October 23, 2008

Mini-Grants–Apply NOW!

Filed under: community,mini-grant — Max @ 5:29 pm
Tags: ,

Okay, researchers, writers, and citizen journalists. The History Commons is offering you money on the barrelhead to write for us.

The deadline is November 15. If you’re going to apply, do it now!

You can go to this page for all the information about the History Commons Mini-Grant program. An application for a grant is available here, as is all the technical and legal stuff that you need to know before signing on. But here’s the basics: we are looking to expand our coverage of events and issues beyond what we are currently presenting. We need you to write it up. Simple!

If you’re interested, either fill out the application or post a comment below. We’ll get back to you fast.

It’s not the easiest task in the world–it requires some commitment of time and effort, and a willingness to learn the ropes. But that’s what the money’s for…. We can help you get into the flow, so don’t let the seeming difficulty of submitting entries (style manual, I’m looking at you) daunt you. It’s not as hard as it seems.

You can receive between $800 and $2500 for your hard work and laudable efforts. The deadline for applying is November 15, which by my count is about three weeks from the day I write this, so get on the ball before the deadline comes or the grant money dries up, whichever comes first.

What to write about? Well, we have a long and extensive list on the Mini-Grant page under the heading “New Topics for Investigation,” so go check it out. The headings for the various groups of suggested topics are, in no particular order: Economic Issues, Executive Branch Power, Civil Liberties, The US-led war in Afghanistan and Pakistan, The US-led war in Iraq, The Energy Industry, The Environment, US Electoral Politics, Health and Well-being, US Foreign Policy, and US Domestic Issues. And if you have a burning desire to write about something else that isn’t listed, put in an application or post a comment below, and we’ll consider it.

Step up and go for it!



  1. So far we’ve got at least seven excellent applications, with a wide range of proposed topics to cover, and at least one more coming later this week. (People aren’t shy about suggesting their own projects as opposed to sticking to the suggestions on the minigrants page. Good!) I’d like to have at least this many more applicants, so if you’re considering applying, please do so. It’s not so much a matter of competition–we’ll award as many grants as we can afford to all the applicants who show that their writing and research skills are up to snuff (or can be gotten there)–as it is trying to get as many different topics covered as possible.

    Don’t stop!

    Comment by Max — October 27, 2008 @ 10:54 pm | Reply

  2. I may be interested in this…i believe i have referred you to my book published
    and cited on … http://www.amazon.com …. MIDEAST CHESS BOARD by woody voinche(i have
    a chapter on Operation Ajax…the CIA and MI6 plan and coup d’etat that brought
    about the downfall of Mossadeq and the rise to power of the Shah)
    I expanded on a David Ray Griffen’s theme that Bin Laden could have been captured
    but was “allowed” to escape…and that it seems that some upper eschelon personel
    in charge of the war…have failed to take some action that has allowed this war to
    escalate or drag on; Gary Berntsen the CIA top commander at Tora Bora said that he had
    definitive information that “intelligence operations had tracked him-and could have
    been caught.”(Michael Hirsh, “CIA Commander: We Let Bin Laden Slip Away,” NEWSWEEK,
    August 15, 2005, p.5); That over 1000 Taliban and Al Qaeda operatives were allowed
    to escape out of Afghanistan when only 1 exit route into Pakistan was bombed in the
    2 to 3 month period after 9.11. Is there a hidden agenda to prolong this war…???

    I am researching the issue of some arms and over $5. billion in oil revenues have gone
    to the insurgency. What do you have on the financing and arming of the insurgency and
    any effort to escalate the chaos…????

    But i am very busy over the next month so i may not be able to write anything on this for
    at least a month…???

    Comment by woody voinche — October 30, 2008 @ 8:56 pm | Reply

  3. >>What do you have on the financing and arming of the insurgency and any effort to escalate the chaos…????

    Not enough, certainly. You should fill out an application. Try to be as specific as you can, both on subjects covered and on sourcing (we’re pretty rigorous on what we consider acceptable sourcing). No problem with being busy through November, the deadline for turning in apps is November 15, and it will take us a while after that to process and decide who gets what.

    Comment by Max — October 30, 2008 @ 10:33 pm | Reply

  4. I am interested in exploring the compulsory dis-armament of Australian citizens following the ‘Port Arthur massacre, of 1996 in Tasmaina, Australia. There has been some compelling personal eye-witness testimony on u-tube around that event, suggesting divergence with the accepted mainstream version of the murder of 35-people. Dissenting Australians suggest that our PAM (Port Arthur Massacre)is equivalent with the US 9/11 terrorist event; a pretext for reducing traditional personal liberty. In Australia there is much less Constitutional guarantee of individual rights of behaviour vis-a-vis government than in the US with its clearly defined Bill of Rights. Thus we have legislation passed through parliament with no recourse to judicial review based on a law of liberty.
    The evidence strongly suggests that the man gaoled over the PAM was innocent. If this is true we need to ask why and to whose advantage was the act done. I feel a time-line on this issue should be enacted. Currently the best sources of information are those who were present at the event and any research I might undertake would be founded in such oral-historical primary document evidence.

    Comment by Alan McDonald — October 31, 2008 @ 6:00 pm | Reply

  5. Alan, this is a fascinating idea. We’ve never done anything like this before (with oral-historical primary sources), and I’m very intrigued. Submit an application through the site, be very specific on what you will cover and how you will source it, and keep your fingers crossed. If the truth about the PAM approaches what you believe it to be, it deserves wide coverage.

    Comment by Max — October 31, 2008 @ 7:45 pm | Reply

  6. Several people have sent in applications and have not yet received replies (from me, anyway). Don’t panic, your app hasn’t been lost. I’ve been mired in work and other non-site duties. :/ You WILL receive replies over the weekend.

    Comment by Max — October 31, 2008 @ 7:49 pm | Reply

  7. Hi History Commons:
    I am not sure if your staff received my earlier suggestions. I am a Political Scientist, graduated from the University of Washington in 1984. Ever since, I go back and forth to the Middle East. I follow your site almost on daily basis, and because of my Arabic background, and my humble understanding of middleastern mentality, I wished that your site included a translation of the hard work put into Arabic, especially the part about Bin Laden and the invasion of Iraq. I believe that this will help mutual understanding, and will show those who fantacise to becoming new like Ben Ladin, the true face of a terrorist and his employers. I believe that the translated information will turn the war on terrorism against the terrorists, and will hit them where they really hide, which is the hearts and minds of their audience. If the site wants to contribute to winning the war on terrorism, which I believe it does, then you should consider my suggestion. If you so agree with me, please let me know because I will be delighted to contribute part of my time for that purpose.
    Thank You
    A. S.
    Nov. 1, 2008

    Comment by A. Shaar — November 1, 2008 @ 4:19 am | Reply

  8. I’d like to see the Commons translated into other languages, and Arabic would be a terrific start. Let’s talk.

    Comment by Max — November 1, 2008 @ 10:19 am | Reply

  9. I am interested in the whole area of ‘drugs’ and the involvement of the CIA, MI6, ISI and many other intelligence agencies. Also ties in with BCCI; provides motives for foreign policy decisions (heroin production fell under the Taliban but under careful UK control the production is now back up again – just as MI6/CIA want, its not just a possible oil pipeline route!); links to Iran-Contra; provides excuse for US meddling in foreign countries; the list goes on and on.

    If there is any support for a section here I would definitely commit time to doing it. I already have a large library of offline research – it just needs a place like this to enable more people to learn another aspect of what is really going on in the world.

    This has nothing to do with my views on drug use – morality, legalisation or anything like that – it is purely about helping expose the truth.

    Comment by Hugh — November 4, 2008 @ 2:08 pm | Reply

  10. Hugh, we’d be glad to consider your application. Just go to the home page and submit it. I’m still overseas and have little computer access, so don’t feel as if you’re being ignored if you don’t hear from us for a few days.

    Comment by Max — November 8, 2008 @ 7:51 am | Reply

  11. I’m a total amateur: all-around blogger, college English teacher, former student in Forensic Psychology, probation department intern etc. –BUT, I think my informal status could help me develop credible sources in the Pat Tillman case.

    In addition to research into known sources, I can approach the Tillman family. I believe the Tillmans are well up on the case. Mrs. Tillman has written a book about her son; Mr. Tillman studied law and so is undoubtedly able to see beyond the red tape. Consulting with them is bound to lead to a substantive addition to the investigative timeline currently available as per the Waxman Committee report( http://oversight.house.gov/investigations.asp?ID=256 ).

    My cachet is that I am an amateur, but nonetheless credible. I have contacts among Bay Area coaches and athletes(father a local coach; grandfather a Standford U. coach) and strong familiarity with the area(mother a San Jose high school librarian). I’m mature, affable, and dogged.

    Although I believe Pat Tillman was murdered, I am open to other explanations for his death and its subsequent cover-up. The best of all possible sources in this case is the Tillman circle. My proximity to them geographically is an asset, but moreover, I would like to add to the record. There’s more here….

    I expect, merging data from an established body of facts with updated information about the ongoing investigation, to have 100+ entries. The established record is extensive. The story of the buried record is, in itself, a detailed and documented one. Still, I would hope to add to this with local, first-hand investigation. I can research. After all, I teach it. I can write; I’m no Doris Goodwin but have the basics. And I do have some investigative knowledge and skills, insatiable curiosity, particularly regarding this case, and even enough grounding in standard medical terms(trained as EMT) to process information from the doctors’ reports, which are so crucial here, as the early word on the autopsy is that its results at variance with the given “facts.”

    In sum, I have the skill set to fit this task and I live in the stomping grounds, which I think could turn up some new material and at least help vet the old.


    Thanks for the consideration,

    Virginia Elliott

    Comment by Virginia Elliott — November 12, 2008 @ 2:18 pm | Reply

  12. Virginia, I find this a fascinating proposal. Of course, I am only one of a larger group of people who will make the final decision. We have always restricted ourselves to using other sources and others’ reporting, so this would be something of a departure for us. Put in an application if you have not already done so (you can cut and paste the blog post you’ve already written) and we will take it under serious consideration.

    Comment by Max — November 12, 2008 @ 10:39 pm | Reply

  13. I just sent in an application form. I proposed a timeline on how the Kosovar Albanians seceded from Serbia, and some other ideas for eastern European and Eurasian timelines.

    Comment by Michael Pollock — November 13, 2008 @ 5:06 am | Reply

  14. Michael, I look forward to reviewing your app.

    Comment by Max — November 13, 2008 @ 8:48 am | Reply

  15. The curent economic situation has a way to change the world.IF things not taken seriously a new super power may rise and over taking the u.s and u.k.
    My opinion is simple instead of banks bail out try domestic industries bail out.Once the domestic ind is strong than go international than you can see changes in stock markets.

    Comment by navish — November 15, 2008 @ 11:37 pm | Reply

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