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: The Forsyth Institute
    amount: $120,000
    city: Cambridge, MA
    year: 2014

    To examine the microbiomes of indoor track facilities and the runners who train indoors versus outdoors

    • Program Science
    • Sub-program Microbiology of the Built Environment
    • Investigator Brian Klein

    To examine the microbiomes of indoor track facilities and the runners who train indoors versus outdoors

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  • grantee: Syracuse University
    amount: $120,000
    city: Syracuse, NY
    year: 2014

    To understand and control biofilms in the built environment

    • Program Science
    • Sub-program Microbiology of the Built Environment
    • Investigator Huan Gu

    To understand and control biofilms in the built environment

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  • grantee: University of Colorado, Boulder
    amount: $446,000
    city: Boulder, CO
    year: 2014

    To provide renewed support to organize and convene two conferences on the Microbiology of the Built Environment

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

    Building a vibrant, multidisciplinary community of researchers working on the microbiology of the built environment requires bringing together a wide range of life scientists (microbiologists, ecologists, mycologists, bioinformaticians, etc.) and building scientists (engineers, architects, aerosol scientists, indoor air quality specialists, etc.)  Funds from this grant support the administrative and organizational costs for two annual meetings of the microbiology of the built environment research community, to be held in 2015 and 2016.  In addition to paper presentations, panels, and plenaries, the conferences will include significant outreach activities targeting younger researchers in an attempt to engage the next generation of researchers in microbial ecology.  Additional grant funds will support a feasibility study to examine ways to make the conference self-sustaining going forward.

    To provide renewed support to organize and convene two conferences on the Microbiology of the Built Environment

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  • grantee: University of Texas, Austin
    amount: $169,929
    city: Austin, TX
    year: 2014

    To determine how the microbiome and air quality inside portable classroom buildings are affected by ventilation conditions and building design

    • Program Science
    • Sub-program Microbiology of the Built Environment
    • Investigator Kerry Kinney

    Nearly one in five Americans spends time in school buildings each school day.  Despite troubling findings that poor indoor air quality can reduce cognitive performance in students, schools are often not well maintained. There are nearly 600,000 portable classrooms, also known as trailers, across the country and, unfortunately, these spaces are plagued with poor ventilation, water intrusion, and high levels of formaldehyde. Funds from this grant support a project by Professor of Engineering Kerry Kinney and colleagues Richard Corsi, Atila Novoselac, and Ying Xu at the University of Texas at Austin to determine how the microbiome and air quality inside portable classroom buildings are affected by ventilation conditions and building design. The proposed project will examine the relationship between the microorganisms and pollutants found inside the actual classroom spaces to those found in the “hidden spaces” (e.g., wall cavities, crawl spaces) within portable classroom buildings, aiming to identify where microbes and other contaminants come from and where they go within the actual classroom and hidden spaces.  The research team will also investigate how positive and negative pressurization from the ventilation systems affects the microbiota and other contaminants in various parts of the portable classroom.

    To determine how the microbiome and air quality inside portable classroom buildings are affected by ventilation conditions and building design

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  • grantee: National Academy of Sciences
    amount: $500,000
    city: Washington, DC
    year: 2014

    To provide partial support for a consensus study of the microbiology of the built environment

    • Program Science
    • Sub-program Microbiology of the Built Environment
    • Investigator Katherine Bowman

    This grant provides partial support for a consensus study and subsequent report by the National Academy of Sciences on the microbiology of the built environment. An ad hoc committee of approximately 12 to 14 experts representing various disciplinary and sectoral perspectives will oversee this 20?month project that will include staff from the National Research Council (NRC), the Institute of Medicine (IOM), and National Academy of Engineering (NAE).  The consensus study will begin with a fact?finding workshop that will bring together key stakeholder communities. The committee will use the information from the workshop as well as from the published literature and other sources to develop their report. They will meet four or five times to gather information and to deliberate about the knowledge gaps identified and the development of a prioritized research plan to address these gaps. The result of the study will be a consensus report that documents the state of knowledge on the microbiome/built environment interface, identifies knowledge gaps, and sets out a list of prioritized areas for future research to address these gaps. The report will be available at no cost as a PDF file on the National Academies’ website. The National Academies plan to disseminate the report’s findings through briefings to the public, sponsors, and professional societies as well as through commentaries, op?ed pieces, and podcasts.

    To provide partial support for a consensus study of the microbiology of the built environment

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  • grantee: University of Tulsa
    amount: $390,000
    city: Tulsa, OK
    year: 2014

    To determine how ventilation and cleaning influence the microbial communities in indoor air and on surfaces

    • Program Science
    • Sub-program Microbiology of the Built Environment
    • Investigator Richard Shaughnessy

    Funds from this grant provide partial support for a study examining Native American students’ exposure to environmental asthma triggers at home and at school and will examine whether cleaning and ventilation interventions will result in fewer asthma symptoms and a decrease in school absences for the students.  Sponsored by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the study will conduct microbial sampling of homes and schools in the Cherokee Nation in pursuit of three primary objectives: Determine the impact of building ventilation on the airborne and surface concentrations and community structure of bacteria and fungi; Estimate the impact of cleaning on the microbial profiles present in floor dust samples; Study associations between in?depth microbial measurements based on DNA and the adenosine triphosphate (ATP) measurements, for assessing the effectiveness of surface cleaning. ATP measurements are the “gold standard” for evaluating cleaning in schools, health care settings, and food production facilities. Sloan funds will enable project leader Richard J. Shaughnessy of the University of Tulsa to augment his efforts by adding building science measurements and modern microbial measurements to the research protocols.   The study proposes to develop new findings about the impact of ventilation and cleaning on the microbial profiles found in indoor air, surfaces, and floors. The team will share their results through peer?reviewed journal publications, presentations at national and international conferences, and publications in trade journals aimed at the cleaning and ventilation industries.

    To determine how ventilation and cleaning influence the microbial communities in indoor air and on surfaces

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  • grantee: Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
    amount: $250,000
    city: Blacksburg, VA
    year: 2014

    To develop new knowledge about how design, operational parameters, and engineering interventions shape the building plumbing microbiome in conventional and green buildings

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

    Drinking water regulations focus on the water coming out of the water treatment plant, not on the water that comes out of the taps in your home or office. Building (i.e., in-premise) plumbing systems deliver potable water to the tap, shower, and other fixtures. These plumbing systems are a critical component of the built environment because they represent front line human exposure to waterborne microbes, whether harmless or harmful, which can occur via aerosol inhalation, aspiration, skin contact, or ingestion.  Funds from this grant support a series of studies by Amy Pruden and Marc Edwards to develop new knowledge about how design, operational parameters, and engineering interventions shape the premise plumbing microbiome in conventional and green buildings. Pruden and Edwards have four objectives: Evaluate the role of water stagnation time in shaping the premise plumbing microbiome and propensity for opportunistic premise plumbing pathogens to colonize; Characterize the resilience of the microbiome to heat shock or heat interruption and quantify the response of opportunistic premise plumbing pathogens (OPPPs); Resolve the effect of copper and chloramine disinfectants; and Identify key microbial ecological relationships among OPPPs and the broader premise plumbing microbiome, when subject to a range of engineering design and control measures.  Pruden and Edwards plan to share their findings through peer-reviewed papers and presentations at national and international conferences, as well as through a webinar for building and water professionals. Additional grant funds support training for at least three graduate students.

    To develop new knowledge about how design, operational parameters, and engineering interventions shape the building plumbing microbiome in conventional and green buildings

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  • grantee: University of Toronto
    amount: $249,550
    city: Toronto, ON, Canada
    year: 2014

    To determine the impact of moisture on fungal growth on common indoor surfaces

    • Program Science
    • Sub-program Microbiology of the Built Environment
    • Investigator Jeffrey Siegel

    While it is well known that moisture in buildings is bad for both the structure and the occupants, no one has systematically investigated building material wetness and the associated response of fungal and bacterial communities. This grant supports efforts by Jeffrey Siegel, associate professor of civil engineering at the University of Toronto, in collaboration with J. Gregory Caporaso, assistant professor of biological sciences at Northern Arizona University, to determine the impact of moisture on fungal growth on common indoor surfaces. Sampling microbial community composition on gypsum drywall on three different test scales, Siegel and Caporaso will address how moisture affects microbial growth on common building materials, how different sensors respond to moisture changes in common building materials, which moisture measurements best correlate with changes in microbial communities under various conditions, and which building/materials/moisture factors have the biggest impact on fungal growth and community makeup? The researchers will share their findings through publications in building and life science journals, trade journals, and blog posts and through presentations at national and international meetings.

    To determine the impact of moisture on fungal growth on common indoor surfaces

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  • grantee: University of California, Berkeley
    amount: $330,476
    city: Berkeley, CA
    year: 2014

    To understand the microbial community response to water damage in residential buildings

    • Program Science
    • Sub-program Microbiology of the Built Environment
    • Investigator Rachel Adams

    Funds from this grant support efforts by Rachel Adams at the University of California, Berkeley and Michael Waring, assistant professor of civil, architectural, and environmental engineering at Drexel University, who propose to examine the microbial community response to water damage in residential buildings. Adams and Waring have three objectives: to apply molecular ecological approaches to better understand any changes in microbial biomass and composition that accompany water intrusion into residences; to inform microbial sampling strategies in residential buildings; and to determine community- level patterns for how building conditions/characteristics and microbial community composition are associated. Adams, Waring, and their team will conduct well-replicated surveys of 60 residential units in order to achieve these objectives, studying buildings in Red Hook, Brooklyn that experienced water damage during Superstorm Sandy in October 2012, as well as similar, though undamaged buildings, on Manhattan’s Upper West Side.  Over a period of three to four weeks, they plan to make continuous measurements of indoor and outdoor temperature, relative and absolute humidity, light intensity, HVAC system activity, and integrated PM2.5 and PM10 measurements. They will then characterize the microbial community composition in both time-integrated and discrete-time-period samples. Data collected will permit the team to analyze the variation in microbial community composition associated with building characteristics and operation, geographic location, and the extent of water damage. Findings will be shared through peer-reviewed publications, presentations at scientific conferences, articles in trade journals, and blog posts. The team also plans to write one article for a lay audience.

    To understand the microbial community response to water damage in residential buildings

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  • grantee: University of Ottawa
    amount: $586,500
    city: Ottawa, ON, Canada
    year: 2014

    To provide renewed support to increase knowledge of fungi in the built environment

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

    This grant provides two years of continuing support to fungal taxonomists Keith Seifert and Rob Samson for their taxonomy studies of fungi isolated from indoor dust samples from homes on six continents. Over the next two years, Seifert and Samson will complete taxonomic studies of up to 200 new species of fungi isolated from house dust, isolate xerophilic fungi from newly collected samples, and consolidate their data into an openly accessible online database.  The team will share their findings and reference materials through peer-reviewed publications, including a special issue of the leading mycology journal Studies in Mycology, presentations at scholarly meetings, and through the open access database.  At least two postdoctoral fellows, one graduate student, and four undergraduate students will be trained under the grant.

    To provide renewed support to increase knowledge of fungi in the built environment

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