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Institutes for Advanced Topics in the Digital Humanities

Grants to USA Nonprofits and Agencies to Train
Humanities Scholars to Use Digital Resources

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Funding Source:

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National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH)

Deadline Date:

03/13/18 Receipt (5:00 PM ET Recommended Submission)


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Grants to USA nonprofit organizations, government agencies, and tribal governments to train humanities scholars to use digital and technological resources. Applicants are advised to create or verify the required registrations by February 13 and February 27. The purpose of this program is to enhance the research and dissemination of humanities disciplines.

Program Description:

The Institutes for Advanced Topics in the Digital Humanities (IATDH) program supports national or regional (multistate) training programs for scholars, humanities professionals, and advanced graduate students to broaden and extend their knowledge of digital humanities. Through this program NEH seeks to increase the number of humanities scholars and practitioners using digital technology in their research and to broadly disseminate knowledge about advanced technology tools and methodologies relevant to the humanities.

The institutes may be a single opportunity or offered multiple times to different audiences. Institutes may be as short as a few days and held at multiple locations or as long as six weeks at a single site. For example, training opportunities could be offered before or after regularly occurring scholarly meetings, during the summer months, or during appropriate times of the academic year. The duration of a program should allow for full and thorough treatment of the topic.

These professional development programs may focus on a particular computational method, such as network or spatial analysis. They may also target the needs of a particular humanities discipline or audience.

Today, digital resources and other complex data—their form, manipulation, and interpretation— are as important to humanities study as more traditional research materials. Datasets, for example, may represent digitized historical records, high-quality image data, or even multimedia collections, all of which are increasing in number due to the availability and affordability of mass data storage devices and international initiatives to create digital content. Moreover, extensive networking capabilities, sophisticated analytical tools, and new collaboration platforms are simultaneously providing and improving interactive access to and analysis of the data as well as a multitude of other resources.

With advances like these in mind, the Institutes for Advanced Topics in the Digital Humanities program aims:
-To bring together humanities scholars and digital technology specialists from different disciplines to share ideas and methods that advance humanities research and teaching through the use of digital technologies;
-To encourage reflection on, and the interpretation and analysis of, new digital media, multimedia, and text-based computing technologies, as well as the integration of these into humanities scholarship and teaching;
-To build communities of inquiry and contribute to the intellectual vitality and professional development of participants;
-To teach current and future generations of humanities scholars to design, develop, and use digital tools and environments for scholarship; and
-To devise new and creative uses for technology that offer valuable models that can be applied specifically to research in the humanities and to allow those methodologies and approaches to be shared with humanities scholars and teachers.

NEH strongly encourages applicants to develop proposals for multidisciplinary teams of collaborators that will offer the necessary range of intellectual, technical, and practical expertise. This program is designed to bring together humanities scholars, advanced graduate students, librarians, archivists, museum staff, computer scientists, information specialists, and others to learn about new tools, approaches, and technologies, and to foster relationships for future collaborations in the humanities. Partners and collaborators may be drawn from the private and public sectors and may include appropriate specialists from within and outside the United States.

NEH particularly encourages projects that seek to introduce digital humanities topics to scholars who lack digital expertise.

Institutes for Advanced Topics in the Digital Humanities may be hosted by colleges, universities, learned societies, centers for advanced study, libraries or other repositories, and cultural or professional organizations. The host site(s) must be appropriate for the project, providing facilities for scholarship and collegial interaction. Projects that will be held more than once and at different locations are permissible.

Applicants may also consider working with the National Library of Medicine at the National Institutes of Health, and the LC Labs at the Library of Congress. All projects that seek to collaborate with one of these institutions must consult with their staff before submitting an application to the Institutes for Advanced Topics in the Digital Humanities program. Such applications must include a letter of commitment from an appropriate representative of the collaborating agency.

Possible topics and areas to be addressed might include but are not limited to
-Applications of the Text Encoding Initiative, electronic editing, and publishing;
-Scholarly communication and publishing;
-Advanced geospatial applications;
-Textual analysis and text mining;
-Immersive and virtual environments in multimedia research, including those for mobile platforms;
-3-D imaging and modeling technology;
-Eigital image and sound analysis;
-Information aesthetics and approaches to visualizations of humanities topics and research;
-Computer gaming and simulations as applied to the humanities;
-High-performance computing or supercomputing and the humanities; and
-Linked open data and its applications to humanities research.

Standing Together:

NEH invites projects related to its Standing Together initiative, which encourages projects related to war and military service.

Protecting our Cultural Heritage:

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.

In addition, NEH especially encourages projects that include Native American organizations and communities as lead applicants and project partners.

All applications will be given equal consideration in accordance with the program’s evaluation criteria, whether or not they collaborate with the National Library of Medicine or the LC Labs, respond to the Standing Together initiative, focus on lost or imperiled cultural heritage materials, or include Native American organizations and communities as lead applicants and project partners.

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 award products. For the Institutes for Advanced Topics in the Digital Humanities program, such products may include digital curricula, websites, and the like. For projects that lead to the development of websites, all other considerations being equal, NEH gives preference to those that provide free access to the public. Detailed guidance on access and dissemination matters can be found in the discussion of “Impact and evaluation” in the instructions for preparing the narrative.

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.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 179159

Estimated Size of Grant:

Awards normally range from $50,000 to a maximum of $250,000 in outright funds.

Term of Contract:

Successful applicants begin work on their projects in October 2018.

Awards normally range from one to three years.


  • 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.

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.

Late, incomplete, or ineligible applications will not be reviewed.

Institutes for Advanced Topics in the Digital Humanities grants may not be used for
-Digitization of collections;
-Support for workshops on routine computer applications (for example, training in HTML mark-up) from which little new knowledge about techniques or approaches in the digital humanities will emerge;
-The development and presentation of courses or programs that focus on the skills and knowledge required to preserve, digitize, or catalog humanities collections, such as training in digital scanning;
-Graduate programs in the digital humanities;
-Programs that are not regional (multistate) or national in scope;
-Promotion of a particular political, religious, or ideological point of view;
-Advocacy of a particular program of social or political action;
-Support of specific public policies or legislation; or
-Projects that fall outside of the humanities (including the creation or performance of art; creative writing, autobiographies, memoirs, and creative nonfiction; and empirically based social science research or policy studies).

Applications seeking support for training programs on the care and management of—and the creation of intellectual access to—library, archival, and material culture collections, including digital preservation programs, should apply to the Education and Training Grants program of the NEH Division of Preservation and Access.

Applicants seeking support for conferences on topics of major importance in the humanities that will benefit ongoing research should apply to the Collaborative Research program of the NEH Division of Research Programs.

Pre-Application Information:

Program staff recommends that prospective applicants submit draft proposals, which are optional, at least six weeks before the deadline. Time constraints may prevent staff from reviewing draft proposals submitted after that date.

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).

Applications must be received by by March 13, 2018. will date- and time-stamp your application after it is fully uploaded. Applications submitted after that date will not be accepted.

NEH 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.

-Until March 13, 2018: Contact Office of Digital Humanities program officers with questions and for advice (optional)
-January 30, 2018: Submit draft application by this date (optional)
-February 13, 2018: Create or verify your institution’s Entity record at the System for Award Management by this date
-February 27, 2018: Register your institution (or verify its registration) with by this date
-March 13, 2018: Submit application through by this date
-May 2018: Peer review panel takes place
-July 2018: Meeting of the National Council on the Humanities, followed by funding decisions
-August 2018: Applicants are notified of the funding decisions
-September 2018: Institutional grants administrators and project directors of successful applications receive award documents by e-mail
-October 2018: Successful applicants begin work on their projects

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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.

If you are interested in working with the Library of Congress Labs at the Library of Congress, please contact Abbey Potter, Senior Innovation Specialist in National Digital Initiatives, at If you are interested in working with the National Library of Medicine at the National Institutes of Health, please contact Jeffrey Reznick, Ph.D., History of Medicine Division, National Library of Medicine, at

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