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: 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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  • grantee: National Academy of Sciences
    amount: $75,000
    city: Washington, DC
    year: 2014

    To provide partial support for a study on the effects of disasters on biomedical academic research that will include preparedness guidance for researchers, institutions, and sponsors

    • Program Science
    • Sub-program Microbiology of the Built Environment
    • Investigator Bruce Altevogt

    To provide partial support for a study on the effects of disasters on biomedical academic research that will include preparedness guidance for researchers, institutions, and sponsors

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  • grantee: University of California, Berkeley
    amount: $66,269
    city: Berkeley, CA
    year: 2014

    To support an October 2014 workshop "Fungi in the Built Environment: Next Steps"

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

    To support an October 2014 workshop "Fungi in the Built Environment: Next Steps"

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  • grantee: Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
    amount: $15,500
    city: Cold Spring Harbor, NY
    year: 2014

    To provide partial support for a workshop on enabling undergraduate research at the interface between high performance computing and genomics, genetics, and other areas of "big data" biology

    • Program Science
    • Sub-program Microbiology of the Built Environment
    • Investigator David Micklos

    To provide partial support for a workshop on enabling undergraduate research at the interface between high performance computing and genomics, genetics, and other areas of "big data" biology

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  • grantee: J. Craig Venter Institute
    amount: $20,000
    city: Rockville, MD
    year: 2014

    To provide partial support for a training course in microbial ecology for early-career scientists

    • Program Science
    • Sub-program Microbiology of the Built Environment
    • Investigator Barbara Methй

    To provide partial support for a training course in microbial ecology for early-career scientists

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  • grantee: University of Colorado, Boulder
    amount: $1,000,000
    city: Boulder, CO
    year: 2014

    To provide improved tools for data analysis, including better user interfaces, protocols, and standards

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

    Researchers working in indoor microbial ecology have no easy way to share data.  Though the community is adopting state-of-the-art gene sequencing techniques, use of these new methods makes it difficult to compare newly collected data with older data collected using alternative methods.  What’s needed is an easy-to-use data platform that will facilitate data sharing by integrating sample handling, sequencing, analysis, and data release.  Funds from this grant support a project by Rob Knight of the University of Colorado and Mitch Sogin of the Marine Biological Laboratory to develop just such an integrated data platform. Over the next two years, Knight and Sogin will attempt to merge two data platforms used by microbial ecologists: QIIME (Quantitative Insights into Molecular Ecology) and VAMPS (Visualization and Analysis of Microbial Population Structures).  VAMPS is very user-friendly and nimble; QIIME is more powerful but harder to use.  The aim is to develop a new system that combines the best of both platforms, tying the user-friendly tools in VAMPS to the powerful analytical capacity of QIIME.  They will also develop a series of protocols and standards for the collection and analysis of microbial data using the new system.  The project will result in new standard operating procedures, better software tools, and improved methods for depositing and sharing data in indoor microbial ecology. The team expects the new tools and procedures to be adopted by at least 75 to 100 researchers, with at least 100 students and postdocs will be trained through annual workshops.

    To provide improved tools for data analysis, including better user interfaces, protocols, and standards

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  • grantee: University of California, Berkeley
    amount: $1,445,238
    city: Berkeley, CA
    year: 2014

    To understand the microbiology of the built environment through interdisciplinary research that combines microbial ecology, particle transport physics, chemistry, and architecture

    • Program Science
    • Sub-program Microbiology of the Built Environment
    • Investigator Thomas Bruns

    This grant provides renewed support to the Berkeley Indoor Microbial Ecology Consortium (BIMERC), a multidisciplinary group of mycologists, microbiologists, chemists, architects, and engineers who are working together to better understand the sources, factors, and processes involved in the assembly of microbial communities indoors. Grant funds support a number of planned scientific studies by the BIMERC team, including an investigation into which microbial volatile organic compounds are indicators of microbial population growth;, a study of how environment, building characteristics, and human behavior affect airborn microbes; a project to measure and model living particles using a laser-based ultraviolet spectrometer; and an analysis of microbial reproduction using gene transcripts. Additional funds support the purchase of a state-of-the-art mass spectrometer, a Proton Transfer Reaction-Time of Flight-Mass Spectrometer (PTR-ToF-MS), which will permit the team to conduct real-time chemical analysis.  The team will share their findings through peer-reviewed scientific publications, presentations at meetings and workshops, and through web-based blogs.

    To understand the microbiology of the built environment through interdisciplinary research that combines microbial ecology, particle transport physics, chemistry, and architecture

    More