How to Apply
Summer Institutes for College and University Professors are offered by the National Endowment for the Humanities to provide college and university faculty members and independent scholars with an opportunity to enrich and revitalize their understanding of significant humanities ideas, texts, and topics. These study opportunities are especially designed for this program and are not intended to duplicate courses normally offered by graduate programs. On completion of this institute, participants will receive a certificate indicating their participation.
- Selection Criteria
- Stipend, Tenure, and Award Conditions
- Application Instructions
- Checklist of Application Materials
- Submission of Applications and Notification Procedure
- Equal Opportunity Statement
- Application Submission Form
These projects are designed primarily for teachers of American undergraduate students. Qualified independent scholars and those employed by museums, libraries, historical societies, and other organizations may be eligible to compete provided they can effectively advance the teaching and research goals of the seminar or institute. Applicants must be United States citizens, residents of U.S. jurisdictions, or foreign nationals who have been residing in the United States 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 to apply.
Please note: Two institute spaces are reserved for current full-time graduate students in the humanities (applicants should be advanced doctoral students at the dissertation writing stage).
Applicants must complete the NEH application cover sheet and provide all the information requested below to be considered eligible. An applicant need not have an advanced degree in order to qualify. Adjunct and part-time lecturers are eligible to apply. Individuals may not apply to study with a director of an NEH Summer Institute who is a current colleague or a family member. Individuals must not apply to seminars directed by scholars with whom they have studied. Institute selection committees are advised that only under the most compelling and exceptional circumstances may an individual participate in an institute with a director or a lead faculty member who has guided that individual’s research or in whose previous institute or seminar he or she has participated.
Please note: An individual may apply to up to two projects in any one year (NEH Summer Seminars, Institutes or Landmarks Workshops for Community College Faculty), but may participate in only one.
A selection committee will read and evaluate all properly completed applications in order to select the most promising applicants and to identify a number of alternates. (The Institute selection committees will consist of the three directors.) While recent participants are eligible to apply, first consideration will be given to applicants who have not participated in an NEH-supported Seminar, Institute or Landmarks Workshop in the last three years (2009, 2010, 2011).
The most important consideration in the selection of participants is the likelihood that an applicant will benefit professionally. This is determined by committee members from the conjunction of several factors, each of which should be addressed in the application essay. These factors include:
- quality and commitment as a teacher, scholar, and interpreter of the humanities;
- intellectual interests, both generally and as they relate to the work of the seminar or institute;
- special perspectives, skills, or experiences that would contribute to the seminar or institute;
- commitment to participate fully in the formal and informal collegial life of the seminar or institute;
- the likelihood that the experience will enhance the applicant's teaching and scholarship.
When choices must be made among equally qualified candidates, several additional factors will be considered. Preference will be given to applicants who have not previously participated in an NEH Summer Seminar, Institute, or Landmarks Workshop, or who will significantly contribute to the diversity of the seminar or institute.
Individuals selected to participate in the two-week project will receive a stipend of $2,100. Stipends are intended to help cover travel expenses to and from the project location, books and other research expenses, and living expenses for the 2 weeks spent in residence. Stipends are taxable. Applicants should note that supplements will not be given in cases where the stipend is insufficient to cover all expenses.
Institute participants are required to attend all meetings and to engage fully as professionals in the work of the project. During the project's tenure, they may not undertake teaching assignments or any other professional activities unrelated to their participation in the project. Participants who, for any reason, do not complete the full tenure of the project must refund a pro-rata portion of the stipend.
At the end of the project's residential period, participants will be asked to submit online evaluations in which they review their work during the summer and assess its value to their personal and professional development. These evaluations will become part of the project's grant file and may become part of an application to repeat the institute.
On this site you will find detailed information about the topic under study, project requirements and expectations of the participants, the academic and institutional setting, and specific provisions for lodging and subsistence. Before you attempt to complete an application, please read carefully the description of the project and check out the Program, as well as the “Dear Colleague” message from the directors. All application materials must be sent to the project directors (by using the Application Submission Form at the bottom of this page). Application materials sent to the Endowment will not be reviewed.
A completed application consists of the following collated items:
- the application cover sheet
- a detailed résumé
- an application essay as outlined below
- two reference letters.
Please note the following instructions for submitting your application.
- The application cover sheet
The application cover sheet must be filled out online at this address:
Please fill it out online as directed by the prompts. When you are finished, be sure to click on the “submit” button. Save the cover sheet as a PDF document (using the print to pdf function on your computer) and add it to your application package. At this point you will be asked if you want to fill out a cover sheet for another project. If you do, follow the prompts and select another project and then print out the cover sheet for that project. Note that filling out a cover sheet is not the same as applying, so there is no penalty for changing your mind and filling out cover sheets for several projects. A full application consists of the items listed above, as sent to a project director.
Please include a detailed résumé, curriculum vitae, or brief biography (not to exceed five pages).
- The Application Essay
The application essay should be no more than four double spaced pages. This essay should include any relevant personal and academic information. It should address reasons for applying; the applicant's interest, both academic and personal, in the subject to be studied; qualifications and experiences that equip the applicant to do the work of the institute and to make a contribution to a learning community; a statement of what the applicant wants to accomplish by participating; and the relation of the project to the applicant's professional responsibilities. Applicants to institutes need to elaborate on the relationship between institute activities and their responsibilities for teaching and curricular development.
- Reference Letters
The two referees may be from inside or outside the applicant’s home institution. They should be familiar with the applicant's professional accomplishments or promise, teaching and/or research interests, and ability to contribute to and benefit from participation in the institute. Referees should be provided with the director's description of the seminar or institute and the applicant's essay. Applicants who are current graduate students should secure a letter from a professor or advisor. Enclose the letters with your application.
Complete applications should be submitted electronically in PDF format no later than midnight March 1, 2012. Please use the form at the bottom of this page to submit your application. All items (application cover sheet, vitae, essay, and reference letters) should be submitted as one continuous PDF document. For information on how to create or embed multiple documents into one PDF file, check out How to Merge PDF Files and How to Embed Files in PDF Documents. If your referees prefer to send their letters under separate cover, please ask them to email their letters to email@example.com.
Successful applicants will be notified of their selection on Monday, April 2, 2012, and they will have until Friday, April 6 to accept or decline the offer. Applicants who will not be home during the notification period are advised to provide an address and phone number where they can be reached. No information on the status of applications will be available prior to the official notification period.
Once you have accepted an offer to attend any NEH Summer Program (NEH Summer Seminar, Institute or Landmarks Workshop), you may not accept an additional offer or withdraw in order to accept a different offer.
Endowment programs do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability, or age. For further information, write to the Equal Opportunity Officer, National Endowment for the Humanities, 1100 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20506. TDD: 202/606 8282 (this is a special telephone device for the Deaf).
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