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: Astrophysical Research Consortium
    amount: $731,000
    city: Seattle, WA
    year: 2017

    To maximize the sustainability of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) data archive

    • Program Science
    • Sub-program Sloan Digital Sky Survey
    • Investigator Michael Blanton

    The SDSS data management structure, software, and interface has been on the frontier of astronomy since it was developed in the early 2000s. Many leading astronomical data centers use, integrate, and rely heavily on SDSS data, and these data are routinely accessed by amateur astronomers, students, and the public. This grant provides support to upgrade two back-end components of the SDSS data archive. The first is the Science Archive Server (SAS), housed at the University of Utah. SAS includes SDSS’s raw and calibrated images, and the SDSS spectrum files, all of which are primarily used by professional astronomers. The second is the Catalog Archive Server (CAS), hosted at Johns Hopkins University. CAS contains the primary catalog data and all metadata extracted from the raw images and spectra. CAS helps to facilitate research from astronomers both within and outside of the collaboration, as it serves as the primary link between SDSS data and other data sets in astronomy. In addition to modernizing and expanding the core functioning of these two systems, the upgrades will help improve the integration of SDSS data with broader outreach and public education efforts, including better connections with SDSS Voyages, the newly developed web portal devoted to public engagement.

    To maximize the sustainability of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) data archive

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  • grantee: Astrophysical Research Consortium
    amount: $107,000
    city: Seattle, WA
    year: 2016

    To evaluate the prospects, operational landscape, and potential options for the future of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) research program and its facilities in the 2020s

    • Program Science
    • Sub-program Sloan Digital Sky Survey
    • Investigator Juna Kollmeier

    To evaluate the prospects, operational landscape, and potential options for the future of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) research program and its facilities in the 2020s

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  • grantee: Astrophysical Research Consortium
    amount: $700,000
    city: Seattle, WA
    year: 2015

    To increase the number of underrepresented minority students in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey IV (SDSS-IV) collaboration through the development and implementation of a Faculty-and-Student Team (FAST) program and a Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program

    • Program Science
    • Sub-program Sloan Digital Sky Survey
    • Investigator Michael Blanton

    Funds from this grant support two projects that aim to increase the participation of underrepresented minority (URM) students in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey collaboration. The first, the Faculty and Student Team (FAST) program creates research teams led by a faculty member and comprised of at least one URM graduate student and/or two to three advanced URM undergraduate students. Each FAST unit (faculty and students) is subsequently linked with a research team at a formal SDSS participating institution; the research team will help integrate them into the collaboration, providing a kind of double mentoring system: the SDSS institution mentors the URM FAST team, and the faculty lead mentors the participating URM students on the team. The goal is to provide these URM students with training and guidance within SDSS, anticipating that they will eventually transition to an astronomy Ph.D. program at an SDSS member university.  The second supported project is a distributed summer program that will provide research experiences for minority undergraduates. The 10-week program, to be run by New Mexico State University, will bring interested URM students from non-SDSS institutions to the home institution of SDSS researchers to facilitate one-on-one mentoring and exposure to the global SDSS collaboration. In addition to their direct SDSS mentor, students would have regular virtual check-ins with the other participants, an in-person kick-off meeting, and a culminating research meeting, likely held in conjunction with a formal SDSS collaboration meeting. Over time, the FAST and summer research programs have the potential to increase the participation of underrepresented minority doctoral students in astronomy programs nationwide.

    To increase the number of underrepresented minority students in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey IV (SDSS-IV) collaboration through the development and implementation of a Faculty-and-Student Team (FAST) program and a Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program

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  • grantee: Astrophysical Research Consortium
    amount: $3,500,000
    city: Seattle, WA
    year: 2014

    To support the Sloan Digital Sky Survey IV to design, build, and install an infrared astronomical spectrograph for the Apache Point Observatory Galactic Evolution Experiment 2 (APOGEE-2) at the du Pont Telescope in Las Campanas, Chile in order to study the history and formation of the Milky Way galaxy

    • Program Science
    • Sub-program Sloan Digital Sky Survey
    • Investigator Michael Blanton

    This grant provides support for the construction, installation, and deployment of an infrared spectrograph for use by the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) to study star formation in the Milky Way.  The instrument, to be installed on the du Pont Telescope in Las Campanas, Chile, is identical to one already constructed and installed on the Sloan Telescope at Apache Point Observatory in New Mexico, the SDSS’s primary observational instrument.  The new spectrograph, installed in the southern hemisphere, will allow SDSS researchers, working in collaboration with their Chilean colleagues, to make parallel observations both north and south of the equator, quadrupling the number of observable stars and exposing sections of the inner Milky Way unviewable from the north.  The project also promises to be a productive collaboration between American and Chilean astronomers, with nearly 20 Chilean scientists and engineers from multiple institutions directly involved in the installation and operation of the instrument.

    To support the Sloan Digital Sky Survey IV to design, build, and install an infrared astronomical spectrograph for the Apache Point Observatory Galactic Evolution Experiment 2 (APOGEE-2) at the du Pont Telescope in Las Campanas, Chile in order to study the history and formation of the Milky Way galaxy

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  • grantee: Astrophysical Research Consortium
    amount: $10,000,000
    city: Seattle, WA
    year: 2012

    To support the Sloan Digital Sky Survey IV, which will study the history of the Milky Way, the evolution of galaxies, and the expansion of the Universe and dark energy over the last 12 billion years

    • Program Science
    • Sub-program Sloan Digital Sky Survey
    • Investigator Michael Blanton

    This grant funds a fourth phase of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS IV), a pioneering astronomical survey that utilizes a 2.5 meter optical telescope at Apache Point Observatory near Cloudcroft, New Mexico. Over the next six years, SDSS IV will pursue three innovative projects that seek to answer key questions in astronomy and astrophysics. The first project, APOGEE-2, will decipher the history of the growth of the Milky Way's stellar halo; precisely measure the mass of the Milky Way; determine the stellar structure around the galactic center; find stellar companions such as planets, white dwarfs and neutrons stars; and determine stellar masses, ages, and elemental abundances with unprecedented precision. The second, MaNGA will study 6,700 nearby galaxies and measure their dynamics, growth histories, and chemical abundances as a function of their mass, type, environment, and other controlling variables. The third, eBOSS, will measure the expansion of the universe over the past 12 billion years using baryonic acoustic oscillation, the most accurate absolute distance measurement technique known, and filling a gap in current measurements of galaxies between about 6.5 and 11 billion light?years away. eBoss will provide the fullest understanding yet of the so-called "dark energy" that is causing the expansion of the universe to accelerate. As in previous phases of the projects, all SDSS data will be publically released through the internet, enabling astronomers and astrophysicists all over the world to use the data for their own research.

    To support the Sloan Digital Sky Survey IV, which will study the history of the Milky Way, the evolution of galaxies, and the expansion of the Universe and dark energy over the last 12 billion years

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  • grantee: Astrophysical Research Consortium
    amount: $40,047
    city: Seattle, WA
    year: 2008

    To fund an international forum titled: The Sloan Digital Sky Survey: Asteroids to Cosmology

    • Program Science
    • Sub-program Sloan Digital Sky Survey
    • Investigator David Weinberg

    To fund an international forum titled: The Sloan Digital Sky Survey: Asteroids to Cosmology

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