Mining Unexpected Sources: A Roundtable on External Funding for Historians

AHA Session 66
Friday, January 5, 2018: 8:30 AM-10:00 AM
Washington Room 3 (Marriott Wardman Park, Exhibition Level)
Jennifer Serventi, National Endowment for the Humanities
Panelists will introduce seven funding bodies including public agencies, private foundations, and organizations. After brief presentations, panelists will lead a conversation about future plans to help the audience consider how their own work might be an appropriate match.
Panel Discussion
Christa Williford, Council on Library and Information Resources
Panel Discussion
Lucy Barber, National Historical Publications and Records Commission and National Archives and Records Administration
Panel Discussion
Rachel Bernard, American Council of Learned Societies
Panel Discussion
Frederick Kronz, National Science Foundation
Panel Discussion
Daniel Reid, Whiting Foundation
Panel Discussion
Jeffrey S. Reznick, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health

Session Abstract

Colleges, universities, state agencies, and historical organizations are increasingly expecting their faculty and staff to seek outside fellowships and grants to fund their own research or the wider work of their institutions. The world of external funding organizations, however, can sometimes be opaque to those now charged with securing this support. Historians may wonder: Who might support my work? How do I find these opportunities? Does the funding body’s mission match my own scholarly or institutional priorities? What is the distinction between a fellowship and a grant? What are the differences between federal or public sources and private foundations? Can anyone apply or do I have to be invited to submit an application? How do I work with my sponsored programs or development office? What in the heck are indirect costs and data management plans? How does the proposal review process work? What are funders’ expectations for sharing the results of my work? And how do I pursue outside funding while maintaining my scholarly or teaching agenda?

In this roundtable session, representatives from seven grantmaking organizations will help to demystify the process of seeking outside funds to support research, teaching, and public engagement in history. By highlighting external opportunities from individual research fellowships to large collaborative projects that involve historians in some capacity, we hope to help the audience think creatively and broadly about their own work.

This roundtable will introduce the audience to different funding bodies including public agencies (NEH, NSF, NIH, NHPRC), private foundations (the Whiting Foundation), and organizations (the American Council of Learned Societies and the Council on Library and Information Resources) so that they may understand these organizations’ different missions and review processes. The roundtable participants would describe how their different grant and fellowships programs are developed and evaluated. Finally, each participant would provide examples of previously funded research, education, or public projects that include historians.

After a brief presentation from each panel member about their organization, we would convene a conversation about future funding plans to help the audience consider how their own scholarly activities might be an appropriate match. The roundtable moderator will also allow significant time for questions from the audience. We hope that the audience will leave the session with a better understanding of the possible of funding available to historians and for history projects.

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