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: National Geographic Society
    amount: $1,500,000
    city: Washington, DC
    year: 2012

    To provide partial funding for a television documentary, 3D feature film, 3D Giant Screen film, educational resources, and digital outreach focused on James Cameron's historic dive and scientific expedition to the deepest part of the ocean

    • Program Public Understanding
    • Sub-program Television
    • Investigator Terry Garcia

    In March of 2003, director and longtime diving enthusiast James Cameron piloted a specially designed submarine, the Deepsea Challenger, to the bottom of the Mariana Trench - the deepest point in the ocean, becoming only the second man in history to make the journey. Spending some nine hours at the bottom of the ocean, Cameron captured the entire incredible journey on film, including never before seen images the trench floor. Funds from this grant will support the production of three separate media projects related to Cameron's pioneering dive, a 90-minute 3D feature film, a two-hour television documentary, and a 40-minute 3D film designed for oversized screens. Additional funds will support the production of educational resources to complement the film's scientific content, as well as digital and media outreach activities.

    To provide partial funding for a television documentary, 3D feature film, 3D Giant Screen film, educational resources, and digital outreach focused on James Cameron's historic dive and scientific expedition to the deepest part of the ocean

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  • grantee: WGBH Educational Foundation
    amount: $1,000,000
    city: Boston, MA
    year: 2012

    For production and broadcast of a three-hour NOVA special on the geological history of North America with enhanced digital content, outreach, education, and promotion

    • Program Public Understanding
    • Sub-program Television
    • Investigator Paula Apsell

    This grant supports the production of a three-hour NOVA special, Making of North America, which takes a unique "biographical" approach to communicating facts about the geological and geographic history of the continent. Making of North America will put to use the work of two new graphics projects, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency's Transparent Earth and Time Tunnel, to take the audience on a three-billion year adventure and "detective story." Scientists on the program will try to solve mysteries such as what is raising the Rockies and what is fueling the "hot spot" in the middle of the continent while taking a fresh look at landmarks like the Grand Canyon. The three hours will include a first program, Primeval Forces; a second hour, The Birth of North America; and a final show, The Human Landscape. The series will be augmented with enhanced digital content, most notably a mobile interactive map available on multiple platforms and a Google Earth tour. Funds will also support the development of a suite of teaching resources and a science cafй toolkit to attract younger audiences.

    For production and broadcast of a three-hour NOVA special on the geological history of North America with enhanced digital content, outreach, education, and promotion

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  • grantee: Brooklyn Academy of Music
    amount: $600,000
    city: Brooklyn, NY
    year: 2011

    To produce a feature-length documentary on Robert Wilson and Philip Glass's historic opera, Einstein on the Beach, and distribute it for international theatrical release and domestic television broadcast

    • Program Public Understanding
    • Sub-program Television
    • Investigator Karen Hopkins

    Funds from this grant to the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) will support the development, production, and broadcast of a feature-length documentary on the Philip Glass opera, Einstein on the Beach. The documentary will explore the intersection of Einstein's life and legacy with the making of the opera.

    To produce a feature-length documentary on Robert Wilson and Philip Glass's historic opera, Einstein on the Beach, and distribute it for international theatrical release and domestic television broadcast

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  • grantee: Greater Washington Educational Telecommunications Association Inc.
    amount: $1,500,000
    city: Arlington, VA
    year: 2011

    For high quality on-air and online coverage on PBS's NewsHour to enhance economic and financial literacy

    • Program Public Understanding
    • Sub-program Television
    • Investigator Linda Winslow

    This grant provides continued support for enhanced coverage of economic and financial topics on The PBS NewsHour. Through its recurring weekly segment, Making Sen$e with Paul Solman, the NewsHour aims to produce and broadcast at least 60 on-air segments over the next two years covering economic and financial topics. Additional funds from this grant will support a host of complementary web activities, including the production of at least 60 web-only videos on economic topics, continued operation of an online "Q&A desk" where Solman answers questions from readers, the development of a free iPad app allowing iPad users to easily access NewsHour economics content, and the production of syllabi, lesson plans, and other materials to facilitate the use of NewsHour segments in American classrooms.

    For high quality on-air and online coverage on PBS's NewsHour to enhance economic and financial literacy

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  • grantee: WGBH Educational Foundation
    amount: $700,000
    city: Boston, MA
    year: 2011

    For broadcast of a 2-hour NOVA special on the discovery and the scientific role of the elements in the periodic table with enhanced digital outreach and mobile application

    • Program Public Understanding
    • Sub-program Television
    • Investigator Paula Apsell

    This grant provides support for the production and broadcast of a two-hour NOVA special about the elements of the periodic table, their discovery, and the important role they have played over the course of human history. Hosted by author and New York Times technology columnist David Pogue and based on Theodore Grey's bestselling book, The Elements, the NOVA special will cover a broad range of topics, including the organization of the periodic table by Dmitri Mendeleev, how early human technological development was driven largely by our understanding and mastery of metals, and the role rare earth elements currently play in such modern conveniences as cell phones and batteries. Also funded through this grant are digital outreach efforts to broaden the scope and impact of the special, including production of exclusive web-only content to complement the special, expanded activities on social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter, and the development of an interactive iPad app.

    For broadcast of a 2-hour NOVA special on the discovery and the scientific role of the elements in the periodic table with enhanced digital outreach and mobile application

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  • grantee: Connecticut Public Broadcasting, Inc.
    amount: $1,196,390
    city: Hartford, CT
    year: 2011

    For production, broadcast, and outreach for a two-part public television series about what impact the science behind brain scans could or should have on the criminal justice system

    • Program Public Understanding
    • Sub-program Television
    • Investigator Graham Chedd

    Funds from this grant support the production and broadcast of a two-hour PBS series on how new developments in neuroscience may affect the criminal justice system and our understanding of free will and personal responsibility. Produced by Graham Chedd and hosted by Alan Alda, the series will seek to explain the science behind fMRI brain scans-both its enormous potential and its very significant current limitations-and explore what this new technology could mean for how we determine guilt and innocence. The series will feature commentary from a host of experts-neuroscientists, philosophers, ethicists, legal scholars, and judges- bringing diverse variety of perspectives to the topic and ensuring that it remains both engaging and accessible.

    For production, broadcast, and outreach for a two-part public television series about what impact the science behind brain scans could or should have on the criminal justice system

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  • grantee: WGBH Educational Foundation
    amount: $600,000
    city: Boston, MA
    year: 2011

    To research, produce, and broadcast a one-hour PBS Frontline documentary about the implications of the Fukushima accident for the future of nuclear power in the U.S.

    • Program Public Understanding
    • Sub-program Television
    • Investigator Jon Palfreman

    Funds from this grant provide support for a one-hour documentary, to be produced and broadcast by the influential PBS documentary series Frontline, about the repercussions of Fukushima Daichi nuclear accident caused by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami off the coast of Japan. Starting with an analysis of what went wrong at Fukushima, the program will track the still-developing story and critically evaluate the implications for U.S. nuclear safety and for the future of nuclear energy in the U.S. Using a mixture of archival footage, location shooting in the U.S., Japan, and China, interviews with scientific and technical experts, politicians, policymakers and citizens, the documentary will seek to present a measured, fair, and factually-based analysis of one of the many major policy choices of our time. To ensure accuracy, the production team will draw on a scientific board of advisors who will provide expert guidance and information.

    To research, produce, and broadcast a one-hour PBS Frontline documentary about the implications of the Fukushima accident for the future of nuclear power in the U.S.

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  • grantee: WGBH Educational Foundation
    amount: $2,500,000
    city: Boston, MA
    year: 2011

    To research and produce four hours of documentaries on the role of science and technology in history for The American Experience with ancillary outreach including two interactive games and marketing campaign

    • Program Public Understanding
    • Sub-program Television
    • Investigator Mark Samels

    Funds from this grant support the development, production, and broadcast of three science-and-technology-themed documentaries by the PBS series American Experience. The three proposed documentaries include: "The Poisoner's Handbook," based on Deborah Blum's Foundation-supported book about the birth of toxicology and forensic science in the Jazz Age and how new crime-fighting techniques led to improvements in safety; "Robert Noyce, the Integrated Circuit and the Birth of Silicon Valley," based on Leslie Berlin's The Man Behind the Microchip: Robert Noyce and the Invention of Silicon Valley, a formative tale about one of the most important inventions of the twentieth century that has received relatively little exposure in the mass media; and "The Grand Coulee Dam" about the damming of the Columbia River-at the time, the largest concrete structure ever built-which transformed the Pacific Northwest. In addition, American Experience is proposing two interactive games to accompany the broadcast of "The Poisoner's Handbook."

    To research and produce four hours of documentaries on the role of science and technology in history for The American Experience with ancillary outreach including two interactive games and marketing campaign

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  • grantee: Fred Friendly Seminars, Inc.
    amount: $19,095
    city: New York, NY
    year: 2011

    To rebroadcast the program Minds on the Edge: Facing Mental Illness, to publicize available resources, and to encourage dialogue about the mental health care system

    • Program Public Understanding
    • Sub-program Television
    • Investigator Richard Kilberg

    To rebroadcast the program Minds on the Edge: Facing Mental Illness, to publicize available resources, and to encourage dialogue about the mental health care system

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  • grantee: WGBH Educational Foundation
    amount: $1,700,000
    city: Boston, MA
    year: 2010

    To produce 12 scientist profiles for prime time broadcast on Nova ScienceNow, to produce and promote 32 additional scientist profiles for the award-winning "The Secret Life of Scientists and Engineers" website, and to increase the website's audience

    • Program Public Understanding
    • Sub-program Television
    • Investigator Paula Apsell

    This grant to WGBH Educational Foundation provides two years of support for the award-winning broadcast series NOVA scienceNow and for the Emmy-nominated Web series The Secret Life of Scientists and Engineers. Launched with exclusive Sloan funding, The Secret Life of Scientists and Engineers enhances the public understanding of science by producing compelling stories about the life and work of contemporary working scientists and engineers and has already garnered an impressive list of achievements, garnering 600,000 visitors in the first year, major press coverage, and a much-coveted Emmy nomination in the category New Approaches to News and Documentary Programming. The NOVA scienceNow prime time television series has continued to perform well with three million viewers per episode, plus an additional 1.3 million video downloads. The profiles that the Foundation supports are a popular part of the show, and in response, the new profiles funded under this grant will be longer and compose a bigger fraction of each hour-long show. Additional grant funds will support series promotion, new content, and outreach.

    To produce 12 scientist profiles for prime time broadcast on Nova ScienceNow, to produce and promote 32 additional scientist profiles for the award-winning "The Secret Life of Scientists and Engineers" website, and to increase the website's audience

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