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The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). Presented by Mary Huffman for the 2010 Oklahoma State Board of Regents Grant Writing Institute. National Endowment for the Humanities. 1-800-NEH-1121. What types of grants does the National Endowment for the Humanities fund?

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the national endowment for the humanities neh
The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH)

Presented by Mary Huffman

for the

2010 Oklahoma State Board of Regents

Grant Writing Institute

neh gov 1 800 neh 1121

What types of grants does the National Endowment for the Humanities fund?

NEH offers grants for humanities projects in education, public programs, preservation and access, and research.

what does the term humanities encompass
What does the term “Humanities” encompass?

The study of history, literature, languages, philosophy, comparative religion, and other related disciplines.

question what do you want to do
Question: What do you want to do?

Raise money for your home institution to support the humanities?

Explore ways of applying digital technology to the humanities? Enhance your classroom teaching?

Preserve collections?

Provide advanced training in preservation methods?

what else would you like to do
What else would you like to do?

Develop a reference work or research tool?

Plan or implement an exhibition or interpretive program?

Develop or produce a radio or television broadcast or a digitally delivered program?

Conduct research on a humanities subject?

neh might be the one to contact
NEH might be the one to contact

But wait! Let’s narrow this down a little, before you call someone.

Let’s start off with the different divisions of NEH – after all, you don’t want to waste your time getting the runaround, do you?

neh has 8 different divisions with funding available
NEH has 8 different Divisions with funding available

Division of Education Programs

Division of Preservation and Access

Division of Public Programs

Division of Research Programs

Federal/State Partnership

Office of Challenge Grants

Office of Digital Humanities

division of education

Division of Education

Seeks to improve humanities education at schools and colleges

division of education programs
Division of Education Programs
  • Grants for teaching and learning the humanities in schools and colleges in the U.S.
  • Summer Seminars and Institutes for College and University Teachers
  • Summer Seminars and Institutes for School Teachers
  • Landmarks of American History & Culture workshops for:
    • School teachers
    • Community college faculty
more division of education programs
MoreDivision of Education Programs
  • Humanities Initiatives:
    • Historically Black College and Universities
    • Institutions with High Hispanic Enrollment
    • Tribal Colleges &University
  • Enduring Questions
  • Teaching Development Fellowships
  • Picturing America School Collaboration Projects
division of preservation and access


Provides grants for humanities collections and reference resources

division of preservation and access1
Division of Preservation and Access

Humanities Collections and Reference Resources

Research and Development Projects

Education and Training

Preservation Assistance Grants for Smaller Institutions

division of preservation and access cont
Division of Preservation and Access, cont.

National Digital Newspaper Program

Documenting Endangered Languages

Save America’s Treasures

Sustaining Cultural Heritage Collections

division of public programs

Division of Public Programs

Grant programs to provide opportunities for life-long learning

division of public programs1
Division of Public Programs

America’s Historical and Cultural Organizations

America’s Media Makers

Bridging Cultures through Film: International Topics

Small Grants to Libraries

NEH on the Road

division of research programs

Division of Research Programs

Encourages research and writing in all areas of the humanities, including the study of history, literature, philosophy, religion, and foreign cultures.

division of research programs1
Division of Research Programs
  • Awards for Faculty:
    • at Historically Black Colleges and Universities
    • at Institutions with High Hispanic Enrollment
    • at Tribal Colleges and Universities
division of research programs cont
Division of Research Programs – cont.

Fellowships for teaching development and for Advanced Social Science Research on Japan

Fellowship Programs at Independent Research Institutions

division of research programs cont1
Division of Research Programs – cont.

Summer Stipends

Documenting Endangered Languages

Collaborative Research

Scholarly Editions and Translations

federal state partnership

Federal/State Partnership

This collaborative effort links NEH with fifty-six nonprofit state and jurisdictional humanities councils.

federal state partnership1
Federal/State Partnership

Grant Programs :

General Operating Support Grants

We the People Project Grants for State Humanities Councils

office of challenge grants

Office of Challenge Grants

By offering matching funds, challenge grants help local, state, and national institutions secure their humanities resources and activities for the long term.

office of challenge grants1
Office of Challenge Grants

Grant Programs:

We the People Challenge Grants in United States History, Institutions, and Culture

Special Encouragement Challenge Grants

Digital Humanities Challenge Grants

office of digital humanities

Office of Digital Humanities

NEH’s Office of Digital Humanities takes a leadership role in helping the humanities embrace and use the technology created by the digital revolution.

office of digital humanities1
Office of Digital Humanities

Digital Humanities Start-Up Grants

Institutes for Advanced Topics in the Digital Humanities

DFG/NEH Bilateral Digital Humanities Programs:

office of digital humanities cont
Office of Digital Humanities – cont.

DFG/NEH Bilateral Digital Humanities Programs:

Enriching Digital Collections

The Digging into Data Challenge

check them all out
Check them all out!

Click on “Divisions”

Under each division is a list of grants where you can see sample projects and program guidelines

who can apply
Who can apply?

Individual or institutional grant?

Please consult the “Eligibility” section of specific program guidelines for more information.

institutional applications
Institutional Applications

U.S. nonprofit institutions (public agencies or private nonprofit organizations) are eligible for funding; state and local governments are also eligible.

electronic applications
Electronic Applications

Go to:

Individuals and institutions applying for an NEH grant must go through

For easier access, go the relevant NEH website ( and find the application instructions, this will link directly to

review process
Review Process

Step 1:

Proposals are reviewed by a Peer panel :

Ratings: E, VG, G, SM, NC

review process cont
Review Process - cont.

Step 2

The National Council for the Humanities reviews the panel decisions and makes recommendations for funding.

review process cont1
Review Process - cont.

Step 3

The Chairman decides who gets funded based on the recommendations from the panel, the staff, and the Council.

how is my proposal evaluated
How is my proposal evaluated?

Evaluation is based on:

Intellectual merit

Quality of the project design

Potential for significant results

(and following instructions)

Did I mention reading AND following instructions?

when will i know
When will I know?

How long until I hear if my grant is funded after it’s submitted?

Generally it takes 7-8 months after the deadline to hear a decision.

helpful hints
Helpful Hints

Talk to your institution AND a program officer at NEH about your idea

Visit and READ the guidelines, particularly the “Criteria for Selection”

Go to, play around and learn - they have tutorials

helpful hints cont
Helpful Hints – cont.

4. Get samples (yes, NEH does have samples), and ask questions

5. Make an outline from the application instructions and follow it!

6. Write a draft and get someone to read it.

helpful hints cont1
Helpful Hints – cont.

7. Work with the NEH program director via email or phone and ask for comments/suggestions on the draft

8. Submit the application before the deadline (Just in case the computer breaks)

9. Ask for a letter with reviewer comments of why, or why not funded

helpful hints cont2
Helpful Hints – cont.

10. If not funded, rewrite and resubmit – try, try again! (do NOT submit the same proposal without revisions)

11. Become a panelist/reviewer yourself (fill out the form online at

12. Read other NEH applications your institution has submitted, if possible

notes from a program officer
Notes from a Program Officer:

Most important!

What is listed FIRST in the grant applications instructions is FIRST for a REASON!

(Follow the outline you made, remember the outline you made?)

more notes from a program officer
More Notes from a Program Officer:

The reviewers look for “quality” not geographic distribution of grant awarded.

Explain your speciality for the benefit of the panelists.

and more notes from a program officer
AndMore Notes from a Program Officer:

Limit the jargon!

Address the grant to a general audience

(Send a draft to a relative to see if they understand it!)

and even more notes from a program officer
AndevenMore Notes from a Program Officer:

List the strengths of the project “before”you write the grant, e.g. does your institution have a new class/program they’re offering?

How did the project come about?

What do you bring to the table?

and the last notes from a program officer
And the last Notes from a Program Officer:

The reviewers need to see how the curriculum vitas, bibliographies, etc. relate to the narrative

i.e., are the people who would be working on the grant qualified to perform the work?

and finally my own notes
And finally, my own notes

Read all instructions, follow the instructions, follow and read the instructions, write the proposal according to the instructions

Outline your own draft to see if it follows the instructions 

here s wishing you
Here’s wishing you ….

a-MAZING results and a new beginning!


Powerpoint presentation from Rebecca Boggs, Senior Program Officer, Division of Education Programs,

Notes from meeting held with Doug Arnold, NEH Program Director on Feb. 2, 2009