Eligibility, Selection, and Conditions

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Eligibility and Selection Criteria

Please note: An individual may apply to up to two NEH projects (Summer Seminars, Institutes, or Landmarks Workshops) but may participate in only one.

Eligibility Requirements: Click here for NEH official statement of eligibility criteria

  • Full-time or part-time faculty who teach U.S. undergraduate students. (Qualified independent scholars, advanced graduate students, and those employed by museums, libraries, historical societies, and other organizations are also eligible if they can demonstrate that their participation will advance the teaching and scholarly goals of the program.)
  • U.S. citizens, residents of U.S. jurisdictions, or foreign nationals who have been residing in the U.S. or its territories for at least three years immediately preceding the application deadline. (Foreign nationals teaching abroad at non-U.S. chartered institutions are NOT eligible.)
  • Faculty who can demonstrate that their participation will advance the teaching and scholarly goals of this Humanities program.

Note: At least 5 institute spaces are reserved for non-tenured/non-tenure-track faculty members. Advanced graduate students may apply if they can demonstrate a focus on teaching. An applicant need not have an advanced degree in order to qualify.

NEH Seminars and Institutes provide opportunities for college and university faculty to enrich and revitalize their understanding, scholarship, and teaching of humanities topics that bear upon undergraduate education. These specific study opportunities are not intended to duplicate graduate- level courses.

Each institute allows twenty-five to thirty-six participants (NEH Summer Scholars) 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 and teaching of the topic.

In any given year, an individual may apply to two Seminars or Institutes, but may attend only one.



A selection committee comprised of the project director and two or more colleagues evaluates all complete applications to select a group of NEH Summer Scholars and identify alternates.

Application essays should explain how the specific program will benefit the participant professionally. They should, therefore, address the following:

1.  your quality and commitment as a teacher, scholar, and interpreter of the humanities;

2.  your intellectual interests as they relate to the topic of the seminar or institute;

3.  your special perspectives, skills, or experiences that would contribute to the program;

4.  evidence that participation will enhance your long-term teaching and scholarship; and

5.  if appropriate, an independent project and its potential contribution to the seminar or institute.

First consideration is given to those who have not previously attended an NEH Seminar or Institute. When choices must be made between equally qualified candidates, preference is given to those who would enhance the diversity of the program.



Each participant will receive a stipend according to the duration of the Seminar or Institute, whether one ($1,200) two ($2,100), three ($2,700), or four ($3,300) weeks. The stipend is intended to help cover travel, housing, meals, and basic academic expenses. Stipends are taxable.



Full-Time Study and Tenure: NEH Summer Seminar/Institute stipend recipients are expected to attend all meetings and devote full time to the activities for which the stipend was awarded during the announced period of the project. A stipend recipient may not accept a teaching assignment or undertake another major activity during the tenure of the award. Those who, for any reason, do not complete the full tenure of the project will receive a reduced stipend.

Dismissal from the Program: All NEH Summer Scholars are expected to conduct themselves in a professional manner at all times. This requires a respectful attitude toward fellow participants, faculty, guest lecturers, and others in all settings (program sessions, field trips, etc.). Unprofessional behavior will not be tolerated and egregious or repeated violations of this principle will be considered grounds for dismissal from the program at the discretion of the Project Director. Reasons for dismissal may include, but are not limited to, repeated absences from scheduled activities and disruptive or threatening behavior.

Consult the NEH Principles of Civility, here: https://www.neh.gov/grants/principles-civility

Evaluation: All NEH Summer Scholars are required to evaluate their experience and report on their activities and accomplishments under the award. Participants will report at the end of the seminar or institute on online forms provided by the Endowment.