1st Edition

Funding Your Research in the Humanities and Social Sciences A Practical Guide to Grant and Fellowship Proposals

By Barbara Walker, Holly Unruh Copyright 2018
    214 Pages 5 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    214 Pages 5 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Grants and fellowships are increasingly essential to an academic career, and competition over federal and foundation funding is fiercer than ever. Yet there has hitherto been little training available for this genre of writing.

    Funding Your Research in the Humanities and Social Sciences demystifies the process of writing winning grant proposals in the humanities and social sciences. Offering practical guidance, step-by-step instructions, and examples of successful proposals, Walker and Unruh outline the best practices to crack the proposal writing code. They reveal the most common peeves of proposal reviewers, and offer advice on how to avoid frequent problem areas in conceptualizing and crafting a research proposal in the humanities and social sciences. Contributions from agency and foundation program officers offer the perspective from the other side of the proposal submission portal, and new research funding trends, including crowdfunding and public scholarship, are also covered.

    This book is essential reading for all those involved in funding applications. Graduate students, research administrators, early career faculty members, and tenured professors alike will gain new and effective strategies to write successful applications.

    Part I – Prelude to a Proposal
    1. Introduction
    2. Finding Funding
    3. Assessing Funding Fit and Feasibility
    4. Getting Ready to Write
    5. Focusing the Research Idea as a Grant or Fellowship Proposal

    Part II – Parts of the Proposal
    6. Writing a Strategic Proposal
    7. Writing the Introduction
    8. Writing the Theoretical Orientation and Significance Section
    9. Writing the Methodology, Procedures, Plan of Work Section
    10. Writing the Budget and Justification
    11. Other Proposal Sections

    Part III– Working with Others
    12. Interdisciplinary and Collaborative Research
    13. Funding Public Scholarship

    Part IV – From Failure to Funding
    14. Failure or Success: What Next?
    15. Resources
    16. Parting Words for Institutions and Investigators


    Barbara L. E. Walker is the Director of Research Development for the Social Sciences at the University of California Santa Barbara, USA, where she is also Special Assistant to the Executive Vice Chancellor for Diversity Initiatives. Walker was a founding Board Member of the National Organization of Research Development Professionals (NORDP).

    Holly E. Unruh is the Associate Director of the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Center at California State University, Monterey Bay, USA. She previously served as the founding Associate Director of the University of California Institute for Research in the Arts, and Associate Director of the University of California Santa Barbara Interdisciplinary Humanities Center.

    "Early on, the authors of this book clearly spell out their goal: "This book will walk you through the process of finding the best funding opportunities for your research and career goals" (p.14). Chapter by chapter, the book lays out the steps in the entire endeavor. The first section explores finding the proper agencies to approach and creating a plan for the proposal. The next section, the heart of the book, discusses the writing of the various sections of the proposal, and is followed by sections on collaboration, rebounding from rejection of a proposal and other print and online resources worth exploring. Given the diverse types of research funding sources in the humanities and social sciences, a key aspect of this book is its focus on understanding which agency or foundation will be most interested in a scholar’s project. A number of contributors share their real-life experiences on both sides of the process, with excerpts from actual successful proposals, which are useful additions to the text.

    This book is clearly aimed at academics and the libraries that serve them. In fact, the authors mention that having "an affiliation with an accredited institution" is necessary in almost every case. Stylistically, the authors’ decision to use the second person (you/your/yours) throughout the book reinforces their connection with and support of the readers of the work. The approach enhances the reading of the text. Highly recommended."

    American Reference Books Annual (review by Mark Schumacher, University of North Carolina Greensboro, USA)