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Faculty Publishing Subventions

Virginia Tech recognizes the financial challenges that faculty members face in publishing their scholarly and creative research. With this in mind, the Provost’s Office, in conjunction with the colleges and University Libraries, is pleased to offer publishing subventions in cases where there is a documented need.

Two programs are offered

1. The Faculty Subvention Fund

This fund, formerly known as the Faculty Book Publishing Subvention Fund, was broadened in 2020 to include creative research as well as scholarly books. The fund is administered on behalf of the Provost’s Office by the University Libraries.

Decisions about funding are made by the Faculty Subvention Fund Committee. Current members are:

  • Ignacio Moore (Chair, Biological Sciences)
  • Rachel Scott (Religion and Culture)
  • Jason Crafton (School of Performing Arts)
  • Ashley Reed (English)
  • Peter Potter (Library)

Typical subventions fall in the $500 - $2,000 range and are generally used to cover a particular expense or expenses over and above a publisher’s baseline editorial, production, and marketing budget. Scholarly books as well as creative works (e.g. musical recordings) are eligible for funding.

Funding is contingent on the faculty member obtaining a commitment of financial support from the Department and from the College. The amount of the subvention is usually divided as follows among the Department (25%), College (25%), and Provost's Office/Libraries (50%).

Evaluation criteria used by the committee:

  • Academic merit of the project
  • Quality and suitability of the publisher
  • Commitment of financial support from the author’s department
  • Commitment of financial support from the author’s college

Procedure for Requesting a Faculty Subvention

  1. Interested faculty member should contact the Faculty Subvention Fund Committee chair. If the chair determines that a project is eligible, the faculty member should obtain the following documentation:
    • Description of project;
    • Information about the publisher (Why is this publisher suitable for this project?);
    • Letter from publisher stating the amount requested and how it will be used. The letter must be accompanied by a budget (see below);
    • Written confirmation (with amount) of financial support from both the Department and from the College.
  2. Submit the required documentation via email to the committee chair.
  3. The committee deliberates and reaches a decision.
  4. The chair contacts the faculty member with the decision.
  5. Library representative coordinates payment with faculty member’s department.

Information for Publishers
Publishers should prepare a letter stating the amount requested and how the funds will be used. The letter must be accompanied by a completed Virginia Tech Faculty Subvention Worksheet (XLSX), which will help the Committee in its determination process. Please bear in mind the following:

  • Funding is limited so applicants may not be awarded the full amount of support requested. Therefore, it is best to break down specific expenses and prioritize them in order of need.
  • Typical subventions fall in the $500 - $2,000 range and are generally used to cover specific expenses over and above the publisher’s baseline budget—e.g. an extensive art program, or special editorial and/or marketing expenses.
  • For funding requests above $2,000, it is important to stipulate both why the additional funding is needed and what impact the funds will have on the publication (e.g. lower list price, greater marketing effort, etc.). 

The Publisher should send the letter and completed worksheet to the faculty member, who will then submit it to the Faculty Subvention Fund Committee for review. The final decision will be conveyed to the faculty member, who will then notify the publisher.

For successful applications, publishers are asked to acknowledge the support of Virginia Tech prominently in or on the work as follows:
“Publication of this work was made possible with financial support from the Faculty Subvention Fund at Virginia Tech.”

2. TOME (Toward an Open Monograph Ecosystem) 

Virginia Tech is one of 20 participating universities in the TOME initiative, which was launched in 2017 by the Association of American Universities (AAU), the Association of Research Libraries (ARL), and the Association of University Presses (AUPresses) to support the publication of open access, digital monographs. TOME is designed to advance the wide dissemination of long-form, peer-reviewed scholarship by humanities and humanistic social sciences faculty members. Learn More

As a participant in this initiative, Virginia Tech is prepared to award a total of 15 grants over the 5-year period from 2018 to 2022. The baseline amount of each grant is $15,000 to support the publication of an open access, digital monograph of 90,000 words or less. Additional funding may be available for works of greater length or complexity.

Note: To be considered for a TOME grant, faculty members must have a peer-reviewed manuscript accepted for publication by one of the participating presses.

See a list of TOME books published to date by Virginia Tech faculty.

For further information, interested faculty should email Peter Potter, University Libraries.