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: Northern Arizona University
    amount: $249,877
    city: Flagstaff, AZ
    year: 2012

    To analyze and model the establishment of microbial communities over time on different office surface materials in different climates

    • Program Science
    • Sub-program Microbiology of the Built Environment
    • Investigator J. Caporaso

    To analyze and model the establishment of microbial communities over time on different office surface materials in different climates

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  • grantee: Harvard University
    amount: $249,739
    city: Cambridge, MA
    year: 2012

    To examine the transmission of human?-associated microbes by public transportation surfaces

    • Program Science
    • Sub-program Microbiology of the Built Environment
    • Investigator Curtis Huttenhower

    To examine the transmission of human?-associated microbes by public transportation surfaces

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  • grantee: University of Colorado, Boulder
    amount: $292,000
    city: Boulder, CO
    year: 2012

    To examine how and why house-associated microbial communities vary across homes throughout the United States

    • Program Science
    • Sub-program Microbiology of the Built Environment
    • Investigator Noah Fierer

    This grant supports a team led Noah Fierer, associate professor at the University of Colorado; Rob Dunn, associate professor at North Carolina State; and Shelly Miller, an environmental engineer and associate professor at the University of Colorado to characterize the diversity of microbial communities in homes throughout the United States. Tapping a network of more than 6,500 volunteers across the U.S., Fierer and his team will collect information on volunteer homes and distribute "home sampling kits" which direct volunteers to collect swabs of the microbial populations living in four locations in the home: the outer door frame above the entrance to the residence, a door frame above an interior door, a kitchen countertop where food is prepared, and a pillowcase on a bed. As a complement to the larger study, the team will conduct a detailed study of the microbial populations in 50 homes in the Boulder, Colorado region, collecting microbial samples on multiple occasions and making a variety of building measurement, including humidity, temperature, and levels of carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide. Taken together, the two studies will permit the construction of what promises to be the most complete picture of how residential microbial communities differ across the United States and will provide a huge dataset that can be used to generate and test hypotheses on what factors drive the compositional diversity of microbial communities in the built environment.

    To examine how and why house-associated microbial communities vary across homes throughout the United States

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  • grantee: Cornell University
    amount: $200,000
    city: Ithaca, NY
    year: 2012

    To support a pilot study to characterize changes in indoor airborne microbiota of homes after weatherization

    • Program Science
    • Sub-program Microbiology of the Built Environment
    • Investigator Largus Angenent

    To date over 750,000 homes have been weatherized in the U.S. Department of Energy's Weatherization Assistance program to help homeowners make their homes more energy efficient. Some of the energy efficient upgrades-such as sealing ducts and installing more efficient windows-reduce the levels of ventilation in homes, resulting in changes that could influence the size, composition, location, or diversity of microbial communities inside the home. Funds from this grant support a two-year pilot study by Largus Angenent, associate professor in of biological and environmental engineering at Cornell University to investigate and characterize how weatherization changes in indoor airborne microbiota of homes. Angenent will study fifteen homes in the Finger Lakes region of New York State, sampling the air both inside and outside a home immediately before it is weatherized, directly after weatherization is completed, and again six months later. Analysis of the collected samples will provide preliminary data that suggest how weatherization changes microbial communities and, depending on results, could form the basis for further data collection and research by the U.S. Department of Energy or some other federal agency.

    To support a pilot study to characterize changes in indoor airborne microbiota of homes after weatherization

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  • grantee: The University of Chicago
    amount: $17,300
    city: Chicago, IL
    year: 2012

    To develop a sampling strategy for studying microbial and viral communities in a new hospital during the final months of construction and initial phase of operation

    • Program Science
    • Sub-program Microbiology of the Built Environment
    • Investigator Jack Gilbert

    To develop a sampling strategy for studying microbial and viral communities in a new hospital during the final months of construction and initial phase of operation

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  • grantee: University of Colorado, Boulder
    amount: $187,237
    city: Boulder, CO
    year: 2012

    To create a 3D map of the "Microbially Visible Home" that includes both architectural components and microbial data

    • Program Science
    • Sub-program Microbiology of the Built Environment
    • Investigator Robin Knight

    This grant to architect Rob Van Pelt and biologist Rob Knight will support a one-year project to create a "proof of concept" detailed 3D map of the "Microbially Visible Home." This map will include both the architectural components and microbial data of a single house and will bring together building scientists, software developers, and microbiologists to create an easily interpretable and visual 3D model. Partnering with Autodesk, a world leader in 3D design software for manufacturing, buildings, construction, engineering, and entertainment, Van Pelt, Knight and their team will conduct dense sampling of homes near Toronto, collecting and analyzing nearly 1,000 samples for bacteria and fungi and using this data to build a biological data layer on top of Autodesk's Building Information Model, a computable representation of a facility that integrates a wide range of building features and functions, including architectural characteristics, materials, relationships, sensor data, and performance metrics. The result will be the creation of a detailed 3D building map with both the architectural components and the microbial data. It will make the invisible microbial world of one home visible. This new tool will help scientists develop exploratory hypotheses about why microbes live in the locations that they do.

    To create a 3D map of the "Microbially Visible Home" that includes both architectural components and microbial data

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  • grantee: University of Puerto Rico
    amount: $600,000
    city: San Juan, PR
    year: 2012

    To examine the microbiomes of homes across cultures

    • Program Science
    • Sub-program Microbiology of the Built Environment
    • Investigator Maria Dominguez-Bello

    We know there are microbes in homes. We know there are microbes in and on people. Are the microbes of homes and their inhabitants the same? Funds from this grant support a two-year project by microbiologist Maria Gloria DomđŻnguez-Bello, architect Humberto Cavallin, and colleagues at the University of Puerto Rico to collect and analyze microbial samples from homes and their inhabitants in a variety of cultural settings. The team plans to collect samples from traditional dwellings in remote villages in the Amazon as well as more modern rural and urban homes in New York City and South America. The homes in the Amazon villages are round huts constructed of natural materials without windows, closets, or furniture. The inhabitants of these homes have had very little exposure to modern life. The rural homes are far more advanced. They have two or three bedrooms and electricity, but do not necessarily have running water. Each room has a door and window with modest furniture and natural or forced ventilation using fans but no air conditioning. The urban homes are the most advanced and generally have air conditioning. In each home, the team will collect and analyze samples from the home as well as from the human and animal inhabitants. This project promises to generate important new knowledge about the microbiology of homes across cultures as well as shed some light on the relationship between the microbiomes of the home and its inhabitants.

    To examine the microbiomes of homes across cultures

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  • grantee: American Society for Microbiology
    amount: $81,905
    city: Washington, DC
    year: 2012

    To support a colloquium on the microbiology of the drinking water distribution system

    • Program Science
    • Sub-program Microbiology of the Built Environment
    • Investigator Ann Reid

    To support a colloquium on the microbiology of the drinking water distribution system

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  • grantee: University of Colorado, Boulder
    amount: $1,202,738
    city: Boulder, CO
    year: 2011

    To assess the microbiology of municipal water delivery systems in the U.S.

    • Program Science
    • Sub-program Microbiology of the Built Environment
    • Investigator Norman Pace

    Little is known about the biology of microbial populations living in our drinking water. Current systems monitor drinking water for the absence of fecal bacteria using coliform counts, a very old method, and for total bacterial load, which is determined by growing cultures of bacteria found in water samples. Yet 99.99% of bacteria cannot be successfully grown in culture, and thus are missed by using such methods. Our drinking water, in other words, is monitored using very old and inaccurate techniques. This three year grant will fund a project led by Professor Norman Pace at the University of Colorado, Boulder, to use state-of-the art gene sequencing techniques to begin to characterize the microbial populations in municipal water delivery systems. Preliminary work by Pace and his research team on the municipal water supply in Boulder, Colorado has revealed a diverse and (perhaps) stable microbial profile in the Boulder municipal water system, one that differs significantly from the microbial populations in water supplies in New York, New Orleans, and Austin. Funds from this grant will allow Pace to continue and expand this work, as well as provide support for a smaller project to measure how concrete degradation, a common problem in aging municipal water deliver infrastructure, affects microbial populations in the water supply, and funds to complete Pace's ongoing work examining how the flooding of an engineering building on the University of Colorado, Boulder campus changed the characteristics of microbial communities inside the building.

    To assess the microbiology of municipal water delivery systems in the U.S.

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  • grantee: University of Colorado, Boulder
    amount: $575,000
    city: Boulder, CO
    year: 2011

    To organize and convene three annual meetings on the microbiology of the built environment

    • Program Science
    • Sub-program Microbiology of the Built Environment
    • Investigator Mark Hernandez

    The goal of the Foundation's Indoor Environment program is to grow a new field of scientific inquiry that eventually will be funded by traditional U.S. government funding agencies. This grant to Mark Hernandez of the University of California, Boulder will fund three annual conferences to bring together the large, diverse, multidisciplinary community of biologists, engineers, architects, and others studying the microbiology of built environments. At the conferences, scientists will share research results, develop and advance a coordinated research agenda for studying indoor microbial populations, and educate NGOs and key federal agencies about the importance of directing research and regulatory to this new field of inquiry.

    To organize and convene three annual meetings on the microbiology of the built environment

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