a new funding model – what the asa can do

The shoe has dropped for the political scientists. The NSF has suspended funding, probably out fear of Congress.

My take away? Don’t be so dependent on one customer. Sociology doesn’t get that much from NSF anyway, but we should think about alternate sources.

Here’s a simple idea. Why not take all that sweet ASR subscription money and funnel it into an ASA controlled foundation that supports sociological research? That way, we have independence.

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Written by fabiorojas

August 9, 2013 at 12:04 am

5 Responses

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  1. According to the NSF, there is currently $85 million dollars in active awards through the Sociology program. This includes things like $20 million for the PSID, $15 million for the GSS and $6 million for IPUMS.


    neal caren

    August 9, 2013 at 2:20 am

  2. @Neal: I agree with the-point-behind-your-point, but those numbers count every award that Sociology contributes something to as if it’s through the Sociology program. The “real” amount controlled by the Sociology program is much less.

    I didn’t realize TESS was #4 on that list, though, behind only PSID, GSS, and iPUMS. Gulp.



    August 9, 2013 at 4:14 am

  3. @jeremy: Thanks. It also combines multiple years of funding since it shows all projects currently being funded.

    If you divide the NSF Sociology awards number by 3, it still about 10x greater than ASA journal profits. Additionally, sociologists get funding from a lot of other federal agencies. See, for example who funds Add Health:

    I imagine that ASA politics would be even more lively if one of the committees was in charge of distributing a pool of two million dollars ever year to other sociologists.


    neal caren

    August 9, 2013 at 11:40 am

  4. My sense is that ASA structures should not control funding for the discipline. ASA already provides some funding. Has there been an evaluation of those efforts and what has been accomplished?



    August 11, 2013 at 7:15 am

  5. […] conference bags noted. The continued funding of sociological research is certainly important, as successful efforts to deny NSF funding to political science make clear. Nevertheless, maybe the ASA should have used […]


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