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Summer Seminars and Institutes

Grants to USA Nonprofits and Agencies for
Humanities Professional Development for Educators

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Funding Source:

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National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH)

Deadline Date:

02/22/18 Receipt (5:00 PM ET Recommended Submission)


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Grants to USA and territories nonprofit organizations, government agencies, and IHEs to host humanities programming for teachers and IHE faculty during the upcoming summer term. Applicants must create or verify the required registrations by January 25 and February 8. Applicants may hold humanities institutes and seminars to support the professional development of educators.

NEH Summer Seminars and Institutes grants broaden and deepen understanding of the humanities in supporting professional development programs, specifically designed for a national audience of K-12 educators or college and university faculty. The programs provide one- to four-week opportunities for participants (NEH Summer Scholars) to explore a variety of topics relevant to K-12 or undergraduate education in the humanities.

NEH Summer Seminars and Institutes:
-Focus on the study and teaching of significant texts and other resources;
-Provide models of excellent scholarship and teaching;
-Contribute to the intellectual growth of the of participants; and
-Build lasting communities of inquiry.

An NEH Summer Seminar or Institute may be hosted by a college, university, learned society, center for advanced study, library or other repository, cultural or professional organization, or school or school system. The host site must provide facilities for collegial interaction and scholarship. The program must be held only in the United States and its territories.

Program Audience and Formats:

Seminars and Institutes are designed either for K-12 educators or for college and university faculty. Programs for K-12 educators must involve someone with significant K-12 experience in both project planning and implementation and must respond to K-12 curricular needs.


A Seminar provides an intimate and focused environment in which sixteen participants study a specific humanities topic under the guidance of one or two established scholars. Seminars have few, if any, visiting faculty. They emphasize sustained interaction among the participants and director(s) through discussion of common readings, conversations about teaching, and advising on independent projects.


An Institute allows twenty-five to thirty-six participants to pursue an intensive program of study under a team of scholarly experts, who present a range of perspectives on a humanities topic. Participants and scholars mutually explore connections between scholarship about and the teaching of the topic.

NEH encourages proposals for Summer Seminars and Institutes in the following areas:
-World language study at the intermediate or advanced level through the use of humanistic sources;
-Projects intended primarily for community college faculty; and
-Projects related to the NEH initiative Standing Together: The Humanities and the Experience of War.

NEH also especially encourages projects that include Native American organizations as lead applicants.

All applications will be given equal consideration in accordance with the program’s evaluation criteria, whether or not they are world language projects, projects intended primarily for community college faculty, projects that respond to the Standing Together initiative, or projects including Native American organizations as lead applicants.

Providing Access to Grant Products:

As a taxpayer-supported federal agency, NEH endeavors to make the products of its awards available to the broadest possible audience. NEH's goal is for scholars, educators, students, and the American public to have ready and easy access to the wide range of NEH grant products. For projects that develop Web-based resources, all other considerations being equal, NEH prefers those that provide free access to the public.

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. For more information consult Design for Accessibility: A Cultural Administrator's Handbook here.

Evaluation Criteria:

Applications are evaluated according to three general criteria of evaluation: intellectual quality and significance, program design and feasibility, and impact.

1. Intellectual quality and significance

The topic of the proposal must be significant for humanities scholarship and teaching. The project must have an intellectual rationale that is fully developed, clear, and persuasive; subject matter that is balanced and incorporates a variety of approaches and viewpoints; primary sources (including artwork, material objects, or performances, if relevant) and secondary texts that are well chosen; and faculty who are excellent teachers and who possess significant expertise in relevant academic area(s).

2. Program design and feasibility

The proposal must demonstrate suitable alignment of program length and scope; realistic and well-planned schedules and activities; adequate access to facilities and other resources for study and collegial exchange; strong evidence of commitment from the host institution and project scholars; and a realistic project budget. Project directors must demonstrate expertise in program execution and the ability to facilitate a collegial environment.

3. Impact

The proposal must indicate sustained intellectual and professional benefits for scholarship and teaching, and adequate plans for dissemination activities and/or digital projects.

Proposals for K-12 projects must also demonstrate how the program aligns with K-12 humanities subject areas, will improve participants’ understanding of key topics, and will enhance effective teaching practices.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 178151

Estimated Size of Grant:

-1 Week: $70,000
-2 Weeks: $90,000
-3 Weeks: $105,000
-4 Weeks: $125,000

-1 Week: $110,000
-2 Weeks: $160,000
-3 Weeks: $185,000
-4 Weeks: $200,000

Term of Contract:

Seminars and Institutes will take place Summer 2019.

Grant Period:
-Seminars (twelve months): October 1, 2018, to September 30, 2019
-Institutes (fifteen months): October 1, 2018, to December 31, 2019


  • City or township governments
  • County governments
  • Native American tribal governments (Federally recognized)
  • Nonprofits having a 501(c)(3) status with the IRS, other than institutions of higher education
  • Private institutions of higher education
  • Public and State controlled institutions of higher education
  • See RFP and/or Grant Guidelines for full eligibility
  • Special district governments
  • State governments

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Any U.S. nonprofit organization with 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status is eligible, as are state and local governmental agencies and federally recognized Native American tribal governments.

Individuals are not eligible to apply.

A director who submitted his or her first successful NEH summer program application at the March 2017 deadline is not eligible to reapply at the February 2018 deadline. First-time directors must instead complete their 2018 summer program, and receive evaluations from the NEH Summer Scholars, before they can submit proposals to direct future NEH summer programs.

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.

The program must be held only in the United States and its territories.

The NEH Summer Seminars and Institutes program does not support
-Promotion of a particular political, religious, or ideological point of view;
-Advocacy of a particular program of social or political action;
-Projects whose focus falls outside the humanities (including the creation or performance of art, creative writing, memoirs, and creative nonfiction; and empirically based social science research or policy studies);
-Support of specific public policies or legislation;
-Educational or technical impact assessments; and
-Projects that center on pedagogical theories and strategies, or on research on educational methods, tests, or measurements.

The following costs are not allowable and may not appear in project budgets:
-Compensation for faculty members performing their regular duties;
-The rental of recreational facilities and costs related to social events such as banquets, receptions, and entertainment. (Meals are allowable only if vendors are inaccessible during the scheduled program, such as during a field trip at a remote location.); and
-Tuition fees for participants or student assistants. At the discretion of the applicant institution, continuing education credits—CEUs—or in-service credit may be awarded to K-12 school teacher participants who seek them. If fees or tuition must be charged, they should be charged directly to those participants wishing to receive credit and should be fixed at the lowest possible rate. Such fees should not be deducted from the participants’ stipends.

Pre-Application Information:

Successful projects may be awarded outright and/or matching funds up to the amounts noted in the table below. Federal matching funds are released on a one-to-one basis when a grantee secures gift funds from eligible nonfederal third parties. (Note that agencies of the federal government are not eligible third parties.)

Cost sharing consists of the cash contributions made to a project by the applicant and third parties, as well as third party in-kind contributions, such as donated services and goods. Cost sharing is encouraged in this program. It is required for projects receiving matching funds, and for projects whose budgets exceed the relevant amounts in the table above.

Program staff recommends that draft proposals be submitted no later than January 22, 2018. Time constraints may prevent staff from reviewing draft proposals submitted after that date. Staff comments in response to draft proposals are not part of the formal review process and have no bearing on the final outcome of the proposal, but previous applicants have found them helpful in strengthening their applications.

To be able to submit an application, applicants must have registered with and must have an updated Entity record in the System for Award Management (SAM). More detailed information is immediately below.

All applications to this program must be submitted via NEH strongly recommends that you complete or verify your registration at least two weeks before the application deadline, since it takes time to process your registration.

Upload your application to NEH strongly suggests that you submit your application no later than 5:00 PM Eastern Time on the day of the deadline. Doing so will leave you time to contact the help desk for support, should you encounter a technical problem of some kind.

Applications must be received by on or before February 22, 2018.


-Before the February 22, 2018 deadline: Contact Division of Education Programs program officers with questions and for advice (optional)

-January 22, 2018: Submit draft proposals by this date (optional)

-January 25, 2018: Create or verify your institution’s Entity record at the System for Award Management by this date

-February 8, 2018: Register your institution (or verify its registration) with by this date

-February 22, 2018: Submit application through by this date

-April-May 2018: Peer review panels take place

-July 2018: Meeting of the National Council on the Humanities, followed by funding decisions

-August 2018: Applicants are notified of the funding decisions

-October 2018: Institutional grants administrators and project directors of successful applications receive award documents by e-mail

-October 2018: Successful applicants’ grant periods begin

-October 2018: Project directors’ meeting in Washington, D.C. June-August 2019: Summer Seminars and Institutes take place

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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.

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


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

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Geographic Focus:

USA: Alabama;   Alaska;   Arizona;   Arkansas;   California;   Colorado;   Connecticut;   Delaware;   Florida;   Georgia;   Hawaii;   Idaho;   Illinois;   Indiana;   Iowa;   Kansas;   Kentucky;   Louisiana;   Maine;   Maryland;   Massachusetts;   Michigan;   Minnesota;   Mississippi;   Missouri;   Montana;   Nebraska;   Nevada;   New Hampshire;   New Jersey;   New Mexico;   New York City;   New York;   North Carolina;   North Dakota;   Ohio;   Oklahoma;   Oregon;   Pennsylvania;   Rhode Island;   South Carolina;   South Dakota;   Tennessee;   Texas;   Utah;   Vermont;   Virginia;   Washington, DC;   Washington;   West Virginia;   Wisconsin;   Wyoming

USA Territories: American Samoa (USA)   Guam (USA)   Puerto Rico (USA)   Virgin Islands (USA)   Northern Mariana Islands (USA)