• Notes: Grantwriting strategies for the Digital Humanities

    Scattered & unedited, but nevertheless, notes from . . .
    Grantwriting Strategies
    Jen Serventi (Digital Humanities, NEH) & Josh Sternfeld (Preservation & Access, NEH)
    I. Josh/P&A
    Leverage projects to begin small
    Getting groundwork laid out, right people involved
    Move to larger and larger grants

    Collection of primary resources you want to describe
    Digitization for digital repository
    Focuses on collections (as does the entire division)
    Spend a lot of time talking about sig. of collection for grant
    What can your collections be used for?
    Reference resources: databases,
    Collections and resources cannot have overly interpretative angle
    Collections need to be neutral, used for different kinds of purposes
    Up to 350,000 for up to 3 years
    Come talk to NEH about partnerships with multiple institutions

    Larger questions and topics on pres and access
    Developing digital tools that can enhance access
    Preservation areas of specialization AV, born-digital, sustainability (conservation)
    Up to 350,000 for up to 3 years
    Most successful: best standards and practices
    Can look scientific by nature, or more tool development

    II. Jen/Office of DH

    More startup focused
    Bring people together to idenitify a challenge
    Brainstorm, meetings, moving toward next bigger stage
    Inkling of innovation solution

    Prototyping, with knowledge always more work to be done
    Use funds to discover whether or not project really should even continue
    Identify challenges and roadblocks
    Begin looking toward solutions
    “Successful failure” = white paper on what went wrong, or why this project is not worth continuing (all proj. must produce white papers)

    Inst. for Advance Topics in DH
    To position yourself as leader in topic of DH
    Seed grant program to bring people into DH
    Introduce methodologies and approaches
    Go one to apply for other grant programs at NEH
    Good for faculty and staff without robust DH programs on campus

    Tips & Strategies
    1. Consult one of us (they read drafts! up to 6 weeks prior to deadline)

    Review process
    – Interested? Come talk to us.
    – Submit app.
    – Bring in relevant peers for review
    – Grades tallied
    – Goes to Council (26 appointees)
    – Funneled up to Chairman for final choice
    (upwards of 8-9 months; startup 5-6 months)

    Interoperability big!
    Addressing project to your field and colleagues, not the NEH staff
    Write for general educated audience (but not bloated with tech. jargon)
    First time applicants, look at resources provided on NEH site
    Recommends applying to multiple programs (but not identical apps!)
    Will pass along results of panel comments from review process whether successful or un
    Sustainability = buzzword important to NEH
    Talk about mechanisms to promote sustainability
    Same with scalability
    Have multiple writers doing different sections of app. narrative
    Make friends with office of sponsored projects/whoever submits your grant apps
    Strategies for putting together a work plan (Ask Jen!)
    Key: use collection as test bed

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