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 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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  • grantee: University of California, Berkeley
    amount: $176,062
    city: Berkeley, CA
    year: 2011

    To support a pilot study to examine the microbial profiles found in the air, water, and surfaces of a neonatal intensive care unit and compare them to the microbial profiles from the gut of premature infants

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

    Babies are born sterile. The microbial ecosystem that thrives on and inside each of us-stomach bacteria that help us digest food, for instance-are acquired post-birth, presumably through contact with our mothers. But what of babies born prematurely, separated from their mothers, and treated in sterile neonatal intensive care units? How do these infants acquire the microbes needed to survive outside the womb? This grant supports the research of UC, Berkeley professor Jill Banfield, who is investigating this very question. In a one-year pilot study with collaborator Dr. Michael Morowitz of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Banfield will examine the microbial profiles of the air, water, and surfaces of a neonatal intensive care unit and compare the profiles to those found in the gut of three premature infants staying in the ICU. Using modern molecular tools, the research team will analyze the microbial profiles of the neonatal intensive care unit environments over time and space to potentially identify the sources of microbes involved in infant gut colonization.

    To support a pilot study to examine the microbial profiles found in the air, water, and surfaces of a neonatal intensive care unit and compare them to the microbial profiles from the gut of premature infants

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  • grantee: Yale University
    amount: $248,854
    city: New Haven, CT
    year: 2011

    To provide renewed support to examine the sources and character of airborne bacterial and fungal particles in the indoor environment

    • Program Science
    • Sub-program Microbiology of the Built Environment
    • Investigator Jordan Peccia

    This two-year grant to Yale University provides support to Professors Bill Nazaroff and Jordan Peccia to continue their ongoing work characterizing airborne microbial populations of indoor environments. The team will study the size distributions of bioaerosols from the indoor environment under occupied and unoccupied conditions. They will examine the sources, origins, and population characteristics of airborne bacteria and fungi in indoor settings that are attributable to human occupancy and collect and analyze air and dust samples from 10 different indoor environments-all elementary schools in the U.S., Germany, and China. Collected samples will help shed light on how airborne bacteria and fungi differ from other airborne particulate matter, how internal physical processes in indoor environments shape bacterial and fungal size distributions, and the role human occupants play in shaping microbial populations in indoor air.

    To provide renewed support to examine the sources and character of airborne bacterial and fungal particles in the indoor environment

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  • grantee: University of Ottawa
    amount: $599,150
    city: Ottawa, ON, Canada
    year: 2011

    To provide renewed support to develop fungal barcodes and use them to explore the indoor environment

    • Program Science
    • Sub-program Microbiology of the Built Environment
    • Investigator Keith Seifert

    This two-year grant will support an ambitious research agenda spearheaded by Dr. Keith Seifert of the University of Ottowa, and Dr. Robert Samson of the Dutch Centraalbureau voor Schimmelcultures to use advanced DNA sequencing technology to further advance our understanding of fungi and the role they play in the microbial ecosystems of indoor environments. Supported activities include the analysis of more than 6,000 new fungal cultures to provide detailed DNA sequence and taxonomic information, which Seifert and Samson expect to result in the discovery of 50 to 100 new species of fungi. In addition, Seifert and Samson will conduct further research on identifying regions of fungal DNA that can be appropriately used for species identification, as the current DNA region used for identification is effective in distinguishing only 72% of known fungal species. Funds from this grant will also support the education and training of one graduate student and two postdoctoral fellows.

    To provide renewed support to develop fungal barcodes and use them to explore the indoor environment

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  • grantee: The University of Chicago
    amount: $141,450
    city: Chicago, IL
    year: 2011

    To fund a pilot project to examine the microbiome associated with surfaces in the home

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

    Different parts of the body have different microbial profiles. The microorganisms that thrive in our underarms are different from those that live on our hands, which are different, in turn, from those that live on our scalp. Funds from this grant support a project by the University of Chicago's Jack Gilbert to investigate how these unique microbial profiles interact with the microbial populations of surfaces in the indoor environment. Gilbert will examine the microbial profiles associated with the dominant hand, the gut, and heel pad from 20 individuals in 10 homes. He will then compare these profiles to those found on door knobs, kitchen surfaces, bedroom and bathroom floors, and light switches following a move into a new home. These profiles will be examined every day for two weeks prior to moving and four weeks after moving to a new home, shedding light on whether the microbes found on people are transferred to the surfaces of their homes and, if so, whether the transferred microbes thrive in the new environments they find themselves in.

    To fund a pilot project to examine the microbiome associated with surfaces in the home

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  • grantee: University of Colorado, Boulder
    amount: $124,121
    city: Boulder, CO
    year: 2011

    To conduct a pilot study to examine the diversity and structure of bacterial communities in kitchens

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

    This grant will fund the efforts by Noah Fierer, a young researcher at the University of Colorado, Boulder, to examine the diversity and structure of microbial communities in kitchens. Fierer-in collaboration with his colleague Rob Knight-plans to collect samples from twelve residential kitchens to determine the geographical distribution of microbial communities and to track the movements of the communities across kitchen surfaces. He plans to collect samples from a number of kitchen surfaces before and after meal preparation and collect samples from a variety of foods that were used to prepare the meal. DNA will be isolated from the samples and then amplified, sequenced, and analyzed using bio-informatic tools.

    To conduct a pilot study to examine the diversity and structure of bacterial communities in kitchens

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