National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) - Division of Research Programs
12/05/18 11:59 PM ET Receipt (12:00 Noon ET Recommended Submission)
Grants to USA nonprofit organizations, government agencies, IHEs, tribal governments, and individual scholars to support research collaboration on humanities-related topics. Funding is intended to support both single-area and interdisciplinary projects, within and beyond the humanities disciplines, that employ humanistic research methods.
Debate, exchange of ideas, and working together—all are basic activities that advance humanities knowledge and foster rich scholarship that would not be possible by researchers working on their own. The Collaborative Research grant program encourages collaboration that proposes diverse approaches to topics, incorporates multiple points of view, and explores new avenues of inquiry that lead to publications and other resources for humanities scholars, general audiences, or both.
Collaborative Research grants support groups of two or more scholars engaging in significant and sustained research in the humanities. The program seeks to encourage projects in a single field of study, as well as interdisciplinary work, both within the humanities and beyond. Projects that include partnerships with researchers from the natural and social sciences are encouraged, but they must remain firmly rooted in the humanities and must employ humanistic methods. Collaborators may be drawn from a single institution or several institutions across the United States; up to half of the collaborators may be based outside of the U.S. Partnerships among different sorts of institutions are welcome: for example, research universities might partner with teaching colleges, libraries, museums, or independent research institutions.
Eligible projects must propose tangible and sustainable outcomes such as co-authored or multi-authored books; born-digital publications; themed issues of peer-reviewed journals; and open-access digital resources. All project outcomes must be based on and must convey interpretive humanities research. All award recipients are expected to disseminate the results of their work to scholarly audiences and/or general audiences.
Funding is available for sustained full-time or part-time activities during the period of performance to facilitate collaboration. Funds may be requested to cover, where appropriate, salary replacement; compensation of collaborators, consultants, and research assistants; fringe benefits; and travel, lodging, and per diem costs. Indirect costs can be included.
Collaborative Research offers the following three types of awards to address different sorts of projects and stages of development:
Type 1 - Convening Grants:
Convening grants typically fund conferences and working group meetings to sharpen the chosen research topic and discuss and plan subsequent publication.
Type 2 - Publication Grants:
Publication grants support the project toward completion of its publication goals. Publications can appear in traditional print or in digital form. Note that costs paid to publishers and subventions are not supported.
Type 3 - Archaeology Grants:
Archaeology grants support projects that lead to publication.
A Type 1 Convening Grant can be used to plan and prepare for a Type 2 Publication Grant in a subsequent year. A Type 1 grant is not, however, a prerequisite for a Type 2 grant. Collaborators who have done their planning and are ready to work toward completion and publication can apply directly for a Type 2 Publication grant.
Providing Access to Grant Products: As a taxpayer-supported federal agency, NEH endeavors to make the products of its grants available to the broadest possible audience. NEH’s goal is for scholars, educators, students, and the American public to have ready access to the wide range of NEH grant products. For projects that lead to the development of digital materials, all other considerations being equal, NEH gives preference to those that provide free access to the public.
NEH encourages projects that promote a deeper understanding of American history and culture, as well as projects that advance civic education and knowledge of America’s core principles of government.
NEH invites projects related to its Standing Together initiative, which encourages projects related to war and military service.
In response to the destruction of cultural heritage materials worldwide, NEH encourages applications for projects that study, document, or create digital representations of lost or imperiled cultural heritage materials. Proposed projects should be based on scholarly work and follow standards and best practices. Project teams must include appropriate methodological specialists and humanities scholars. Projects must demonstrate the capacity to be sustained and must be widely accessible to the public.
NEH encourages submission of Collaborative Research applications from independent scholars and faculty at Hispanic-Serving Institutions, Historically Black Colleges and Universities, and Tribal Colleges and Universities.
All applications will be given equal consideration in accordance with the program’s evaluation criteria.
Indirect costs (if applicable) are included in the awarded amount.
NEH will use the following criteria to evaluate Collaborative Research applications:
1. Significance: The intellectual significance of the project to humanities scholars, general audiences, or both; the merit of the resulting interpretive study and publication; the project’s potential to stimulate new research; and its relevance to larger questions in the humanities.
2. Work Plan and Method: The clarity and feasibility of the work plan; the clarity of expression in the application; the appropriateness and feasibility of the research methods proposed to answer an explicit set of research questions; the appropriateness of digital and technical methods and services employed in the project; and the project’s ability to access the research site or materials.
3. Collaborators: The qualifications, expertise, and levels of commitment of the project director and collaborators, and the appropriateness and value of the collaboration for producing significant publications and resources for humanities audiences.
4. Publication Goals: The soundness of the publication, dissemination, and access plans, including the strength of the case for employing print, a digital format, or a combination of media; and the sustainability plan for digital projects.
5. Completion: The likelihood that the project goals will be completed within the stated time frame; and the reasonableness of the budget in relation to the proposed activities and plan of work. For previously funded applicants, the project’s productivity in relation to previous goals and accomplishments.
GrantWatch ID#: 151112
- Convening Grants will not exceed $50,000.
- For Publication and Archaeology Grants: The total award will not exceed $100,000 for a one-year project or $250,000 for a three-year project.
Projects may begin as early as October 1, 2019, and as late as September 1, 2020.
- Convening grants are made for a period of performance of one year.
- The period of performance for Publication and Archaeology Grants is one to three years.
The Collaborative Research program accepts applications from both institutions and U.S. citizens without an institutional affiliation (who may apply as unaffiliated project directors). Note that all projects must include at least one collaborating scholar in addition to the project director, who must be a scholar and not an administrator or press representative.
The following types of applicants are eligible:
- U.S. nonprofit organizations with 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status;
- Institutions of higher education;
- State and local governments;
- Federally recognized Native American tribal governments; and
- Unaffiliated project directors who are U.S. citizens.
NEH grantees must follow the requirements of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, which is designed to eliminate discrimination on the basis of handicap in any program or activity receiving federal financial assistance.
Project directors affiliated with an eligible institution must ordinarily apply through their own institution. If the project can be better hosted by a different U.S. institution, they may apply through that institution. Applicant institutions may, however, designate a project director affiliated with another institution if that person is a leading scholar in a relevant field of study
Only U.S. citizens who are adjunct faculty, teaching at foreign universities, or without institutional affiliation may apply as unaffiliated project directors.
Note that project participants (including the project director) need not be U.S. citizens or U.S. residents, so long as the applicant institution is eligible. However, at least 50 percent of award funds (excluding indirect costs) must be used to support research conducted at U.S.-based institutions, research conducted by citizens of or residents in the U.S., or both.
Degree candidates may not be project directors, co-directors, or the only other collaborator. If an individual on the project team is the project director, co-director, or the only other collaborator, and has satisfied all the requirements for a degree and is awaiting its conferral, the application must include as an appendix a letter from the dean of the conferring school attesting to the individual’s having completed all degree requirements by the application deadline.
NEH generally does not make awards to other federal entities or to applicants whose projects are so closely intertwined with a federal entity that the project takes on characteristics of the federal entity’s own authorized activities. This does not preclude applicants from using funds from, or sites and materials controlled by, other federal entities in their projects. Such resources may not, however, be used as gifts to release NEH matching funds.
The following types of applicants are ineligible:
- Other federal agencies;
- For-Profit institutions; and
- Unaffiliated project directors who are not U.S. citizens.
Collaborative Research Grants may not be used for:
- Projects undertaken by individuals without collaboration;
- Education projects that propose the development of curricula, teaching methods or theories, or education or technical impact assessments;
- Professional development or training;
- Meetings of professional and scholarly organizations, societies, and institutions;
- Planning or putting on exhibitions;
- Inventories of collections;
- Development of tools, including digital tools, databases, visualizations, or maps, unless they contribute to answering the project’s research questions;
- Anthologies of previously published materials;
- Archaeology field schools;
- The planning or production of documentary films;
- Publication subvention or other publication costs;
- Promotion of a particular political, religious, or ideological point of view;
- Advocacy for a particular program of social or political action;
- Support of specific public policies or legislation;
- Projects that fall outside of the humanities; the creation or performance of art; creative writing, memoirs, and creative nonfiction; and empirically based social science research or policy studies.
This program does not support travel to annual professional conferences, receptions, or lab or computer equipment.
- Until December 5, 2018: Contact Division of Research Programs program officers with questions and for advice (optional)
- November 21, 2018: Register your institution (or verify its registration) with Grants.gov by this date (unaffiliated project directors must register themselves or verify their registration by this date)
- December 5, 2018: Applications must be submitted through and validated by Grants.gov by 11:59 PM Eastern Time on this date
- March-April 2019: Peer review panels take place
- July 2019: Meeting of the National Council on the Humanities, followed by funding decisions
- August 2019: Applicants are notified of the funding decisions
- September 2019: Institutional grants administrators and project directors of successful applications receive award documents by e-mail from the NEH Office of Grant Management
- October 1, 2019: Successful applicants may begin work on their projects as early as this date
- September 1, 2020: Successful applicants must begin work on their projects no later than this date
Applications must be received and validated by Grants.gov by 11:59 P.M., Eastern Time, on December 5, 2018. NEH strongly suggests that you submit your application no later than noon Eastern Time on the day of the deadline. Applicants will be notified of the decision by e-mail by August 31, 2019.
All applications to this program must be submitted via Grants.gov. Before using Grants.gov for the first time, each organization must have an Employer Identification Number (EIN); both organizations and unaffiliated project directors must register with Grants.gov. Interested applicants must also register for a SAM number/DUNS number. Registration for both the SAM/DUNS number and for a grants.gov account are vital to the grants process and must be completed prior to applying for this grant program. If you already have registered for these items, make sure they are up to date.
In summation, the Grants.gov registration process for institutional applicants requires completing information in three separate systems:
1. Dun and Bradstreet (https://fedgov.dnb.com/webform)
2. System for Award Management (SAM) (https://www.sam.gov) The initial SAM registration can take up to six weeks. It is strongly recommended that you verify the status of your SAM registration at least two weeks before the application deadline.
3. Grants.gov (https://www.grants.gov/)
Whether you are an applicant for an organization or an individual applying for grants on your own, you only need to register one account on Grants.gov.
If you are renewing or registering a new entity in SAM.gov, you must mail an original, signed notarized letter stating that you are the authorized Entity Administrator for the entity associated with the DUNS number. (See FAQs listed below.) Currently SAM.gov recommends that registrations and renewals submit their notarized letters at least 45 days in advance of expiration dates or anticipated needs. Please note that you will be unable to access Grants.gov Workspace or fillable application forms until your SAM.gov registration is active.
After you submit your application, Grants.gov will send you up to five e-mail messages confirming receipt of your application. These messages represent different stages in the application acceptance process. You should verify that you have received all confirmation messages. (Please note that email filters may send these messages to your spam or junk folder.)
Cost sharing consists of gift money raised from nonfederal third parties to release federal matching funds. Voluntary cost sharing includes cash contributions to a project by the applicant and nonfederal third parties, in-kind contributions (such as donated goods and services), and
unrecovered indirect costs. Although voluntary cost sharing is not required, the Collaborative Research program is rarely able to support the full costs of projects approved for funding. The balance of the costs is to be borne by the applicant’s institution or other sources.
An award from NEH for one stage of a project does not commit NEH to continued support for the project. Applications for each stage of a project are evaluated independently. Applicants whose projects have received NEH support may apply for an award for a new or subsequent stage of that project. These proposals receive no special consideration and will be judged by the same criteria as others in the competition. In addition, such applicants must substantially update their proposals and must include a description of the new activities and a justification of the new budget. Such applicants must also describe how the previously funded project met its goals.
Successful applicants will be awarded a grant in outright funds, matching funds, or a combination of the two, depending on the applicant’s preference and the availability of funds. Federal matching funds are released on a one-to-one basis when an award recipient secures gift funds from eligible nonfederal third parties. (Note that agencies of the federal government are not eligible third parties.) Overlapping project costs between two or more applications for federal funding and/or approved federal award budgets is not permitted.
An institution may submit multiple applications for distinctly different projects. However, any one project director or co-director may direct only one application to either the Collaborative Research program or the Scholarly Editions and Translations program, but not both. They may, however, apply for other NEH awards, including Fellowships and Summer Stipends.
Project directors and co-directors of funded applications may not hold concurrent fulltime awards from the NEH Division of Research Programs—for example an NEH Fellowship.
NEH must approve any change in the project director(s) and collaborating scholar(s).
Applicants proposing archaeological field work in the United States must also supply additional information to comply with Section 106 of the NHPA. Specifically, they must provide a copy of the request submitted to the State Historic Preservation Officer and/or Tribal Historic Preservation Officer for a written determination of the project’s impact. Applicants proposing U.S. archaeology projects must also comply with the National Environmental Policy Act, the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act of 1990, the Davis-Bacon Act, and the Americans with Disabilities Act.
To prepare a strong application, applicants are encouraged to contact the program staff to discuss your project and raise any questions you may have about the application.
If after reading this document you have questions about this program, contact the staff of NEH’s Division of Research Programs.
About DUNS: https://www.neh.gov/grants/manage/duns-number-requirement
For information on Applicant Registration: https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/applicants/registration.html
For information on Organization Registration: https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/applicants/organization-registration.html
About Registration with SAM: https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/applicants/organization-registration/step-2-register-with-sam.html
For more information about the Grants.gov application process: https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/applicants/applicant-training.html
Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.
To register with Grants.gov prior to applying for this grant program:
For questions, contact:
NEH Division of Research Programs
(Applicants who are deaf or hard of hearing can contact NEH via Federal Relay (TTY users) at 800-877-8399.)
National Endowment for the Humanities
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Washington, DC 20506
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