Humanities Funding News

In FY 2009, the National Science Foundation (NSF) funded 32% of peer-reviewed project proposals through its grants programs. In that same year, the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) was able to fund less than 17% of peer-reviewed proposals with its program funds. Approximately $60 million over FY 2010 levels of funding is needed to make up that gap in funding for humanities research and teaching.

One hundred members of the National Humanities Alliance, including representatives from AAUP and member presses, went to Capitol Hill on March 9 to ask Congress to make up this difference with a total of $204 million in NEH program funds and to strongly oppose the president’s proposed cuts of approximately $7.2 million to the Endowment.

The other federal humanities funding agency of significance to scholarly publishing is the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC), the grant-making arm of the National Archives. Humanities advocates also lobbied Congress for program funds of $10 million for the NHPRC. Importantly, Congress is also being asked to consider reauthorizing the NHPRC at $20 million, raising the cap of possible funding.

More recently, on May 3 the “Preserving the American Historical Record Act” (PAHR) (S. 3227) was introduced by Senators Hatch and Levin to establish a program of formula grants to support archives and the preservation of historical records at the state and local level through the National Archives. The act is identical to legislation introduced in the House last year and is endorsed by the National Coalition for History.

NHA Issues at a Glance: