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: PRX Incorporated
    amount: $300,000
    city: Cambridge, MA
    year: 2014

    As support for a three-pronged approach to developing and disseminating new science and technology content for a new generation of radio producers and listeners via nontraditional broadcast, digital, and mobile platforms

    • Program Public Understanding
    • Sub-program Radio
    • Investigator Jake Shapiro

    Funds from this grant support a project by PRX, an open content marketplace for independently produced radio programs, to develop new voices and fresh radio content about science and technology (S&T). Using grant funds, PRX will issue an open call for story driven audio content on S&T themes and will produce S&T content for their existing portfolio of signature shows and podcasts, including a one-hour S&T-themed production for the The Moth Radio Hour, three science-themed S&T episodes for 99% Invisible, three technology-themed episodes for Theory of Everything, and three video segments showcasing interviews with leaders of S&T for Blank on Blank.  PRX will also develop a new science-based podcast focused on women in science.

    As support for a three-pronged approach to developing and disseminating new science and technology content for a new generation of radio producers and listeners via nontraditional broadcast, digital, and mobile platforms

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  • grantee: American Museum of Natural History
    amount: $354,000
    city: New York, NY
    year: 2014

    As support for the popular science talk show StarTalk hosted by Neil deGrasse Tyson

    • Program Public Understanding
    • Sub-program Radio
    • Investigator Neil Tyson

    Neil deGrasse Tyson, an astrophysicist and director of the Hayden Planetarium at the American Museum of Natural History, is also creator and host of an innovative radio show called StarTalk, a program that uses comedy and celebrity star power to demystify science for the public. Tyson’s guests are a mix of distinguished scientists—Bill Nye, Brian Greene, Buzz Aldrin—and interesting nonscientists and celebrities such as Jon Stewart, Morgan Freeman, and GZA.   Increasingly the show has been videotaped and posted on YouTube and other video channels where it has attracted a sizeable audience and significant advertising.  This grant provides basic operating support for the continued production of StarTalk during a one-year contractual blackout imposed by Tyson’s decision to host the upcoming 13-part mini-series COSMOS, to air in primetime on FOX in the spring of 2014.  Contractually forbidden to appear on a “competing” video program, Tyson is seeking bridge funding to keep StarTalk funded until he can reappear on the program in 2015.  This grant provides these funds, ensuring that an innovative show devoted to advancing the public understanding of science can stay on the air.

    As support for the popular science talk show StarTalk hosted by Neil deGrasse Tyson

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  • grantee: New York Public Radio
    amount: $125,000
    city: New York, NY
    year: 2013

    For a planning grant for WNYC's new Healthcare Reporting Unit to research and pilot episodes targeted at New York healthcare policy and the impact of the Affordable Care Act on consumers

    • Program Public Understanding
    • Sub-program Radio
    • Investigator Jim Schachter

    Funds from this grant support the development of a new Healthcare Reporting Unit at New York City radio station WNYC.   The contemplated unit will use personal stories to spotlight issues in American healthcare with an emphasis on research and policy, taking a consumer-friendly approach that links lived experience to broader systemic issues in the health care system through documentary-style reports, banded segments for local and national news programs, hour-long specials, podcasts, and partnerships with leaders in healthcare journalism. The grant will provide funds for convening diverse panel of experts, assembling an advisory board, and conducting research for targeted reporting on healthcare policy in New York and surrounding states, including research on the impact of the Affordable Care Act on consumers.

    For a planning grant for WNYC's new Healthcare Reporting Unit to research and pilot episodes targeted at New York healthcare policy and the impact of the Affordable Care Act on consumers

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  • grantee: New York Public Radio
    amount: $750,000
    city: New York, NY
    year: 2013

    For production and enhanced distribution of Radiolab, an innovative popular science-themed radio show, via multiple platforms

    • Program Public Understanding
    • Sub-program Radio
    • Investigator Ellen Horne

    This grant provides three years of continued support for the production and distribution of WNYC’s Radiolab, the popular award-winning radio show hosted by Jad Abumrad and Robert Krulwich. Each year for the next three years, the Radiolab team will use grant funds to produce 12 to 15 hours of original audio-based scientific content for broadcast on the show, including 10 hour-long episodes, 16 podcasts, 2 interactive “activities” for web audiences, and between 8 and 10 real-time science demonstrations to be used in the annual Radiolab live tour. Additional funds will allow expansion of the weekly Radiolab broadcast to include 500 radio stations.

    For production and enhanced distribution of Radiolab, an innovative popular science-themed radio show, via multiple platforms

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  • grantee: New York Public Radio
    amount: $750,000
    city: New York, NY
    year: 2013

    To support the production and distribution of science and technology coverage on Studio 360, an award-winning arts and culture show

    • Program Public Understanding
    • Sub-program Radio
    • Investigator David Krasnow

    This grant provides three years of support for WNYC’s award-winning radio show, Studio 360, hosted by Kurt Andersen, to continue its popular Science and Creativity series. Studio 360 features the latest research and findings in science and technology, relating these developments to arts, culture, and everyday life. Grant funds support a large, diverse board of science advisors for the program, a major planning meeting that flies in experts from around the country, a science-programming consultant, high-quality freelance reporting, and outside contributors who assist the full-time staff. Also supported are a series of live events which aim to engage a younger, more diverse audience than traditional radio broadcasts.

    To support the production and distribution of science and technology coverage on Studio 360, an award-winning arts and culture show

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  • grantee: National Public Radio, Inc.
    amount: $300,000
    city: Washington, DC
    year: 2013

    To support an innovative, on-air, and online multimedia reporter at the Science Desk for two years before NPR covers this new, full-time position

    • Program Public Understanding
    • Sub-program Radio
    • Investigator Anne Gudenkauf

    Funds from this grant provide salary and administrative support for a full-time on-air and online multimedia storyteller working at National Public Radio’s (NPR) Science Desk. The new position, originally funded with Sloan support in 2012 as a one-year experiment, is tasked with enhancing NPR’s scientific coverage by supplementing traditional reporting with original animations, blog posts, illustrations, infographics, and video content, bringing NPRs high-quality reporting to new, digital audiences. This grant provides two years of bridge funding for the position after which it is anticipated NPR will incorporate the position into its yearly operating budget.

    To support an innovative, on-air, and online multimedia reporter at the Science Desk for two years before NPR covers this new, full-time position

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  • grantee: Science Friday Initiative, Inc.
    amount: $684,117
    city: New York, NY
    year: 2013

    To support Science Friday, focusing on science and the arts, including radio broadcasts, digital science videos, blog posts, and associated media

    • Program Public Understanding
    • Sub-program Radio
    • Investigator Ira Flatow

    Funds from this grant provide three years of continued operational and programming support to Science Friday, the only regular weekly slot on public radio—two hours long—devoted to all things science. Reaching more than two million people each week via his radio show, podcasts, blogs, online videos, mobile apps, and social media, award-winning host Ira Flatow targets the fertile intersection between science and the arts and has made the show a magnet for filmmakers, playwrights, authors, musicians, sculptors, painters, and digital artists who engage with science. In addition to providing operational support, funds support several new initiatives, including collaborative (audience) art projects, a Science Friday book club, a film viewing and discussion series, an artist of the month spotlight, and an annual remote broadcast about science and the arts produced in conjunction with the Foundation-supported Science and Entertainment Exchange.

    To support Science Friday, focusing on science and the arts, including radio broadcasts, digital science videos, blog posts, and associated media

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  • grantee: SoundVision Productions
    amount: $1,098,883
    city: Berkeley, CA
    year: 2012

    For support for BURN: An Energy Journal to expand the public's energy literacy through public radio specials, monthly stories broadcast on Marketplace, and shared productions with National Geographic, as well as online content and outreach

    • Program Public Understanding
    • Sub-program Radio
    • Investigator Bari Scott

    Funds from this grant support a project by SoundVision Productions to produce an ambitious, multimedia series titled BURN: An Energy Journal. Joined by two major media partners-Marketplace and National Geographic-BURN will focus on energy literacy and teaching the public about our energy future, which will result in two in-depth, one-hour programs on public radio about energy efficiency and future directions in energy. Additional funds will support the creation of a new BURN desk on the popular Marketplace program that will air, for one year, a monthly series of five- to seven-minute pieces on energy-related topics. Partner National Geographic will also distribute BURN content across its many platforms. BURN will include a website that will include four one-hour specials on energy along with a series of podcasts, source lists, and resource links, blogs, and video science explainers from the series' popular host, Alex Chadwick. A partnership with the University of Texas will produce weekly blog entries by top scientists, policymakers, industry leaders, researchers, and other opinion leaders. Additional grant monies will support outreach efforts to minority and ethnic audiences through targeting media channels that serve ethnic and minority constituencies. The BURN project promises to improve the public's basic energy literacy, to take a level-headed look at our energy future, and to stimulate a more realistic and informed public discussion on this critical subject.

    For support for BURN: An Energy Journal to expand the public's energy literacy through public radio specials, monthly stories broadcast on Marketplace, and shared productions with National Geographic, as well as online content and outreach

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  • grantee: PRX Incorporated
    amount: $172,328
    city: Cambridge, MA
    year: 2012

    To experiment with new, diverse voices outside the radio mainstream and with new approaches to presenting STEM content for a new generation

    • Program Public Understanding
    • Sub-program Radio
    • Investigator Jake Shapiro

    This grant funds a project by PRX Incorporated, public radio's largest distribution marketplace, to experiment with new ways to bring high-quality science-themed audio programming to new, younger audiences through the radio and the web. PRX will improve the sound, production, and general appeal of its hour-long science programming, while promoting these shows as specials and excerpting segments for short-term use on podcasts, remixes, blogs, web, and social media sites. In addition, PRX will create three new science podcasts for 99% Invisible, a short-form podcast that addresses creativity and innovation. PRX will also begin integrating existing science content into Public Radio Remix: an edgy, experimental mash-up that creates "a new flow of listening" aimed at younger listeners. Finally, working closely with science advisors, PRX will issue an "open call" for STEM programs and proposals-either identifying exciting new shows that may be off the traditional radar screen and helping them with enhanced production techniques to improve distribution, or taking previously aired or archival work that can be revised, edited, updated, or annotated to make it more timely and accessible for broadcast or streaming. This wide range of PRX initiatives aim to engage an entirely new community and to learn from them, while advancing public understanding of science.

    To experiment with new, diverse voices outside the radio mainstream and with new approaches to presenting STEM content for a new generation

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  • grantee: L.A. Theatre Works
    amount: $450,848
    city: Venice, CA
    year: 2012

    To record four new Sloan-commissioned or supported science plays for broadcast on public radio and distributed to schools, libraries, online retail partners and regional theatres, and for development of "Relativity" apps, eBooks, and website material

    • Program Public Understanding
    • Sub-program Radio
    • Investigator Vicki Pearlson

    This grant to L.A. Theatre Works supports its continuing efforts to produce and disseminate high-quality recordings of science-themed plays. Grants funds will support the recording and public radio broadcast of four science-themed plays produced or commissioned through the Foundation's Theater program, the addition of these recordings to L.A. Theatre Works online library collection, the distribution of two recordings to 3,000 schools nationwide along with the production of teachers' guides and other supplementary educational material, and the design and production of ten ebooks and ten smartphone apps adapted from existing science-themed plays in the L.A. Theatre Works corpus. This ambitious series of projects promises to significantly extend the reach of grantmaking in the Foundation's Theater program.

    To record four new Sloan-commissioned or supported science plays for broadcast on public radio and distributed to schools, libraries, online retail partners and regional theatres, and for development of "Relativity" apps, eBooks, and website material

    More