Grants – Major Program Areas
The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation makes grants on six broad subject matters, known within the Foundation as major program
The Foundation believes that a carefully reasoned and systematic understanding of the forces of nature and society,
when applied inventively and wisely, can lead to a better world for all. With its Basic Research program area, the Foundation
expands that understanding by funding original, high-quality research in science, technology, engineering and
mathematics. Grants in the Basic Research program area promise to substantively benefit society or significantly add
to the body of scientific knowledge. By funding basic research, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation has created a digital survey
of the sky, is advancing species identification and discovery worldwide, and is crafting a better understanding of the
built environment in which we live.
The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation is unique among foundations in its focus on science and technology. We believe that
the scholars and practicioners in scientific and technical fields are chief drivers of the nation's prosperity. Grants in the
Science Education program area promote access to the scientific enterprise, provide information about scientific and
technical careers, and encourage innovation to the structure of scientific training.
Public Understanding of Science
In its Public Understanding of Science program, the Foundation makes grants that foster a better public understanding
of the increasingly scientific and technological environment in which we live. The program also aims to convey some of
the challenges and rewards of the scientific and technological enterprise and of the lives of the men and women who
undertake it. Using books, television, radio, film, theater and other media, grants in this program area promote a
deeper, richer contact with all the ways science and technology affect our lives.
Economic Performance and the Quality of Life
The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation believes that a theory-based, empirically-tested understanding of the U.S. economy is
essential to improving the American quality of life. The Foundation funds grants for high-quality original research that
promise to broaden that understanding or use it to improve American institutions. Grants in the Economic Performance
and Quality of Life program have expanded our knowlege of how particular industries function, encouraged better
communication and cooperation between citizens and their local governments, and focused scholarly and public attention
on the issues and challenges faced by contemporary working families.
Select National Issues
The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation recognizes that there are select opportunities outside of science, education and economics
in which it can create an important benefit to society. Its National Issues program area looks for unique opportunities
where Foundation funds promise to advance a significant national interest. Grants in the Select National Issues
program are funding work to increase America's biosecurity and investigate how recent advances in information
technology affect the spread of knowledge and the structure of scientific endeavor.