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: $315,100
    city: Los Angeles, CA
    year: 2015

    For screenwriting and production of science and technology films by top film students

    • Program Public Understanding
    • Sub-program Film
    • Investigator Kathleen McHugh

    This three-year grant provides continuing support for efforts by the University of California, Los Angeles School of Theater, Film, and Television to encourage top film students to write and produce accurate, engaging films about science and technology. The UCLA program includes a yearly $10,000 screenwriting award given to the best student script that explores scientific themes or characters; a yearly $30,000 directing award given toward the production of a dramatic or comedic film about science or technology; and a yearly day-long colloquium that brings working scientists and researchers into the classroom to expose students to exciting new developments in science and introduce them to the narrative possibilities that science and technology offer the aspiring filmmaker. Additional grant funds pair student filmmakers with scientific mentors who advise students on the scientific content of their work and ensure that scripts depict science and the scientific endeavor accurately.

    For screenwriting and production of science and technology films by top film students

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  • grantee: American Film Institute
    amount: $315,000
    city: Los Angeles, CA
    year: 2015

    To encourage the next generation of storytellers to create more realistic and dramatic stories about science and technology, and to challenge stereotypes about scientists and engineers through film

    • Program Public Understanding
    • Sub-program Film
    • Investigator Joe Petricca

    This grant provides three years of continued support to the American Film Institute’s (AFI) efforts to encourage young screenwriters and filmmakers to write and produce compelling, engaging narrative films that explore scientific themes or have scientists, engineers, or mathematicians as major characters. AFI’s program includes three annual award programs: a $25,000 award given to the best student film project that brings science and technology to life; a $10,000 annual screenwriting award given to the best science-themed script; and a yearly tuition scholarship worth $35,000 given to an incoming filmmaker with a background in the hard sciences who wishes to incorporate scientific themes in his or her filmmaking. In addition, AFI holds a seminar series where established actors, writers, directors, and producers talk to students about science and Hollywood, and provides access to working scientists to serve as mentors on student scripts.

    To encourage the next generation of storytellers to create more realistic and dramatic stories about science and technology, and to challenge stereotypes about scientists and engineers through film

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  • grantee: Tribeca Film Institute
    amount: $208,011
    city: New York, NY
    year: 2015

    To support the Sloan Student Grand Jury Prize administered by the Tribeca Film Institute to the best-of-the-best screenplay from Sloan’s six film school partners

    • Program Public Understanding
    • Sub-program Film
    • Investigator Anna Ponder

    This grant provides two years of funding for the Sloan Student Grand Prize. This annual prize is awarded to the single best student screenplay produced by a student from one of the Foundation’s six film school partners (AFI, Carnegie Mellon, Columbia, NYU, UCLA, and USC) and supports the development of that script into a finished film. The prize stimulates interest and excitement among the participating film schools and film students by awarding a “best-of-the-best” prize and by fast-tracking the winning project for development so it becomes a major career opportunity. The award package is $50,000 per year, of which $30,000 goes directly to the student filmmaker. The remaining $20,000 funds an industry mentor to guide the project, a committed science advisor, and other marketing (meetings, readings, events) and distribution efforts to maximize the screenplay’s chances of production.

    To support the Sloan Student Grand Jury Prize administered by the Tribeca Film Institute to the best-of-the-best screenplay from Sloan’s six film school partners

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  • grantee: National Academy of Sciences
    amount: $600,000
    city: Washington, DC
    year: 2014

    To sustain and strengthen the Science & Entertainment Exchange and the role of science in Hollywood and provide support and exposure for the Sloan Film Program

    • Program Public Understanding
    • Sub-program Film
    • Investigator Ann Merchant

    Launched in 2008 by the National Academy of Sciences, the Science & Entertainment Exchange pairs scientists with members of the entertainment industry, giving Hollywood producers, directors, writers, and other filmmaking professionals access to scientific expertise. Through hundreds of film and TV consultations, high-profile events, and “behind-the-scenes” access to scientific venues, the Exchange has successfully worked to enhance and improve the scientific content of many Hollywood productions, from science fiction to action to dramas.  The Exchange has conducted over 800 consultations to date on blockbuster films such as Thor and The Avengers and on TV series such as The Good Wife and The Big Bang Theory. The Exchange works to ensure accuracy when science is used in film, seeds new ideas within the film and television industry, and gives professional science advice.  Funds from this grant provide operating support for The Exchange’s core activities.  Additional funds support the enhancement of The Exchange’s web presence and a planned “signature” networking event to take place in late 2014.

    To sustain and strengthen the Science & Entertainment Exchange and the role of science in Hollywood and provide support and exposure for the Sloan Film Program

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  • grantee: Film Independent, Inc.
    amount: $381,053
    city: Los Angeles, CA
    year: 2014

    To support the triennial Sloan Film Summit, a three-day event of screenings, panels, staged readings, project updates, and networking opportunities and community building for Sloan film grantees

    • Program Public Understanding
    • Sub-program Film
    • Investigator Jennifer Kushner

    Funds from this grant will allow Film Independent (FIND) to host the 2014 Sloan Film Summit, a major convening of all of the Foundation’s film grantees held every three years, from film schools to film festivals, and from film development to film distribution partners. Supported activities at the summit include screenings of short films produced by Sloan-supported student filmmakers, screenplay readings, scientist-filmmaker panels on a variety of topics related to the incorporation of high-quality science into narrative film, updates on the progress of Sloan-supported projects, and networking events with industry insiders.  In addition to events for participants in the Sloan Film program, the summit will also feature three public-facing events: a full day of screenings of completed Sloan feature films followed by Q&A with the filmmakers, the staged readings of select Sloan-winning screenplays, and a high-profile “conversation” that focuses on science and storytelling.

    To support the triennial Sloan Film Summit, a three-day event of screenings, panels, staged readings, project updates, and networking opportunities and community building for Sloan film grantees

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  • grantee: Film Independent, Inc.
    amount: $665,995
    city: Los Angeles, CA
    year: 2014

    To provide direct support to develop science and technology scripts through a Producer’s Lab and Fast Track film financing and to start a fund to incentivize distribution of completed Sloan films and other science-worthy features

    • Program Public Understanding
    • Sub-program Film
    • Investigator Jennifer Kushner

    Funds from this grant support a continuing partnership with Film Independent in its efforts to develop high-quality, science-themed screenplays and support producing teams that can get these films completed.  Grant funds will support a series of incentive awards administered by Film Independent toward this purpose, including a yearly $30,000 award to a producer to develop a science-themed script in FIND’s Producing Lab; a Sloan Fast Track Fellowship to be awarded annually to a producer or producing team and which includes a $20,000 cash grant and participation in the Fast Track film financing market; and an annual $50,000 distribution grant awarded to one exceptional science-themed film a year to incentivize buyers to acquire it for distribution.  Additional grant funds defray the administrative costs of the program and support outreach and publicity efforts aimed at promoting winning projects.

    To provide direct support to develop science and technology scripts through a Producer’s Lab and Fast Track film financing and to start a fund to incentivize distribution of completed Sloan films and other science-worthy features

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  • grantee: Hamptons International Film Festival
    amount: $186,467
    city: East Hampton, NY
    year: 2014

    To provide final support toward a program to develop qualifying screenplays towards production and spotlight feature films with science and technology themes and characters at the Hamptons International Film Festival

    • Program Public Understanding
    • Sub-program Film
    • Investigator Anne Chaisson

    This grant provides one year of continuing support to the Hamptons International Film Festival (HIFF) for a series of activities designed to develop and spotlight high-quality films and film scripts that explore science as a theme or that feature scientists, mathematicians, or engineers as major characters.  Supported activities include a feature film prize for the best science-themed film submitted, a high-profile reception celebrating the winning film and filmmaker, a panel discussion featuring filmmakers and working scientists, and a screenwriting workshop to develop two science-themed scripts that will result in a staged reading of those scripts with well-known actors during the festival.  HIFF will also continue its intensive three-week filmmaking workshop at Stony Brook and will also host a tastemaker event in New York City in the weeks following the festival to promote the Sloan-winning film among prominent industry and press.

    To provide final support toward a program to develop qualifying screenplays towards production and spotlight feature films with science and technology themes and characters at the Hamptons International Film Festival

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  • grantee: Columbia University
    amount: $266,939
    city: New York, NY
    year: 2014

    To encourage the next generation of filmmakers to write screenplays and produce short films about science and technology

    • Program Public Understanding
    • Sub-program Film
    • Investigator Trey Ellis

    This grant provides continuing support to Columbia University, one of the Foundation's six film school partners, for twenty-eight months of activities designed to encourage top film students to develop screenplays and produce short films about science and technology. Activities supported through this grant include the provision of faculty mentors and science advisors for students working on science-themed film projects, two annual awards for production of short films on science and technology, one annual award to develop promising feature film scripts with science content, an annual science information seminar for film students,  and networking events with select film industry producers, agents, and managers.

    To encourage the next generation of filmmakers to write screenplays and produce short films about science and technology

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  • grantee: Barnard College
    amount: $25,000
    city: New York, NY
    year: 2014

    To screen Decoding Annie Parker and hold a panel discussion as a way of highlighting women in STEM fields at the Athena Film Festival

    • Program Public Understanding
    • Sub-program Film
    • Investigator Kathryn Kolbert

    To screen Decoding Annie Parker and hold a panel discussion as a way of highlighting women in STEM fields at the Athena Film Festival

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  • grantee: Women Make Movies, Inc.
    amount: $247,546
    city: New York, NY
    year: 2013

    Support for wide theatrical release and enhanced outreach and an educational campaign around the film Particle Fever, a dramatic documentary about the Large Hadron Collider

    • Program Public Understanding
    • Sub-program Film
    • Investigator David Kaplan

    In 2007, Professor David Kaplan started filming events inside a 17-mile tunnel containing the largest scientific experiment ever conducted by humankind: the Large Hadron Collider. A milestone in scientific collaboration involving more than 10,000 scientists from 100 countries, the Large Hadron Collider is the largest, most powerful, high-energy particle accelerator ever constructed and its operation led to the much celebrated confirmation of the existence of the Higgs boson in 2012—and to a Nobel Prize for Peter Higgs. Kaplan has turned his footage into a documentary about the project, Particle Fever, an affecting portrait of scientists and a beautiful illustration of the value and validity of basic research. Funds from this grant provide support for outreach and promotion of Particle Fever, enabling the producers to build an online community using social media, host live events in the run-up to the official theatrical release, and promote the film in digital and print media.

    Support for wide theatrical release and enhanced outreach and an educational campaign around the film Particle Fever, a dramatic documentary about the Large Hadron Collider

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