Small Grants for Early Career Digital Publications

Applications currently open
Applications for this grant are open through Monday, October 24, 2022.

Are you working on a scholarly project that would come alive for the public through an interactive digital publication?

The Leventhal Map & Education Center’s Small Grants Fund for Early Career Digital Publications supports scholars through the process of producing a publication for general audiences in a digital format. The program is designed to catalyze creative projects which utilize a digital medium to present scholarly work through engaging, accessible, and experimental communicative modalities.

The grant consists of an stipend of $1,200 to support research and development time, together with institutional research and technical support from LMEC staff through the stages of the digital publication process. Projects may be conducted by scholars working both inside and outside of the academy on all topics related to geography, maps, history, and the humanistic spatial social sciences, either individually or in a group (though the stipend amount is fixed regardless of the number of scholars involved in the project). The primary author of the publication should be an early career scholar, as defined in the Eligibility section below. Digital publications produced through these grants will be published and hosted by LMEC on one or more of its digital portals, though projects will be licensed on a Creative Commons license and further publication, in digital or print formats, is not precluded by receipt of a grant. Projects may be conducted remotely, and grant recipients are not required to plan any in-person project time in Boston.

About the Grant

The Leventhal Map & Education Center has produced numerous scholarly digital publications in a number of formats. By way of example, see:

  • Unique Perspectives on Kyoto, by Richard Pegg — a digital essay in a traditional format consisting of text illustrated with zoomable digital images
  • Negotiating the Shoreline, by Courtney Humphries — an annotated tour through a single map, produced using the LMEC-created Panel Truck interface
  • City and Country in the Trolley Decades, by Garrett Dash Nelson — a video talk coupled with a zoomable map controlled by keyframes in the video, produced using the LMEC-created Moviemaps interface
  • Howdy, Realtors!, by Ian Spangler — a textual essay containing numerous zoom-in embeds
  • More or Less in Common, by the LMEC staff — a digital exhibition portal created as a companion to our physical exhibition
  • Neighbors in Name Only, by Garrett Dash Nelson and published in CommonWealth — a geographic data visualization coupled with a journalistic essay

This grant program supports emerging scholars who seek to make their own work accessible, engaging, and interactive through similar digital publications. Any work related to topics in geography, maps, history, and the humanistic spatial social sciences is eligible for consideration under this grant, though we will prioritize projects of the following kind:

  • Projects that make extensive use of the Leventhal Map & Education Center collections, and the Boston Public Library’s special and research collections
  • Projects that focus on geographies in Boston and New England, and which combine historic and contemporary elements

Successful applicants will receive a stipend of $1,200, to be disbursed individually to the project’s primary author in two parts, at the beginning of the project and after the completion of publication. Additionally, successful applicants will receive a commitment of research collaboration as well as technical development from LMEC staff, beginning with the project’s initial roughing-out stage and continuing through to publication. Technical assistance can include the coding and design needed to produce a publication in one of the formats described in the examples above, or limited assistance in creating another digital modality of the author’s design. Grantees should not, however, expect LMEC staff to support entirely bespoke design and coding process for a one-off publication modality.

Grantees will be asked to give a 30 minute presentation to the entire LMEC staff roughly midway through the completion of their project.

This grant has no in-person requirement and grants may be issued to individuals who have no plans to travel to Boston during the project period. For those who do wish to work with the Center’s physical collections, priority access to the reading room will be provided.

Eligibility

Scholars of all professional backgrounds are encouraged to apply to the grant, both those formally associated with an academic institution as well as professionals working on scholarly projects outside of the academy. Scholars may be trained in any disciplinary specialization.

Applicants may apply individually or as part of a project group, though ordinarily project groups should consist of not more than three individuals.

For the purposes of this grant, an early career scholar is defined as anyone who does not meet any of the following three criteria:

  • Faculty holding tenure or tenure-equivalent status at an academic institution;
  • Individuals with senior-level full-time or full-time-equivalent positions at another research, non-profit, or publishing institution;
  • Individuals who have published two or more books with a major press, or who have published 6 or more articles in publications with national or international circulation.

Grants are available to all scholars regardless of citizenship; however, if the individual primarily responsible for the project does not have a United States tax identification number, you should contact us in advance to determine whether you will be able to receive the stipend.

To Apply

Online application

An application consists of the following material submitted by October 24, 2022 at 10 pm ET:

  • A pitch of no more than 500 words describing the proposed publication, including (a) major scholarly themes and (b) expected insights for a general audience readership
  • A description of no more than 300 words of the technical format and modality of the intended digital publication, including an evaluation of the technical support which will be needed for publication
  • (Optional) Links to 1-3 models of already completed digital publications, by any creator and in any format, which could serve as templates for the project
  • A full CV; PDF or Markdown

Successful applicants will be notified by November 18, 2022.