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Humanities Initiatives at Historically Black Colleges and Universities

Grants to USA Nonprofit Historically Black IHEs in Multiple
States to Strengthen Humanities Courses and Programming

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National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) - Division of Education Programs

Deadline Date:

05/20/21 11:59 PM ET


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Grants to USA and Virgin Islands nonprofit historically Black colleges and universities in multiple states to enhance the humanities curriculum. Applicants are advised that required registrations may take up to one month to complete. Funding is intended for the development or enhancement of resources (including those in digital format), courses of study, and programs. Eligible institutions are located in Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washington DC, West Virginia, and the US Virgin Islands.

Projects must be organized around a core topic or set of themes drawn from such areas of study in the humanities as history, philosophy, religion, literature, and composition and writing skills. NEH welcomes applications for projects that are modest in scope, duration, and budget, as well as applications for expansive, long-term projects. Projects may, but need not be, related to the cultural identity of the applicant institution. For example, it would be allowable for a HispanicServing Institution to submit a proposal on ancient Greek drama. 

The Humanities Initiative programs may support activities such as, but not limited to:

  • Curricular planning and/or community and relationship building that support the institutional mission;
  • Creation of bridge programs for first-year, first-generation, at-risk, nontraditional, and/or secondary-school students;
  • Creation or revision of composition and other courses that focus on close reading, analytical writing, and/or effective speaking in order to incorporate humanities methods and resources;
  • New or enhanced humanities programs, including new majors, minors, certificates, or concentrations, honors programs, first-year seminars, culturally-relevant or place-based curricula, and capstone courses;
  • Creation of humanities-based curricular pathways towards graduation and/or transfer to four-year institutions, if applicable;
  • Opportunities for faculty members to study together, in order to improve their capacity to teach the humanities;
  • Creation or enhancement of humanities resources for the purpose of teaching, including oral histories, literature or film, teaching modules, or guidelines on how to use humanities resources in the classroom;
  • Development of curriculum-focused digital humanities projects, including podcasts, mapping tools, or digital resources for distance learning;
  • Partnerships and collaborative projects in the humanities (for example, dual-enrollment agreements in humanities-based courses for college or high-school students);
  • Collaboration with regional museums, libraries, or historical societies to share resources for teaching and learning; or partnering with a school or school system to strengthen K12 pathways to higher education; and
  • Projects that bring together multiple institutions of higher education or campuses within a district or system for the purpose of curricular development.

NEH is especially interested in supporting projects that advance humanities-related work in the following areas:

  • “A More Perfect Union”: NEH Special Initiative Advancing Civic Education and Commemorating the Nation’s 250th Anniversary
  • Standing Together
  • Protecting our Cultural Heritage

For further details on these topics, see

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 144095

Estimated Size of Grant:

- Award Ceiling: $150,000.
- Award Floor: $1.
- NEH will not determine the amount available until Congress has enacted the final FY 2022

Term of Contract:

The period of performance is one to three years, with a start date between February 1, 2022 and September 1, 2022.


Additional Eligibility Criteria:

U.S. accredited public or 501(c)(3) private Historically Black Colleges and Universities, as defined by Executive Order 13532, are eligible to apply. Eligible institutions are those included in the Department of Education’s list of HBCUs.

Institutions may apply to more than one Humanities Initiatives program, but cannot submit essentially the same proposal to more than one of the five Humanities Initiatives programs. Applicant institutions that are eligible to submit a proposal to Humanities Initiatives at Hispanic-Serving Institutions, Humanities Initiatives at Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Humanities Initiatives at Tribal Colleges and Universities, or Humanities Initiatives at Community Colleges are encouraged to do so. Individuals, foreign, and for-profit entities are not eligible to apply.

Other Eligibility Information:

Funding Restrictions:

Pre-Application Information:

- Application available: February 9, 2021
- Optional Draft due: April 8, 2021
- Application due: May 20, 2021 by 11:59 PM Eastern Time
- Expected notification date: December 17, 2021
- Project start date: February 1, 2022-September 1, 2022

The Humanities Initiatives funding opportunity has five application packages available in, each associated with one of the Humanities Initiatives programs. Select the appropriate package based upon the program to which you are applying: AB2021: Humanities Initiatives at Historically Black Colleges and Universities

Department of Education's list of HBCUs:

Applicants must have a DUNS number to apply. Ensure your and registrations and passwords are current. NEH will not grant deadline extensions for lack of registration. Registration in all systems, including and, may take up to 1 month to complete.

Currently, the registration process requires information in three separate systems:
- Dun and Bradstreet (
- System for Award Management (SAM) (
- (

Program officers will review draft proposals submitted by April 8, 2021. Program officers cannot review drafts submitted after this deadline. Although this optional preliminary review is not part of the formal review process and has no bearing on the final outcome of the proposal, previous applicants have found it helpful in strengthening their applications.

A prerecorded technical assistance webinar will be available on the program resource pages on February 19, 2021.

View this opportunity on

For a list of relevant application documents, go to the Package tab (press Preview) on the link above.

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

If you have questions about the program, contact:
Division of Education Programs
National Endowment for the Humanities
400 Seventh Street, SW
Washington, DC 20506

Applicants who are deaf or hard of hearing (TTY users) can contact NEH via Federal Relay at 800-877-8399.

If you have questions about administrative requirements or allowable costs, contact:
Office of Grant Management
National Endowment for the Humanities
400 Seventh Street, SW
Washington, DC 20506

If you have questions about registering or renewing your registration with or,
contact the Federal Service Desk Monday – Friday 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time at:
Federal Service Desk
U.S. calls: 866-606-8220
International calls: +1 334-206-7828

For assistance in registering with or submitting your application through, contact 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, excluding federal holidays at: Applicant Support
Telephone: 1-800-518-4726
International Calls: 606-545-5035
Always obtain a case number when calling for support.

CFDA Number:


Funding or Pin Number:


URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Alabama;   Arkansas;   Delaware;   Florida;   Georgia;   Kentucky;   Louisiana;   Maryland;   Mississippi;   Missouri;   North Carolina;   Ohio;   Oklahoma;   Pennsylvania;   South Carolina;   Tennessee;   Texas;   Virginia;   Washington, DC;   West Virginia

USA Territories: Virgin Islands (USA)

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