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: Duke University
    amount: $66,371
    city: Durham, NC
    year: 2012

    To support a meeting on the Evolutionary Biology of the Built Environment

    • Program Science
    • Sub-program Microbiology of the Built Environment
    • Investigator Craig McClain

    To support a meeting on the Evolutionary Biology of the Built Environment

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  • grantee: University of California, Berkeley
    amount: $850,000
    city: Berkeley, CA
    year: 2012

    To analyze the neonatal intensive care unit room environment as a source of microorganisms colonizing the gastrointestinal tract of premature infants

    • Program Science
    • Sub-program Microbiology of the Built Environment
    • Investigator Jillian Banfield

    This grant supports efforts by Jill Banfield of the University of California, Berkeley and Michael Morowitz, of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center 's Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh to study how premature infants-born sterile, separated from their mothers, and isolated in neonatal intensive care units" (NICUs)-nevertheless develop intestinal microbiota necessary for normal human digestion. Preliminary studies suggest that infants acquire the needed microbes from microbes in the NICU, and Banfield, Morowitz and their team will explore that hypothesis. They will conduct comprehensive, next generation high resolution ecological surveys of hospital air and surfaces to link them with microbial colonization of the infant GI tract. The project will involve building a mathematical model for simulating microbial transport within the NICU, which will be used to interpret collected date and make predictions about the efficacy of future interventions.

    To analyze the neonatal intensive care unit room environment as a source of microorganisms colonizing the gastrointestinal tract of premature infants

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  • grantee: The University of Chicago
    amount: $856,900
    city: Chicago, IL
    year: 2012

    To characterize the surface, air, water and human-associated microbial communities in two hospitals to monitor changes following the introduction of patients and staff

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

    Funds from this grant support a research project by University of Chicago microbiologist Jack Gilbert and Chicago surgeon John Alverdy, to study microbial populations at a newly constructed hospital at the University of Chicago. By studying the characteristics of microbial populations before and after the hospital becomes operational, the project will shed light on how the introduction of doctors, nurses, patients, and visitors, staff change the microbes that live and thrive in hospital environments. Using a multidisciplinary team that includes microbial ecologists architects, building scientists, statisticians, and epidemiologists, Gilbert and Alverdy will take nearly 13,000 microbial samples and analyze them to investigate whether microbial community structure on hospital surfaces can be predicted by human demographics, physical conditions and/or building materials; how patient-room microbiota is influenced by the current patient, his length of stay, and/or the introduction of a new patient; how the colonization of surfaces by pathogens of surfaces is sped or impeded by existing microbial communities on those surfaces, and how the rate of change in a microbial community is affected by building materials and human use. The team plans to publish at least three articles on their research in peer-reviewed journals, and their findings may be of use to the health care community, leading to better patient care through crafting a more complete understanding of how microorganisms spread through hospitals.

    To characterize the surface, air, water and human-associated microbial communities in two hospitals to monitor changes following the introduction of patients and staff

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  • grantee: Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
    amount: $250,000
    city: Blacksburg, VA
    year: 2012

    To determine the effects of pipe materials, water flow, and chemistry on the building plumbing microbiome

    • Program Science
    • Sub-program Microbiology of the Built Environment
    • Investigator Amy Pruden

    To determine the effects of pipe materials, water flow, and chemistry on the building plumbing microbiome

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  • grantee: University of Toronto
    amount: $250,000
    city: Toronto, ON, Canada
    year: 2012

    To design improved testing methods for common building materials

    • Program Science
    • Sub-program Microbiology of the Built Environment
    • Investigator James Scott

    To design improved testing methods for common building materials

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  • 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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