The Social Science Research Council (SSRC) has awarded $52,289 to three Harvard centers: the Center for Middle Eastern Studies, the Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies, and the Harvard Asia Center. The grant, which is part of a larger funding effort by the SSRC, is given in support of projects intended to influence public discourse on Islam.

The Harvard project, titled “Islam-in-Context: Media and Technology Capacity Building for Academics,” will develop a Web-based resource site of accessible expert voices at Harvard on Islam in context and a manual for how to understand Islam in context and channels through which scholars might contact and influence the media. The grant will support the three centers for one year.

For this grant cycle, the SSRC awarded funding totaling $591,487 (grants ranged from $50,000 to $96,600) to 10 universities representing 27 national resource centers as part of the grants program titled “Academia in the Public Sphere: Islam and Muslims in World Contexts.” The Carnegie Corp., which is providing the funding, created this program in November 2007 in recognition of the 50th anniversary of the Department of Education Title VI program, dedicated to international education and public education, in order to complement existing federal funding.

The funded projects will create both durable infrastructure supporting public engagement and content for various forums, including town hall lectures, national and local public radio stations, and local newspapers.