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Grants to USA Writers to Write Nonfiction Humanities Books for a General Audience

Public Scholars


GrantWatch ID#

Funding Source
National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH)
Division of Research Programs
CFDA Number: 45.160
Funding or PIN Number: 20221130-FZ
Array ( )

Geographic Focus

Important Dates
Deadline: 11/29/23 11:59 PM ET Save

Grant Description
Grants of up to $60,000 to USA writers to write nonfiction books related to the humanities that are geared toward the general public. Applicants are advised that required registration may take at least two weeks to complete. Funding is intended to support the writing of well-researched books in any area of the humanities and at any stage of development. Independent writers, scholars, journalists, and researchers are encouraged to apply.

The purpose of the Public Scholars program is to support the creation of well-researched nonfiction books in the humanities written for the broad public by offering grants to individual authors for research, writing, travel, and other activities leading to publication. The program is intended both to encourage non-academic writers to deepen their engagement with the humanities by strengthening the research underlying their books, and to encourage academic writers in the humanities to communicate the significance of their research to the broadest possible range of readers.

The program welcomes projects in all areas of the humanities, regardless of geographic or chronological focus. The resulting books might present a narrative history, tell the stories of important individuals, analyze significant texts, provide a synthesis of ideas, revive interest in a neglected subject, or examine the latest thinking on a topic.

Books supported by this program must be written in a readily accessible style, must clearly explain specialized terms and concepts, and must frame their topics to have wide appeal. They should also be carefully researched and authoritative, making appropriate use of primary and/or secondary sources and showing appropriate familiarity with relevant existing publications or scholarship. Applications to write books directed primarily to professional scholars are not suitable.

The program supports projects at any stage of development. You may propose to complete your manuscript during the period of performance or at a later date. You may also seek support for the creation of digital or web-based products intended to supplement your proposed book. 


  • Others (see text field entitled "Additional Eligibility Criteria" for clarification)
  • Individuals

Additional Eligibility Criteria
The Public Scholars program accepts applications from individuals, whether they have an affiliation with a scholarly institution or not.

To be eligible to apply, you must have either:
• written as sole author a nonfiction book published by a university or trade press; OR
• written at least three articles or essays appearing in general-interest publications that reach a large national or international audience. The articles or essays may be published either in print or electronically.

The Public Scholars program is designed for individual researchers. You may not divide an award between team members. If you are seeking funding for a co-author, each person must submit a separate application specifying their individual contribution and each applicant must independently meet the eligibility requirements, including the requirement for previous publications.

Organizations are not eligible to apply on your behalf and NEH will not transfer awards to your institution. If you elect to have the stipend paid through your institution, the institution must remit all NEH funds to you. It may not take an institutional allowance or claim indirect costs.

Other restrictions
• If you submit more than one application prior to the application deadline (including submitting to the wrong funding opportunity number or making corrections or updates), NEH will accept your last validated submission, under the correct funding opportunity number, prior to the application deadline as the application of record.
• You may not hold two or more NEH individual awards with overlapping periods of performance (for example, a Fellowship and a Summer Stipend) or in support of the same tasks. NEH will not delay the period of performance beyond the stated timelines of this NOFO to prevent overlap between individual awards.
• You may not work on a project supported by an NEH institutional award as either a project director or team member during the period of performance of an NEH individual award that you are holding full time. NEH does not make awards to other federal entities. If your project is so closely intertwined with a federal entity that the project takes on characteristics of the federal entity’s own authorized activities, it is ineligible. You may use funds from, or sites and materials controlled by, other federal entities in your project.

Proposals for books directed primarily to professional scholars are unlikely to be competitive in this program.

For Funding Restrictions, see

Pre-Proposal Conference
Attend the Upcoming Online Information Session:
A live online information session for prospective applicants will be held on Thursday, September 21 from 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. Eastern. The session will explain the goals of the NEH Public Scholars program, the eligibility requirements, how to apply, how applications are reviewed, and how to write an effective application. There will also be time for questions.

To join the session, please click here

Pre-Application Information
Application Deadlines:
- November 30, 2022 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time
- November 29, 2023 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time

Anticipated Award Announcements :
- 2022 deadline: August 2023
- 2023 deadline: August 2024

Ensure your registration and password are current. NEH will not grant deadline extensions for lack of registration. NEH strongly recommends that you complete your registration at least two weeks before the application deadline.

You must apply using Workspace or a system-to-system solution. You can find this funding opportunity in under number 20221130-FZ. There is also a link on the program resource page.

Additional registration information: You do not need to register in the System for Award Management (SAM). NEH will not process awards for individuals with delinquent federal debt or for individuals who have been suspended, debarred, declared ineligible, or voluntarily excluded from eligibility for covered transactions by any federal department or agency.

Applicants are required to apply online through Workspace. Applicants must first register in in order to apply. NEH strongly recommends that you complete your registration at least two weeks before the application deadline.

View this opportunity on

For a list of application documents, see the Package tab (press Preview) on the page above.

Additional Funding Information

Estimated Total Program Funding:


Number of Grants
Approximately 25 grants per deadline

Estimated Size of Grant
- Estimated Award Amount: Up to $60,000 ($5,000 per month)
- Award Floor: $30,000

Awards may be held part time or full time (or part time for some months and full time for other months). Successful applicants receive a stipend of $5,000 per full-time month. The maximum stipend is $60,000 for a twelve-month period. Awards will be reduced to reflect the smaller time commitment when recipients work part time or for less than twelve months. The minimum award is $30,000, corresponding to six months of full-time work or the equivalent.

Term of Contract
Period of performance: Six to twelve months

Period of Performance: Six months to one year.
- 2022 deadline: projects must start between September 1, 2023, and September 1, 2024.
- 2023 deadline: projects must start between September 1, 2024, and September 1, 2025.

Contact Information
For questions about the program, contact:
Division of Research Programs
National Endowment for the Humanities
400 Seventh Street, SW
Washington, DC 20506

For questions about administrative requirements or allowable costs, contact:
Office of Grant Management
National Endowment for the Humanities

For assistance in registering with or submitting the application through, contact at: Applicant Support
Telephone: 1-800-518-4726
International Calls: 606-545-5035

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