NEH Summer Stipends


Internal Limited-Submission Deadline: Friday, August 23, 2019 by 5:00 p.m.

Applications are invited for the National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Stipend Program for summer 2020. The Summer Stipends program provides $6,000 to support continuous full-time work on a humanities project for a period of performance of two consecutive months. NEH funds may support recipients’ compensation, travel, and other costs related to scholarly research. Projects may begin as early as May 1, 2020. An individual may not hold more than one NEH individual award at the same time, nor may an individual work on a project supported by an NEH institutional award while holding an NEH individual award. (NEH Summer Stipends do not require cost sharing and do not include indirect costs. Summer Stipends are awarded to individual scholars; organizations are not eligible to apply.)

Summer Stipends support individuals pursuing advanced research that is of value to humanities scholars, general audiences, or both. The program supports project at any stage of development, but most especially early research and late-stage writing. Applicants may seek funding for projects based on completed dissertations; please see page four of the application guidelines (PDF) for specific guidance in this case.

NEH has identified particular areas of interest for which they encourage applications: (1) Recognition of and preparation for the 250th Anniversary of American Independence, (2) Advancing civic education, (3) The Standing Together initiative, and (4) Protecting our cultural heritage. For details on these areas of encouragement please see the NEH guidelines. The Summer Stipends program will give equal consideration to all applications in accordance with the program’s review criteria, whether or not they respond to the Standing Together initiative or focus on lost or imperiled cultural heritage materials, or recognize the 250th anniversary of American independence.

Please review the NEH Summer Stipend guidelines for examples of projects that are not supported by NEH. Guidelines, along with FAQs, application materials, and sample application narratives can be found at the program web page.

As a taxpayer-supported federal agency, NEH endeavors to make the products of its awards available to the broadest possible audience. The goal is for scholars, educators, students, and the American public to have ready and easy access to a wide range of NEH grant products. For the Summer Stipends program, such projects may include digital resources, websites, and the like. For projects that lead to the development of websites, and the like. All other considerations being equal, NEH gives preference to those that provide free access to the public. Details about access and dissemination matters can be found in the application guideline pdf. Those with questions are encouraged to contact Summer Stipends staff at

Faculty members with tenured or tenure-track positions who teach full-time at institutions of higher education must be nominated by their institutions to apply for a Summer Stipend. Only two nominations (at any rank) may be made to NEH by each university. If you are a full-time tenure-stream University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign faculty member, please do not submit an application directly to NEH; you must apply first to the internal Urbana campus competition (procedures below), and only if you are selected as a campus nominee, can you proceed to apply to NEH. (Emeritus/retired faculty, non-tenure-track faculty, university staff members who are not faculty and who will not be teaching during the academic year prior to the award, as well as independent scholars and community college faculty are all exempt from campus nomination and may apply directly to NEH.)


All applicants must have completed their formal education by the application deadline. U.S. citizens are eligible to apply. Foreign nationals who have been living in the U.S. or its jurisdictions for at least three years immediately prior to the application deadline are also eligible. Specialized faculty, academic professionals, and unaffiliated scholars may apply directly to NEH; please consult the NEH guidelines for details. Applicants who have satisfied all requirements for a degree but are awaiting its conferral may apply, but require additional documentation; see the NEH guidelines for details. While applicants need not have advanced degrees, individuals currently enrolled in a degree-granting program are ineligible to apply.

Internal Application Procedure (Tenure-line Faculty)

One digital copy of the application, consisting of:

  • a project narrative (prepared exactly as specified in NEH guidelines pages 13–14 and using NEH's headings) and not to exceed three single-spaced pages;
  • a bibliography, not to exceed one page single-spaced (guidelines page 14); and
  • a résumé of no more than two single-spaced pages (prepared according to page 13–14 of NEH guidelines).
must be submitted to the Illinois Program for Research in the Humanities by 5:00 p.m. on Friday, August 23, 2019. Send all materials as one pdf attachment to IPRH will review the submissions—with an ad hoc review panel—and make the nominations in early September 2019. N.B.: While letters of recommendation are not required for the internal campus competition, they are part of the NEH application. As the turnaround time for submission to NEH after the campus selection is complete is quite brief, IPRH recommends applicants apprise their potential referees of their interest in applying to NEH prior to the internal campus deadline. (Campus nominees’ reference letters must be submitted online to NEH no later than October 17, 2019.)


Completed applications are due in the IPRH office no later than Friday, August 23, 2019 at 5:00 p.m. Send all materials as a pdf attachment to Nominees will be notified by September 10; and all applicants will be notified when the selection process is concluded. Applicants who are chosen as campus nominees must submit their materials to the NEH by September 25.

NEH Application Process

Following their selection, U of I nominees must submit their complete applications to NEH using Campus nominees who have never registered as individual applicants on will need to go to the requisite registration page.

NEH recommends completing the registration at least two weeks prior to the deadline. Applicants who have already registered at need not re-register to submit their Summer Stipend proposals. However, in such cases, NEH encourages checking the account before the deadline to confirm it is still active and that the password has not expired. Please be sure to use a individual account. Summer Stipend applications may not be submitted through institutional accounts.

Applications are due to NEH by September 25, 2019 at 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time. . NEH also recommends submitting by noon Eastern time on the day of the deadline. Applicants should receive five confirmation messages from after submission.

Please see pages 16 to 18 of the guidelines, for specifics regarding workspace and obtaining and filling application forms (including Adobe Reader Compatibility). The application packet can be found at this link: ( ).

Applicants will be notified of the results of their applications by email in March 2020. Notice will be sent to the email address supplied in the application. All applicants may obtain the evaluations of their applications by sending an email message to

Information about the NEH Summer Stipends can be found at the NEH site. Please check the Frequently Asked Questions section for a detailed discussion of the awards and the application process. To see previously funded projects, see the Sample Application Narratives (available as pdfs from the Summer Stipends web page).

Help from NEH

Because of the large number of applications, NEH staff members are not able to read and comment on drafts. NEH staff will, however, answer specific questions and concerns that arise in preparing your proposal and about eligibility. Staff members may be reached at (202) 606-8200 and at (Hearing impaired applicants can contact NEH via TTY at 1-800-877-8399.) Applicants are encouraged to review the samples of previously funded applications, as well as the broader list of projects.

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Tenure-line U of I faculty members who are planning to apply may contact IPRH Deputy Director Nancy Castro with questions regarding the internal application process.

Please be aware, also, that the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research, through the Office of Research Advising and Project Development (RAPD), offers summer proposal writing groups for those preparing applications for the fall. They are also glad to meet individually and/or provide feedback on drafts via email. Interested parties may contact Maria Gillombardo, Research Development Manager - RAPD, at

For more information about the NEH Summer Stipends internal Urbana Campus nomination process, please contact Nancy Castro at or 244-7913.

August 23, 2019 5:00 p.m.