NORDP 2014 Conference Notes: Funding opportunities in the arts, humanities and social sciences: strategies for supporting and promoting a grant- seeking culture

Presenters: Susan Gomes (Harvard University), Barbara Walker (University of California at Santa Barbara) and Caitlin McDermott-Murphy (Harvard University)

Noting that the grant proposal writing culture is not ubiquitous across academic disciplines, the three speakers delivered a three-pronged presentation: why seeking grant support is important for arts, humanities and social sciences scholars, what the funding landscape looks like for these disciplines, and how to establish a culture of grant proposal writing. Successfully funded scholars benefit both the institution (possibility of securing F&A costs and institutional prestige) and themselves  (possibility of summer salary or reassigned time, raising visibility about scholarship and having that scholarship validated through the peer review process, and the opportunity to create or expand a scholarly network).

The presenters discussed major federal funders in the humanities and arts areas, including the National Endowment for the Arts, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Archives and Records Administration (National Historical Publications and Records Commission), and the Institute for Museum and Library Services.  Social sciences researchers can look to funders like the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, and the Departments of Education, Defense and Justice.  Private funders (foundations), funding at the state level, and Foundation Center tools and reports also were discussed, along with descriptions of resources like H Net Online and a forthcoming book by Barbara Walker on this topic.

Several strategies for promoting a culture of grantsmanship were shared, including programming (workshops led by research development professionals and faculty); sponsor campus visits; developing partnerships with academic deans and other key figures; continuous outreach to faculty; funding opportunity dissemination; and, faculty surveys (for the purpose of eliciting feedback while advertising services).  The presenters concluded the session by reminding participants to leverage resources on their campuses in support of arts, humanities and social sciences faculty, noting that “Everything doesn’t have to cost something.”

Scribe: Pollyanne Frantz

Thanks, Pollyanne!

 

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