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: Tufts University
    amount: $124,906
    city: Medford, MA
    year: 2012

    To support the technical and organizational development of the Open Geoportal Cloud

    • Program Digital Technology
    • Sub-program Data & Computational Research
    • Investigator Patrick Florance

    To support the technical and organizational development of the Open Geoportal Cloud

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  • grantee: Mozilla Foundation
    amount: $685,950
    city: Mountain View, CA
    year: 2012

    To improve the quality of software produced by scientists, and to drive the development of tools, practices, and diverse community around digitally networked science

    • Program Digital Technology
    • Sub-program Data & Computational Research
    • Investigator Kaitlin Thaney

    This grant supports the continued development and expansion of "Software Carpentry", an initiative launched by the Mozilla Foundation to train scientists in best practices for how to use and develop software. Starting with immersive workshops, and following up with online resources and tutorials, the Software Carpentry project provides intensive, hands-on training that allows scientists to thrive in a research environment that is increasingly software-driven. Funds support Mozilla's efforts to expand the Software Carpentry program, conducting workshops and training scientists to design and lead workshops of their own. Additional funds will support the development and launch of a "Webmaking Science Lab", an online portal and set of complementary resources aimed at facilitating the open-source, collaborative, researcher-driven development of scientific software.

    To improve the quality of software produced by scientists, and to drive the development of tools, practices, and diverse community around digitally networked science

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  • grantee: Polytechnic Institute of New York University
    amount: $74,398
    city: Brooklyn, NY
    year: 2012

    To support a workshop and requirements gathering meetings on software infrastructure for reproducibility in science

    • Program Digital Technology
    • Sub-program Data & Computational Research
    • Investigator Juliana Freire

    To support a workshop and requirements gathering meetings on software infrastructure for reproducibility in science

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  • grantee: University of Minnesota
    amount: $19,500
    city: Minneapolis, MN
    year: 2012

    To support a meeting on citizen science and citizen-generated data

    • Program Digital Technology
    • Sub-program Data & Computational Research
    • Investigator Amy Kircher

    To support a meeting on citizen science and citizen-generated data

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  • grantee: Princeton University
    amount: $6,000
    city: Princeton, NJ
    year: 2012

    To support a full-day workshop aimed at producing an outline for a Digital Science and Technology Studies Handbook

    • Program Digital Technology
    • Sub-program Data & Computational Research
    • Investigator Janet Vertesi

    To support a full-day workshop aimed at producing an outline for a Digital Science and Technology Studies Handbook

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  • grantee: Azavea, Inc.
    amount: $49,976
    city: Philadelphia, PA
    year: 2012

    To assess the strengths and weaknesses of existing systems and design a scalable technology platform for citizen science data collection

    • Program Digital Technology
    • Sub-program Data & Computational Research
    • Investigator Robert Cheetham

    To assess the strengths and weaknesses of existing systems and design a scalable technology platform for citizen science data collection

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  • grantee: Johns Hopkins University
    amount: $425,000
    city: Baltimore, MD
    year: 2012

    To develop a hosted platform for managing and linking scientific data by combining and extending tools that were developed within the context of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey Archive and the Virtual Astronomical Observatory

    • Program Digital Technology
    • Sub-program Data & Computational Research
    • Investigator Alexander Szalay

    Originally funded with the help of the Sloan Foundation in 1992, the Sloan Digital Sky Survey was the first major telescopic survey to publish its data under open principles. Every single image ever collected by the Survey's 2.5 meter optical telescope is available for download by astronomers, astrophysicists and other researchers. The sheer size of the data collected, however, presented its own problems. The Sloan Digital Sky Survey corpus was simply too large for every researcher to download a full copy. In response, Johns Hopkins astronomer Alex Szalay and others developed a data infrastructure that allowed astronomers to selectively query the SDSS database, extracting only those slices that were of interest to them, and which logged every database query for later documentation. To increase the usefulness of SDSS data, Szalay also built a system that allowed astronomers to upload their own datasets which could then be easily linked with the SDSS data "in the cloud" for individual analyses and for sharing with small groups of colleagues or the broader public. Funds from this grant supports efforts by Szalay to improve and expand the SDSS data infrastructure in a number of key dimensions, revamping the data uploading process to make it more user-friendly, enabling the server to extrapolate meta-data as a way to reduce time-intensive data entry, and customizing the database in ways that would make it friendlier to researchers working in other data-intensive fields, like genomics or climatology.

    To develop a hosted platform for managing and linking scientific data by combining and extending tools that were developed within the context of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey Archive and the Virtual Astronomical Observatory

    More
  • grantee: Fund for the City of New York
    amount: $731,554
    city: New York, NY
    year: 2012

    To launch DataKind, an organization to better connect data scientists with volunteer opportunities and encourage best data practices among nonprofits

    • Program Digital Technology
    • Sub-program Data & Computational Research
    • Investigator Jake Porway

    A "data scientist" is someone who combines mathematical and statistical sophistication, the computational skills necessary to perform hands?on analysis of data at large scale, and the communication abilities to convey results meaningfully through visualizations and narrative. This combination of skills is still quite rare and highly in demand: an oft?cited McKinsey report published in 2011 estimates that the United States will need an additional 140,000 to 190,000 data scientists by 2018. Nonprofit organizations lag industry in the use of data scientists. Even when an organization sees how data science could improve their understanding of their clients or improve the efficacy of their work, they often lack the internal expertise and resources to take action. DataKind is a new organization founded to bridge exactly this gap. Inspired by the Teach for America model, Datakind aims to connect mission?driven organizations with designers, programmers, and statisticians from the burgeoning data science community who are looking for personally fulfilling opportunities to volunteer their time and expertise. Funds from this grant will provide two-years of pilot support to DataKind to provide a consistent revenue stream while it builds a client base of organizations and volunteers, develops a sustainable business model, and cultivates long-term funding sources.

    To launch DataKind, an organization to better connect data scientists with volunteer opportunities and encourage best data practices among nonprofits

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  • grantee: University of Oxford
    amount: $479,241
    city: Oxford, United Kingdom
    year: 2012

    To document the ways in which Big Data is made available from its public and private origins through open and closed pathways for social science research

    • Program Digital Technology
    • Sub-program Data & Computational Research
    • Investigator Eric Meyer

    Though few deny that administrative and other large-linked datasets represent new frontiers for social science research, there have been surprisingly few formal studies that survey and document how so-called "big data" in all its forms is actually changing social science research. This grant supports a project by a team led by Eric T. Meyer at Oxford's Internet Institute (OII) to empirically document the ways social scientists are getting access to data at scale and the tools they use to work with it. Meyer and his team will conduct a series of in-depth interviews with 125 researchers and technologists in academia, industry, and government to look at a series of interrelated questions about how big data is changing research, including how data flows between data sources and scientists, what questions big data is being used to address, how does the openness of a dataset affect its use, and how public and private data are used differently by researchers.

    To document the ways in which Big Data is made available from its public and private origins through open and closed pathways for social science research

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  • grantee: Council on Library and Information Resources
    amount: $672,697
    city: Washington, DC
    year: 2012

    To support the extension of the existing Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) postdoctoral program into digital curation in the sciences and social sciences

    • Program Digital Technology
    • Sub-program Data & Computational Research
    • Investigator Charles Henry

    Alongside data scientists trained in the statistical and computational methods that are integral to analysis of data at scale, there is a growing need for "digital curators," professional staff who can steward data, code, and other research products from the lab into more durable archives. Such digital curation is often discussed as one function of the future academic research library. Unfortunately, while many university libraries want to explore this new function, institutional inertia, tight budgets, and existing organizational structures have inhibited rapid change. Funds from this grant support a project by the Council on Library and Information Resources to expand its existing post-doctoral program to prepare recent science and social science Ph.D.s for positions in data curation. Grant monies will provide partial support for the development and training of a cohort of six postdoctoral students over two years. Supported students will be placed at university libraries where they will contribute to efforts to expand the institution's digital curation capabilities. Training activities funded under this grant include an initial "boot camp" that exposes participants to the current best practices in data curation, monthly professional development webinars, and an annual retreat.

    To support the extension of the existing Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) postdoctoral program into digital curation in the sciences and social sciences

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