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Humanities: the Poor Cousin

VU International News and Reviews No. 120 September 24 2018

September 2018

Based on data from the US National Science Foundation, Humanities Indicators (a project of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences) has published a web-based overview of the research funding of Humanities against other academic domains:  Research and Development Expenditures at Colleges and Universities. The website visualises both the modest degree to which research can rely on public funds and the back tail position  Humanities has in the scramble for research funding. In most segments of academic research, federal funding covers from almost well over half of the research funding – even more when state funding is added. For the Humanities. Federal and state funding makes up for barely 15% of funding, which is of course much lower in real money than other sectors anyway.

The data provided do beg a question about the funding by the academic institution itself, which is two thirds for Humanities and up or over one third for other sectors: how much of the money provided by the academic institution itself is originally public (taxpayers) money and how much is from business or has a non-profit origin?

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