Science for Progress Initiative

Close up image of a microscope in a lab with two hands adjusting its scope.
Photo: Konstantin Kolosov | Shutterstock
The Science for Progress Initiative (SfPI) is designed to catalyze scientific research on the scientific process.

SfPI's purpose is to produce rigorous, quantitative evidence from randomized evaluations on the most effective approaches to funding and supporting scientific research—evidence that can inform both policy and practice. SfPI launched with generous financial support from Open Philanthropy, Schmidt Futures, and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.

SfPI builds on and amplifies the strength of our existing institutions by contributing to the field of metascience: that is, by turning the scientific method on itself. This involves rigorous, quantitative, causal analysis of questions like: What contracts, incentives and institutions work best when funding scientific research? What are the best ways to allocate research grants? How can we encourage the diffusion of socially valuable scientific discoveries out of scientific labs and academic papers, so as to encourage innovation and economic growth? And how can we ensure that the most talented individuals—including younger researchers, those entering science from non-traditional life and career paths, and more broadly members of traditionally under-represented groups—are not discouraged from pursuing science?

SfPI partners with leading organizations that fund and support scientific research and design science policy, including both public institutions and private philanthropies. It works in collaboration with the Institute for Progress (IFP), a nonpartisan think tank in Washington DC with an aligned mission and vision, as well as with the Federation of American Scientists. Its work is guided by an advisory committee covering an unusually broad spectrum, spanning the academic, philanthropic, public and private sectors.

Read more about SfPI.

For more information, contact us.
 

Key Facts

Office:
J-PAL Global
Eligibility:
Open to J-PAL affiliated professors and invited researchers.

Funders

Initiative Staff

Elizabeth Graff, Policy Manager

McKenzie Leier, Senior Policy Associate

Review Board

David Autor (MIT)

Pierre Azoulay (MIT)      

Ina Ganguli (UMass-Amherst)

Paul Niehaus (co-chair, UC San Diego)

Amanda Pallais (Harvard University)

Heidi Williams (co-chair, Stanford University)

Advisory Committee

David Autor (MIT)

Pierre Azoulay (MIT)

Matt Clancy (Open Philanthropy)

Patrick Collison (Stripe)

Dan Correa (Federation of American Scientists)

Tyler Cowen (George Mason University)

Ina Ganguli (UMass-Amherst)

Kumar Garg (Schmidt Futures)

Daniel Goroff (Sloan Foundation)

Bishakha Mona (Science Philanthropy Alliance)

Paul Niehaus (co-chair, UC San Diego)

Emily Oehlsen (Open Philanthropy)

Amanda Pallais (Harvard University)

Elaine Sevier (Research Theory)

Caleb Watney (Institute for Progress)

Heidi Williams (co-chair, Stanford University)

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