efficient, high-quality digitization of the collection. Additional funds will support various outreach activities to facilitate user engagement with the collection.

    To support global, digital access to the Wenner Collection on the history of physics via detailed cataloging, description, online availability, and initial outreach

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  • grantee: Annual Reviews
    amount: $800,000
    city: Palo Alto, CA
    year: 2018

    To develop and expand Knowable Magazine, a new digital publication that unlocks scientific research to inform the public discourse with compelling, timely, and impartial knowledge

    • Program Technology
    • Sub-program Universal Access to Knowledge
    • Investigator Richard Gallagher

    Funds from this grant provide one year of support to Knowable Magazine, a new digital-native publication launched in October 2017 by Annual Reviews. Annual Reviews, publisher of a prestigious series of comprehensive, high-quality scientific field reviews, has a large following among scientists. Knowable is an attempt to bring that content to a broader demographic. Its articles use established scientific knowledge and research-based facts to highlight the issues society is grappling with, such as health and disease, aging, and climate change. Grant funds will provide general operating support and enhanced outreach for Knowable as it expands its audience, forms relationships with corporate partners, and moves toward independent sustainability.

    To develop and expand Knowable Magazine, a new digital publication that unlocks scientific research to inform the public discourse with compelling, timely, and impartial knowledge

    More
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