Publication Date

February 1, 2005

In early December 2004, the National Research Council (NRC) announced that its much-anticipated assessment of research doctoral programs—including history—would be delayed for at least a year due to a lack of funds. For the past twenty-five years, the NRC survey and rankings have provided the most reliable benchmark for assessing departments that confer the PhD.

Data collection was scheduled to begin in July, but difficulties in generating the necessary federal funding for the project led to the postponement. Charlotte Kuh, the deputy executive director of the NRC’s Division on Policy and Global Affairs, reported that despite considerable success in raising funds from private foundations (which will contribute approximately 25 percent of the costs), it proved much harder to convince federal agencies to support the project. This was exacerbated by the delays in passing the federal budget last year. According to Kuh, "this is a 'hard sell' because it is about the infrastructure of research."

Despite the difficulty and delay, Kuh reports optimism about ultimately receiving federal funds. Under a revised timeline published by the NRC, data collection will take place in fall 2006, with publication of the final report anticipated in fall 2008.

For the latest news on this project, visit the NRC web site at

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