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: $125,000
    city: Blacksburg, VA
    year: 2018

    To conduct technical research on improving the accuracy and cost-effectiveness of the 2030 Decennial Census and the American Community Survey

    • Program Economics
    • Sub-program Economic Institutions, Behavior, & Performance
    • Investigator Sallie Keller

    To conduct technical research on improving the accuracy and cost-effectiveness of the 2030 Decennial Census and the American Community Survey

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  • grantee: Harvard University
    amount: $125,000
    city: Cambridge, MA
    year: 2018

    To compare, both theoretically and empirically, standard versus ideal ways of determining which kinds of statistical findings merit publication

    • Program Economics
    • Sub-program Economic Institutions, Behavior, & Performance
    • Investigator Maximilian Kasy

    To compare, both theoretically and empirically, standard versus ideal ways of determining which kinds of statistical findings merit publication

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  • grantee: Northeastern University
    amount: $125,000
    city: Boston, MA
    year: 2018

    To develop a plan for facilitating responsible and reproducible research on administrative data from multiple social media sources

    • Program Economics
    • Sub-program Economic Institutions, Behavior, & Performance
    • Investigator David Lazer

    To develop a plan for facilitating responsible and reproducible research on administrative data from multiple social media sources

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  • grantee: California Polytechnic State University
    amount: $1,684,036
    city: San Luis Obispo, CA
    year: 2018

    To develop software and other computational research infrastructure for providing safe and secure access to sensitive data

    • Program Economics
    • Sub-program Economic Institutions, Behavior, & Performance
    • Investigator Brian Granger

    This grant funds a project led by Brian Granger to expand and enhance Jupyter Notebooks—a powerful, popular, and open-source scientific computing platform—to enhance its handling of private, proprietary, or otherwise sensitive data. Planned features to be developed and implemented include a nuanced permissions structure that can be used to ensure that only properly credentialed individuals can see or manipulate data, stronger event logging and internal telemetry, and encryption of data both at rest and in transit. To test the software, Granger will work closely with a wide variety of data holders including a U.S. company dealing with health data; a German warehouse for financial data; and NYU’s Center for Urban Science and Progress (CUSP), which collect all kinds of municipal data. Grant funds support software development along with a host of dissemination activities that will promote and test Jupyter’s expanded capabilities among researchers dealing with sensitive data.

    To develop software and other computational research infrastructure for providing safe and secure access to sensitive data

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  • grantee: Georgetown University
    amount: $1,691,657
    city: Washington, DC
    year: 2018

    To promote the safe and responsible use of administrative data in academic research by establishing an alliance whose member institutions intermediate between data producers and data users

    • Program Economics
    • Sub-program Economic Institutions, Behavior, & Performance
    • Investigator Amy O'Hara

    This grant provides funds for the creation and operation of the Administrative Data Research Institute (ADRI), a national membership organization designed to provide services and set standards for the global network of Administrative Data Research Facilities (ADRFs). An ADRF is a data intermediary, i.e., an institution that facilitates researcher access to private or sensitive data owned or held by corporations and government entities. To become a member of the new ADRI, member ADRF’s would have to provably maintain high data standards and practices, particularly regarding data privacy and security. In return, the ADRI would provide member institutions with expert advice and leadership concerning the many technical, legal, political, or privacy challenges that data intermediaries face. Above all, the ADRI would help engender trust in at least three domains where it is much needed: among the member intermediaries when it comes to arrangements for linking their data; among the data producers when it comes to negotiating data use agreements with member intermediaries; and among the public and their policymakers when it comes to allowing administrative data containing sensitive information to be reused through member intermediaries for research purposes. Grant funds support initial start-up and operational costs of the new network for a period of two years.

    To promote the safe and responsible use of administrative data in academic research by establishing an alliance whose member institutions intermediate between data producers and data users

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  • grantee: Stanford University
    amount: $647,671
    city: Stanford, CA
    year: 2018

    To study the behavioral welfare effects of online media consumption

    • Program Economics
    • Sub-program Economic Institutions, Behavior, & Performance
    • Investigator Matthew Gentzkow

    Funds from this grant support three different large-scale and randomized field experiments, devised by economists Matthew Gentzkow at Stanford and Hunter Allcott at New York University, that aim to help us better understand the various ways social media and smartphones impact our lives. In the first, Gentzkow and Allcott study the welfare implications of Facebook usage by measuring the impact of cutting off access to that platform. In the second experiment, the team studies how limiting smartphone access to social media and other apps affects the welfare of college students. The third experiment concerns the demand for “fake news” and investigates what happens to consumer behavior when incentives to find accurate information increase. Grant funds support the fielding and analysis of all three experiments as well as documentation of methods to enable easy replication by other scholars.

    To study the behavioral welfare effects of online media consumption

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  • grantee: Columbia University
    amount: $209,610
    city: New York, NY
    year: 2018

    To conduct experiments on the behavioral welfare effects of heterogeneous nudging

    • Program Economics
    • Sub-program Economic Institutions, Behavior, & Performance
    • Investigator Eric Johnson

    Nudging consists of changing how alternatives are presented in ways designed to help choosers select what they say they would ideally want. Substantial empirical evidence shows that nudges can significantly—and sometimes substantially—modify behaviors. Yet much remains mysterious about nudging, especially with regard to heterogeneous effects and behavioral welfare economics. How is it possible to create effective choice architectures when not everyone should be nudged the same way? This grant funds a series of experiments by Eric Johnson of Columbia University. He has devised a series of experiments about what he calls “smart nudges.” In contrast to the one-size-fits-all approach, these take into account how individuals differ. One idea is to set different defaults for different people depending on their background characteristics. Another technique, called “preference checklists,” presents a prospective decision-maker with a list of criteria that other people sometimes take into account when considering similar choices. Checking off the criteria that the decision-maker thinks should apply in this case is a way of bringing to mind factors that might otherwise be forgotten or ignored. Johnson’s hypothesis is that choice architectures that incorporate smart defaults and preference checklists will be welfare-enhancing compared to traditional one-size-fits-all nudges. Grant funds support the fielding and analysis of these experiments, and the publication of two papers on the results.

    To conduct experiments on the behavioral welfare effects of heterogeneous nudging

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  • grantee: The University of Chicago
    amount: $690,000
    city: Chicago, IL
    year: 2018

    To develop, debug, and disseminate macroeconomic models and software that do not assume rational expectations

    • Program Economics
    • Sub-program Economic Institutions, Behavior, & Performance
    • Investigator Thomas Sargent

    In economics, the assumption called “rational expectations” holds that the value of a variable expected by agents in a model matches the expected value predicted by the model. As a description of the decision-making processes of actual, real-life people, rational expectations models seem unrealistic. The idea nevertheless dominates much of contemporary economics, not least because it vastly simplifies the modeling process. This grant funds work led by Nobel laureates Tom Sargent and Lars Hansen to develop a robust, mathematically rigorous alternative to rational expectations models. Sargent and Hansen envision agents not as utility maximizers with fully rational expectations, but rather as decision-makers using Bayesian reasoning to update their beliefs in light of uncertainty and limited information. The approach, while technically daunting, is very promising as a better description of real life. Grant funds will support the development, debugging, and dissemination of new models and of the software for analyzing them as well as a workshop, conference, and travel expenses for junior scholars participating in the project.

    To develop, debug, and disseminate macroeconomic models and software that do not assume rational expectations

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  • grantee: University of Arizona
    amount: $291,997
    city: Tucson, AZ
    year: 2018

    To study gender differences in the choice of subfield specialization among academic economists

    • Program Economics
    • Sub-program Economic Institutions, Behavior, & Performance
    • Investigator Ronald Oaxaca

    Women economists cluster more in certain subfields (e.g., labor, health, public economics) than in others (e.g., macro, theory, or international trade). This grant funds work by labor economists Ron Oaxaca and Eva Sierminska to analyze this gendered difference in career choices among professional economists. Rigorously analyzing why men and women make career decisions differently requires holding unchanged as many factors as possible besides gender. Focusing on career choices in graduate school allows just that. Ph.D. candidates in the same program, for example, interact with the same group of professors and advisors, expect similar sets of potential salaries, and face the same specialization options. Grant funds are supporting the creation of a public use dataset, analysis of that dataset, development of a website about the project, and the production of two research articles and a less technical policy brief reporting the results of the analysis.

    To study gender differences in the choice of subfield specialization among academic economists

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  • grantee: FPF Education and Innovation Foundation
    amount: $508,343
    city: Washington, DC
    year: 2018

    To launch the Corporate-Academic Data Stewardship Research Alliance, a private company peer-to-peer network to accelerate privacy protective sharing of administrative data between businesses and academic researchers

    • Program Economics
    • Sub-program Economic Institutions, Behavior, & Performance
    • Investigator Jules Polonetsky

    According to a Sloan-funded survey, Chief Privacy Officers at major corporations like Amazon, AT&T, Comcast, Facebook, and General Electric say they are willing to share private data with independent scholars under two conditions. First, they want to take risks and institute policies that are similar to their peers. Second, to the extent that shared data helps academics gain insight into important societal issues, they want to be widely recognized for the role they played. This grant funds a project by the nonprofit Future of Privacy Forum (FPF) to launch a peer-to-peer network of private sector C-suite leaders called the Corporate-Academic Data Stewardship Research Alliance. Members will collaborate in order to encourage, recognize, and honor model data-sharing arrangements between the private sector and academe. The network will hold regular phone conferences as well as quarterly in person meetings to discuss how to overcome the legal, practical, and technical barriers that hinder cooperation with independent scholars. The network will also develop and publicize a CEO-level award honoring those corporate leaders who have made pioneering data-sharing agreements with independent scholars. Grant funds will help defray operating costs of the new network for 18 months.

    To launch the Corporate-Academic Data Stewardship Research Alliance, a private company peer-to-peer network to accelerate privacy protective sharing of administrative data between businesses and academic researchers

    More