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Fellowship Programs at Independent Research Institutions (FPIRI)

Grants to USA Nonprofits and Agencies
to Support Humanities Fellowships

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

Deadline Date:

08/22/18 11:59 PM Receipt


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Grants to USA nonprofit organizations and government agencies to support fellowships that facilitate quality research and advanced study in the humanities. Funding is intended to sponsor scholars who are working away from their institutions and homes. Fellowships provide scholars with research time, a stimulating intellectual environment, and access to resources that might otherwise not be available to them.

Fellowship programs may be administered by independent centers for advanced study, libraries, and museums in the United States; American overseas research centers; and American organizations that have expertise in promoting research in foreign countries. Individual scholars apply directly to the institutions for fellowships.

In evaluating applications consideration is given to the library holdings, archives, special collections, and other resources—either onsite or nearby—that institutions make available to fellows.

FPIRI grants provide funding for humanities fellowships of four to twelve months. The fellowships are held at the U.S. grantee institutions or—in the case of overseas research centers and organizations—abroad.

An individual long-term fellowship may be split between two FPIRI-funded institutions. Cooperating institutions should discuss and agree upon the tenure and stipend to be awarded by each institution to ensure that the maximum fellowship stipend and tenure are not exceeded. Institutions should ask individuals to whom they are offering awards if they have applied for or are already receiving other NEH funding.

A recipient institution may supplement the stipends of FPIRI fellows from its own funds, and fellows may receive additional funds from other sources. FPIRI fellows must be granted the same benefits, services, and accommodations normally accorded other fellows. In some circumstances recipient institutions may withhold a portion of the FPIRI fellows’ stipends to cover the costs of housing and meals at a residential center. In their fellowship announcements and award letters, institutions must clearly state the full value of the NEH stipend and, if applicable, the amount withheld.

Recipient institutions must ensure the fair and informed selection of recipients of FPIRI fellowships by relying on the recommendations of an external committee composed of qualified scholars drawn from outside the institution’s staff and governing bodies. The committee must convene (either virtually or in person), and all members must be replaced each year. NEH requires selection committees to consist of at least three persons. NEH funds may be awarded only to applicants recommended by the external committee.

Recipient institutions must avoid real or perceived conflicts of interest in the composition of the selection committee and its deliberations. Staff, officers, board members, and trustees of the institution may not serve as pre-screening evaluators or voting members on committees that review applications for FPIRI awards. The same restrictions apply to staff, officers, and trustees of parent organizations. Persons holding individual memberships at an institution should not constitute a majority on that institution’s selection committee.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 164803

Estimated Size of Grant:

FPIRI awards support fellowship stipends at a rate of $5,000 per month and up to $5,000 total per year for the costs of selecting fellows.

As a result, the minimum fellowship is now $20,000 (for four months of full-time work). The maximum fellowship is now $60,000 (for twelve months of full-time work).

For informational purposes only, recent awards have ranged from $47,000 to $318,900.

Term of Contract:

The period of performance begins on January 1, 2020 with the first round of selection for 2020-21 fellows, and it ends on June 30, 2023 (the end of the final academic year in which fellowships are awarded).

Fellowship tenure must be continuous and last from four to twelve months. Residential NEH fellows are expected to be in residence during their entire tenure period and to work on their projects on a full-time basis. Likewise, nonresidential NEH fellows are expected to work on their projects on a full-time basis. If a fellow is obliged through special circumstances to depart before the end of the tenure period, he/she shall receive a pro rata stipend payment.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

To apply for a FPIRI grant, an organization must meet two criteria:

1. The applicant organization must have established and maintained a fellowship program for at least the three years immediately preceding the application deadline for this program.

2. The applicant organization must be financed, governed, and administered independently of institutions of higher education. To demonstrate its independence, the applicant must meet all of the following conditions:
- It must be a U.S. nonprofit institution with its own 501(c)(3) status, a state or local governmental agency, or a federally recognized Native American tribal government.
- It must be financially independent from institutions of higher education, with no single college or university contributing more than 49 percent to the applicant organization’s annual operating budget (including in-kind donations
such as workspace, administrative support, etc.).
- It must be governed by its own board of trustees, with a majority of members from no single institution of higher education.
- It must be administered by a professional, independent chief executive officer or equivalent.

Individuals, institutions of higher education, and foreign entities are not eligible to apply.

NEH generally does not award grants 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 grant funds from, or sites and materials controlled by, other federal entities in their projects.

- Fellowships, supported entirely or in part by NEH funds, are for individuals who have completed their formal professional training. Consequently, degree candidates and individuals seeking support for work in pursuit of a degree are not eligible to hold NEH-supported fellowships. Advanced degree candidates must have completed all requirements, except for the actual conferral of the degree, by the application deadline for the fellowship.
- Foreign nationals are not eligible to apply for fellowships unless they have lived in the United States for the three years immediately preceding the application deadline for the fellowship.
- Although NEH fellows may hold other fellowships or grants during fellowship tenure, including sabbaticals and grants from their own institutions, they may not hold another concurrent NEH grant.
- Institutions must give all eligible applicants equal consideration; they may not restrict eligibility to members of a scholarly organization or to persons affiliated with institutional members of a scholarly organization.
- Institutions may not accept applications from any of their own officers, employees, members of the board of trustees or advisers, or selection committee members, until at least one year has elapsed since the person’s last service in such a position. The same restriction applies to officers, employees, and board members of parent organizations.
- Institutions may not require an administrative or application fee of applicants for NEH fellowships.
- Fellowship tenure must be fulltime and continuous.

Pre-Application Information:


- Until August 22, 2018: Contact Division of Research Programs program officers with questions and for advice (optional)
- July 11, 2018: Applicants that have not registered in the System for Award Management (SAM) and should begin the process by this date
- July 25, 2018: Submit draft application (optional) by this date
- August 8, 2018: Applicants that have registered in SAM and should verify their registrations by this date
- August 22, 2018: Applications must be submitted through and validated by by 11:59 PM on this date
- December 2018: Peer review panel takes place
- March 2019: Meeting of the National Council on the Humanities, followed by funding decisions
- March 2019: Applicants are notified of the funding decisions
- April 2019: Institutional grants administrators and project directors of successful applications receive award documents by e-mail from the NEH Office of Grant Management
- January 2020: Successful applicants begin the process of selecting their fellows

Allowable pre-award costs for the selection of fellows may be included in the budget, as long as they are incurred no more than ninety days before the January 1 start of the grant. Pre-award expenditures are made at the recipient’s risk, and the recipient’s authority to approve such costs does not impose an obligation on NEH in the event an award is not made or is made for an amount that is less than the recipient anticipated. All other project activities and expenditures of project funds must occur during the period of performance. A recipient institution must contact the NEH Division of Research Programs and Office of Grant Management concerning any proposed changes to an awarded budget.

FPIRI awards will generally not provide stipend funding for more than twenty-four fellowship months per year for three years. Applicants seeking stipend support beyond this amount should request matching funds for the additional stipend support at a rate of $5,000 per month—so that every additional month of NEH funding is matched one-to-one by non-NEH funds.

Successful applicants will be awarded outright funds, matching funds, or a combination of the two, depending on the request of the applicant and the availability of funds.

NEH may offer funding at a level different from that requested. In some instances, NEH may offer matching funds only, or it may offer a combination of matching and outright funds in response to a request for outright funds.

Cost sharing consists of the cash contributions made to a project by nonfederal third parties that are used to release federal matching funds.

Applicants use voluntary cost sharing for projects in which the total costs exceed the amount awarded by NEH. Voluntary cost sharing includes cash contributions to a project by the applicant and nonfederal third parties, as well as in-kind contributions, such as donated goods and services.

The initial registration process can take up to two weeks.

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Contact Information:

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

Apply online:

For questions, contact the staff of NEH’s Division of Research Programs at:
Tel: 202-606-8200
TTY: 800-877-8399

Division of Research Programs
National Endowment for the Humanities
400 Seventh Street, SW
Washington, DC 20506

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