NEH Fellowships are competitive awards granted to individual scholars pursuing projects that embody exceptional research, rigorous analysis, and clear writing. Applications must clearly articulate a project’s value to humanities scholars, general audiences, or both.
Fellowships provide recipients time to conduct research or to produce books, monographs, peer-reviewed articles, e-books, digital materials, translations with annotations or a critical apparatus, or critical editions resulting from previous research. Projects may be at any stage of development.
NEH invites research applications from scholars in all disciplines of the humanities, and it encourages submissions from independent scholars and junior scholars.
Fellowships may not be used for
- 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;
- projects that fall outside of the humanities; the creation or performance of art; creative writing, autobiographies, memoirs, and creative nonfiction; and empirically based social science research or policy studies;
- research by students enrolled in a degree program, including research for doctoral dissertations or theses;
- the preparation or revision of textbooks;
- curriculum development;
- the development of teaching methods or theories;
- the writing of books for children or young adults;
- educational impact, language impact, or technical impact assessments;
- empirical social science research, unless part of a larger humanities project;
- inventories of collections; or
- the writing of guide books, how-to books, and self-help books.
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. Projects must demonstrate the capacity to be sustained and must be widely accessible to the public.
As a taxpayer-supported federal agency, NEH endeavors to make the products of its awards available to the broadest possible audience. Our 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 the Fellowships program, such products may include digital resources, 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.
- The period of performance for fellowships is no less than six months and no more than twelve months at a stipend of $5,000 per month. The maximum stipend is $60,000 for a twelve-month period.
- The award period must be full-time and continuous. Teaching and administrative assignments or other major activities may not be undertaken during the fellowship period.
- Recipients may begin their awards as early as February 1, 2020, and as late as September 1, 2021.
- Individuals are eligible to apply whether they have an institutional affiliation or not.
- U.S. citizens, whether they reside inside or outside the United States, are eligible to apply. Foreign nationals who have been living in the United States or its jurisdictions for at least the three years prior to the application deadline are also eligible.
- While applicants need not have advanced degrees, individuals currently enrolled in a degree-granting program are ineligible to apply. Applicants who have satisfied all the requirements for a degree and are awaiting its conferral in 2019 are eligible for NEH Fellowships; but such applicants need a letter from the dean of the conferring school or their department chair attesting to the applicant’s status as of April 10, 2019.
- Applicants may seek funding for projects based on completed dissertations.