The Public Scholars program offers grants to individual authors for research, writing, travel, and other activities leading to the creation and publication of well-researched nonfiction books in the humanities written for the broad public. Writers with or without an academic affiliation may apply, and no advanced degree is required. The program encourages non-academic writers to deepen their engagement with the humanities by strengthening the research underlying their books, and it encourages academic writers in the humanities to communicate the significance of their research to the broadest possible range of readers. NEH especially encourages applications from independent writers, researchers, scholars, and journalists.
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.
The program supports projects at any stage of development. Applicants may propose to complete their manuscript by the end of the period of performance or may propose to do so by some later date. Applicants may seek support for the creation of digital or web-based products intended to supplement the book that they propose.
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.
The Public Scholars program accepts applications from individuals, whether they have an affiliation with a scholarly institution or not.
Applicants must also meet one of the following conditions: they must either a) have written as sole author a nonfiction book published by a university or commercial press; OR b) have written at least three articles or essays appearing in general-interest publications that reach a large national or international audience of readers. The articles or essays may be published either in print or electronically.