Over $70,000 awarded so far in the Idea Grants Program

In the past seven months since we first announced our Idea Grants program, the National Association of Science Writers has awarded five grants, totaling $72,400. Funding is provided by income from the Authors Coalition, and the grants are intended to help science writers in their professional lives or benefit the field of science writing.

NASW’s Program Committee, formed in late 2010 with the goal of making NASW’s many funding efforts more coordinated, transparent, and inspired, serves as a clearinghouse for the Ideas Grant Program. The committee evaluates proposals on a rolling basis, typically in the order that they are received. Due to the detailed discussions undertaken by this all-volunteer group, the committee reviews about one per month. SPecial thanks to the Program Committee chair Robin Lloyd and members Melissa Blouin, Peggy Girshman, Rob Irion, Rosie Mestel, and Jeffrey Perkel for their hard work. Of the 15 proposals submitted thus far, five have been funded, five have been turned down, and five await evaluation.

We’re excited to be able to assist with projects and programs that serve science writers in a variety of creative ways. We congratulate the following grantees on their successful proposals and hard work on behalf of the field:

  • $900 to NESW in February 2011, to fund video archive costs for a regional health and science blogging event (Proposal submitted by Carol Morton)

  • $2,500 to High Country News 2011 in March, to fund customized, in-depth training in investigative reporting techniques for the publication’s editors (Proposal submitted by Michelle Nijhuis)

  • $6,000 to DCSWA in April 2011, to fund travel expenses and provide defrayment of registration fees and A/V support for annual regional day-long Professional Development Day conference (Submitted by Elia Ben-Ari and Andrea Widener)

  • $20,000 to the Open Notebook, LLC in May 2011, to fund expansion of the project (Submitted by Siri Carpenter and Jeanne Erdman proposal)

  • $43,000 to Kendall Powell and Thomas Hayden in July 2011, to fund writing and editing of a guide to freelance writing.

Inspired? Applications remain open, and the deadline is rolling (Please note, however, the increased time for review due to the time required for our volunteers to give each proposal proper consideration). For details and instructions, visit the NASW Idea Grants page.