The Social Science Research Council (SSRC) has launched the Sustaining Humanities Infrastructure Program (SHIP), supported by a $2.5 million grant from the Sustaining the Humanities through the American Rescue Plan initiative of the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). NEH/SSRC SHIP will offer grants of up to $100,000 to colleges, universities, and nonprofit organizations in support of pandemic relief and recovery efforts, with priority given to projects and institutions that address issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion, as well as applications from minority-serving institutions.

Humanities infrastructure—the people, projects, and resources dedicated to the study and advancement of humanities topics—is essential to building resilience in the face of Covid-19, and has likewise suffered in the wake of the pandemic. In light of the vibrant role that humanities organizations play in our country, NEH/SSRC SHIP will deploy American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 funding to support humanities staffing, programming, and operations in order to restore, sustain, and recover from the coronavirus.

“The humanities have a critical role to play in helping us understand the history that brought us here, document our present, and imagine a more resilient and inclusive future,” said SSRC program director Daniella Sarnoff, a historian who oversees much of the SSRC’s humanities focused work. “We’re thrilled that, with the support of the National Endowment of the Humanities, the SSRC can provide organizations with the resources and flexibility they need to undertake this important work.”

Building a stronger future necessitates recognizing the important role that diversity, equity, and inclusion play both as topics of humanistic scholarship and in strengthening the infrastructure that supports the humanities. NEH/SSRC SHIP will help address Covid-19’s wide-ranging effects on the humanities sector, with an emphasis on organizations and projects that examine past and present inequalities from a humanistic perspective or or that propose concrete steps—such as revised tenure and promotion guidelines and timelines—to address the pandemic’s impact on scholars within their own institutions.

“Any attempt at recovery has to acknowledge that the pandemic’s social and economic consequences have not been borne equally. Across the country, people of color, women, caregivers, and other typically marginalized populations have been most affected—and the humanities sector is no exception,” said SSRC program director Jason Rhody. “We’re looking forward to partnering with institutions and organizations that are addressing the pandemic’s drastically disparate effects, both in higher education and in society broadly.”

NEH/SSRC SHIP is currently accepting proposals from US universities and nonprofit organizations with 5013c status to support staffing, programming, and operations. The deadline for applications is December 7. NEH/SSRC SHIP is part of the SSRC’s broader efforts to understand and address the pandemic’s social, cultural, and economic effects through insights from the social sciences and humanities. Learn more at our Virtual Research Center for Covid-19.

For additional details on SSRC/NEH SHIP, please visit the Request for Proposals here.