Friday, March 07, 2014

Title VIII Funding Cut

As you may know, the Title VIII program, administered by the U.S. Department of State with funds appropriated by Congress, has supported language training and research on Eastern Europe and Eurasia for 30 years.  Title VIII makes grants to organizations that in turn organizes competitions for individual fellowships and grants and to institutions that run summer language or research programs.   In the midst of the general strife over the national budget and debt ceiling, we received news that the Title VIII program – the program that has been so essential in supporting language training and advanced research in our field – did not receive an appropriation for the federal fiscal year 2013.

Unfortunately this means a significant reduction in the number of fellowships and grants available for language training and advanced research in 2013-14. 

ASEEES has been actively engaged in advocating for Title VIII funding, and has already begun to work with grantee organizations to call for the State Department to restore these funds for 2014-15.   As part of this effort, ASEEES has formed an Advocacy Committee, and we welcome any and all offers of support in this critical effort.

Letter to Sec. John Kerry

ASEEES spearheaded an sign-on effort to send a letter to Sec. John Kerry urging him to restore funding to the Title VIII program. Read the letter here.

Take Action Now!

ACTFL Advocacy Campaign: Write to Congress TODAY to save Title VIII – to restore funding for the Title VIII program and to include funding for the Title VIII program in the fiscal year 2015 appropriations.

Programs Suspended for 2013-2014 Due to Title VIII Cut

Below is a list of programs that are suspended due to the Title VIII funding cut. 

If not listed below, please assume that the program will be carried out in 2013-14. Many organizations still have carryover and other funds to run the program this year. We will update this list as more information becomes available:

  • The American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) will suspend all competitions in its East Europe Studies Program for 2013-14.   For further information, please contact Elisabeta Pop at
  • The Arizona State University Critical Languages Institute has suspended competition for its Title VIII fellowships for domestic or overseas summer language study. Other student support competitions are NOT affected, in particular, the Melikian Scholar Award competition (open to all students, graduate and undergraduate), the Project GO Scholarship competition (open to ROTC students only), and the International Distinguished Engagement Award competition (open to all students). For further information, please see or contact CLI at
  • Indiana University has suspended competitions for Title VIII fellowships for domestic and portable intensive summer language study. FLAS and Project GO funding are still available for students studying in the Summer Language Workshop (SWSEEL). For more information, please see our website or contact Olia Bueva at
  • NCEEER will suspend any new Title VIII programming for Fiscal Year 2013 (October 1 2013 – September 30 2014). This suspension includes the National Research Competition, the Short-Term Travel Research Grant, the Hewett Fellowship, and the Indigenous Peoples Research Fellowship. At this point, current NCEEER Title VIII grant holders will not be affected. Questions may be directed to Dana Ponte,
  • The SSRC Eurasia Program has suspended the competitions for its Title VIII fellowships in 2013-2014. For further information, please contact the Eurasia Program at
  • The University of Illinois Summer Research Lab and Slavic Reference Service will continue. For more information, read the REEEC letter regarding Title VIII on its blog or contact Alisha Kirchoff at
  • The Woodrow Wilson Center Kennan Institute has suspended competition for its Title VIII Research Scholarship grant (3-9 months) for 2013-14.   For additional information, please contact Liz Malinkin at

Media Coverage of the Title VIII Cut:

RIA-Novosti: “US Defunds Venerable Russian Studies Program”

RIA-Novosti: “US Ambassador is Alumnus of Defunded Russian Studies Program”

Inside Higher Ed: “Federal Cuts for Eurasian and Eastern European Studies”

Moscow Times: “Key Russia Program Axed Amid U.S. Government Cuts”

Russia Direct: Op-Ed by Laura Adams, “Why America Needs to Fund the Next Generation of Russia Scholars” “Почему Госдепартамент больше не платит за исследования бывшего СССР”

Sean Guillory’s blog posts: “Defunding Title VIII” & “Title VIII and Ambassador McFaul”

[originally posted 10/22/2013; updated on 11/11/13]

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