Press Releases

Friday, November 09, 2007

Carnegie Funds SSRC Grant Program for Disseminating Knowledge about Islam

The Carnegie Corporation of New York has awarded a grant of $2 million to fund a new small grants program at the Social Science Research Council (SSRC). The SSRC Small Grants Program for Academia in the Public Sphere will support efforts at select universities to deepen public understanding of Muslim peoples and their diverse histories and cultures by bridging the gaps between academic and public discourses.

"Understanding Islam, and more generally understanding the role of religion in public affairs, is of vital importance," said SSRC President Craig Calhoun. "Universities, with their deep reservoirs of knowledge, have a crucial role to play by making the results of research available to broader public discussions. This new program will help scholars to identify creative and innovative ways to inform public understanding."

Calhoun added that the new small grants program dovetails with the SSRC’s recent programmatic work on religion, secularism, and international affairs, which in turn builds on its efforts to address issues concerning Islam in different world regions and to organize programs for journalists on writing about Islam and Muslim communities in the United States.

The small grants will be available to select centers of area studies and international studies at U.S. research universities--those funded under Title VI of the Higher Education Act and known as National Resource Centers--and will support outreach activities around the theme, "Muslim societies and communities in world context." Drawing from a pool of over 100 National Resource Centers at about 50 universities, the SSRC expects to make as many as 35 grants over a two-year period. The deadline for the first round of grant applications is January 21, 2008.