Eligibility and Selection Information

Please review the eligibility criteria for participation in Summer Seminars and Institutes at:  NEH Eligibilty Criteria 

Summer Seminars and Institutes for College and University Teachers 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 a seminar or institute, NEH Summer Scholars will receive a certificate indicating their participation. 

Prior to completing an application to as specific seminar or institute, please review the project website and consider carefully what is expected in terms of residence and attendance, reading and writing requirements, and general participation in the work of the project.

Each seminar includes 16 NEH Summer Scholars working in collaboration with one or two leading scholars.  Participants will have access to a significant research collection, with time reserved to pursue individual research and study projects.

Institutes are for 25 Summer Scholars, and provide intensive collaborative study of texts, topics, and ideas central to undergraduate teaching in the humanities under the guidance of faculties distinguished in their fields of scholarship.  Institutes aim to prepare participants to return to their classrooms with a deeper knowledge of current scholarship in key fields of the humanities.

The use of the words “seminar” or “institute” in this document is precise and is intended to convey differences between the two project types.

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

SELECTION CRITERIA

A selection committee reads and evaluates all properly completed applications in order to select the most promising applicants and to identify a number of alternates.  (Seminar selection committees typically consist of the project director and two colleagues.  Institute selection committees typically consist of three to five members, usually drawn from the institute faculty and staff members.)  

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:

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

  2.  intellectual interests, in general and as they relate to the work of the seminar or institute;

  3.  special perspectives, skills, or experiences that would contribute to the seminar or institute;

  4.  commitment to participate fully in the formal and informal collegial life of the seminar or institute;                             

  5.  the likelihood that the experience will enhance the applicant's teaching and scholarship; and

  6.  for seminars, the conception and organization of the applicant's independent project and its potential contribution to the seminar.

Recent participants are eligible to apply, but selection committees are charged to give first consideration to applicants who have not participated in an NEH-supported Seminar, Institute or Landmarks Workshop in the last three years (2013, 2014, 2015).  When choices must be made among equally qualified candidates, several additional factors are considered.  Preference is given to applicants who have not previously participated in an NEH Summer Seminar, Institute, or Landmarks Workshop, or who significantly contribute to the diversity of the seminar or institute.

STIPEND, TENURE, AND CONDITIONS OF AWARD

Individuals selected to participate in five-week projects will receive stipend of $3,900; those in four-week projects will receive $3,300; those in three-week projects will receive $2,700; and those in two-week projects will receive $2,100.  Stipends are intended to help cover travel expenses to and from the project location, books and other research expenses, and ordinary living expenses. Stipends are taxable.  Applicants to all projects should note that supplements will not be given in cases where the stipend is insufficient to cover all expenses. 

Seminar and 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, NEH Summer Scholars 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.