The Digital Humanities Advancement Grant wasn’t necessarily what was needed for the Assiniboine Narratives Project because a new website was far overreaching the actual current phase of the project. Actually, the current AISRI site with the pdf and mp3 uploads is still adequately serving the needs of the project, and the goals to format and add the rest of the collection are still ongoing.
So I decided to dive deeper into a different grant, the NEH/NSF grant for Documenting Endangered Languages. I had no idea at first, but eventually realized it was this exact grant program that previously funded the first phase of the project from 2009-2014. I have been able to review the entirety of the previous grant proposal, application, and approval. I was able to learn more and borrow language from the documents which describe the purpose and some of the goals for the project, but several things have changed, including personnel, deliverables, and the work plan. I spent some time with my supervisor figuring out some of those changes, so I learned about some more connections that AISRI has with people in other regions who are still called in to work on AISRI projects. I also learned more about the logistics of budget allocation, like what each component would be used for and typical salary ranges for staff based on their contribution to the project. Finally, I learned what goals of the project are still ongoing from the first phase, and what new goals need to be described since (50%) completion of the previous phase. The deadline for the Documenting Endangered Languages grant isn’t until September, so unfortunately, I would not have the chance to see this proposal submitted or approved, but they assure me it has been a helpful push with which they intend to proceed. I will be developing the proposal at length for Digital Humanities, and I will share the final copy with AISRI, in case they could possibly use anything I write.
The biggest challenge for my proposal at this moment is the title. In DH, we discussed how titles in the style of a summary are too easy to forget, but they effectively communicate what is in the document, and brief titles are harder to classify and interpret, but better for competing in a crowded marketplace. That discussion helped me choose a succinct title for our IU Day crowdfunding ad and to create a summary title for Documenting Endangering Languages grant proposal. I will share it as soon as I know what it is.
I have also been reviewing the guidelines for the proposal extensively and I found it interesting that they encourage graduate students to assist faculty on the work, but not to submit the grant ourselves. This particular grant does not have a restriction on who can be the Private Investigator, so I am surprised that they would explicitly discourage graduate students. My hasty hypothesis is that, in general, the more distinguished faculty can be named in the proposal, the better the odds are that it will be approved.
In my search for grants, I was also able to create a document outlining the particulars of grants which are specifically available to the tribal educators AISRI works with in the plains, and to share the good news about NEH fellowships I found which could also support any of AISRI’s researchers.