In May 2012 the Title VIII award recommendations were made for the annual application to the grant program. Unfortunately, the time leading up to the award announcements was fraught with some uncertainty about funding levels for the program. Due to language in the general appropriation for Title VIII this cycle, the Department of State was empowered to cut the appropriation internally if/as needed. Originally, the program was cut entirely, but the Bureau of Intelligence and Research (INR) was able to make a case for Title VIII because it adds value to national security and provides the means by which policy decisions can be made with a “strategic view.” Thus, the reporting efforts among grantee organizations were instrumental in making this case and support for the program was continued for another year, although at a reduced level over previous years.
Given this reduction from past years’ award budgets, the committee deliberations when assessing the Title VIII awards took an interest in this idea of “adding value” and looked at which programs were the most well-positioned to add value to Title VIII and the foreign policy/national security objectives of the United States. The committee indicated that the choice was difficult; services and programs had to be prioritized according to how critical they are to the field and represented a diversity of institutions so as to make the most impact possible with the limited funding available.
There were a total of 12 applications for a total of $8.5 Mil in funds. Each portion of the application was weighed equally. In addition, the committee considered the following questions:
- Does this application help to build a cadre of experts in the field?
- Do the scholars/individuals supported make a career commitment to the field, the U.S. government, or both?
- Does the program support existing expertise?
- Is there a sufficient amount of institutional capacity and staff expertise to accomplish stated goals of the proposal? Are the stated goals tenable?
- Does the proposal include means to bring expertise to the service of the U.S. government (e.g. briefings, database submissions, etc)?
All applications are rated by INR staff as far as how they comply with the seven review criteria stated in the RfP and then the applications go on to the Title VIII advisory committee which has representation from the Department of Defense, State Department, Library of congress, AAU, Department of Education, and ASEEES. The committee was only able to award $3.5 Mil in support for programming. Out of the 12 applicants, 8 were awarded funding in the current cycle.
We are pleased to report that the application submitted by REEEC was funded for the current cycle at 86% of the requested amount. This means that SRS and SRL will continue into 2013 as planned. In addition, thanks to this generous support from the Department, REEEC will be announcing some innovations to SRL and its summer programming in the coming months. Stay tuned!