Get Funding for Editing or Translating Your Academic Manuscript

Without Needing to Mortgage Your House

Graduate student shares her research with her professor

Quality academic translation and academic editing play a significant role in making your research readable, comprehensive, coherent, and are also essential to ensuring your scholarship meets the high standards of the academic publishing industry worldwide.

But like all good things, superior editing and translation services come with a cost. This should not deter you, though, from writing, getting your work fine-tuned, and publishing it. Different government agencies, grants, and nonprofits supporting scholarly and literary publishing can help you fund the academic editing and proofreading services you need.

University Funds

Universities receive funds for research from the government, nonprofits, and the private sector. Find out if your existing research grant (assuming you have one) already covers the cost of editing and translation. If not, try negotiating with your university’s research authority. They may be open to you using money set aside for travel to a conference or a seminar for editing and translation services instead—after all, publishing is as essential to career development as conference attendance, if not more so.


Platforms like Kickstarter.com, Patreon, Indiegogo and GoFundMe help you raise money from friends, family, and strangers to meet the costs of getting your work translated and edited. Clearly articulate the purpose and relevance of your research to convince people that your project is worth their money.

Before beginning your campaign on a crowdfunding site, it’s worth doing your homework:

  • Is the platform considered a legitimate funding source in your country?
  • Does it cater to your subject area?
  • What percentage does the site charge for commission, and other related rules?
  • How many projects have been successfully funded in the past?

Grants and Fellowships

Apart from universities, some other organizations also provide grants to underwrite editing and translation.

European Research Council

Headquartered in Brussels, the ERC is a widely acclaimed public body that funds research in the humanities, exact sciences, and social sciences. Supporting only the best of the best in research, the ERC gives precedence to the quality of an idea, rather than a particular area of research.

Funds are generally given to researchers in EU member states and “associated countries” like Turkey, Israel, and Armenia, but scholars from anywhere in the world can apply so long as the research is carried out in an eligible country.

Even if you fail to make the cut as an ERC scholar, there are also opportunities to join an ERC-funded project, including through international agreements with funding agencies and science ministries in other countries, and for visiting research fellowships.

Scholarly Editions and Translations Grant by the National Endowment for the Humanities

Established in 1965, NEH is a US government agency that offers grants for research in the humanities. The Scholarly Editions and Translations Grant funds the editions and translations of texts that are currently inaccessible or available only in inadequate editions or transcriptions. Subjects covered under this grant include modern and classical languages, literature, history, philosophy, and jurisprudence. The maximum amount offered is $300,000 and the grant is open to both individual scholars and organizations.

PEN/HEIM Translation Fund Grants

Started in 2003 by Michael Henry Heim and Pricilla Heim, the PEN/Heim Translation Fund promotes the publication and reception of translated international literature in English. PEN actively supports young translators, helps them find publishers for major international works, and helps make underrepresented writers better known to English-speaking readers.

With additional support from Amazon since 2009, PEN/HEIM has backed almost 200 translations from more than 35 languages, including French, Spanish, German, Russian, Chinese, Japanese, Armenian, Basque, Estonian, Persian, Finland-Swedish, Lithuanian, and Mongolian. Many of these books were accepted for publication because the translators were awarded this prestigious grant.

Goethe-Institut Grant Program

A globally-renowned body for German culture, the Goethe-Institut in the USA has three grant programs to underwrite translation projects from German. While these programs are primarily aimed at publishers, and do not provide 100% of publishing and translation costs, contact the Goethe-Institut for more information if you think your work falls under their grant scheme.

Tripwire Micro-grants for Translation

An initiative of Tripwire, a journal of poetics founded in 1998, this grant is aimed at translators of contemporary experimental writing. A grant of $200 is allocated for translations of contemporary prose, poems, essays, or interviews. Translators should send proposals along with samples of their work for consideration.

Putting your best effort into obtaining funds for editing and translation will be sure to pay off: attracting wider audiences for your work, easing publication, and making your research stand out in the global marketplace. This is something any discerning research scholar cannot afford to miss.

Get help with your grant proposal