These grants support faculty development programs in the humanities for school teachers and for college and university teachers. NEH Summer Seminars and Institutes may be as short as two weeks or as long as five weeks. The duration of a program should allow for a rigorous treatment of its topic. NEH Summer Seminars and Institutes
extend and deepen knowledge and understanding of the humanities by focusing on significant topics, texts, and issues;
contribute to the intellectual vitality and professional development of participants;
build a community of inquiry and provide models of civility and excellent scholarship and teaching; and
promote effective links between teaching and research in the humanities.
An NEH Summer Seminar or Institute may be hosted by a college, university, school system, learned society, center for advanced study, library or other repository, or a cultural or professional organization. The host site must be appropriate for the project, providing facilities for scholarship and collegial interaction. These programs are designed for a national audience of teachers.
Seminar for school teachers—sixteen participants (NEH Summer Scholars):
A seminar enables sixteen participants (of whom two may be full-time graduate students who intend to pursue a K-12 teaching career) to examine an important text, study works of well-known authors, or review significant scholarship on an important historical period or event. The principal goals are to engage teachers in the humanities; deepen their understanding through reading, discussion, reflection, and writing; and sustain their intellectual commitment to teaching. The director, an expert in the field, guides discussion of common readings and provides mentoring for individual study and projects.
Institute for school teachers—twenty-five to thirty participants (NEH Summer Scholars):
An institute, which is typically guided by a team of core faculty and visiting scholars, presents the best available scholarship on important humanities issues and works taught in the nation’s schools. Participants (of whom three may be full-time graduate students who intend to pursue a K-12 teaching career) compare and synthesize the various perspectives offered by the faculty and make connections between the institute content and classroom teaching. The emphasis throughout is on teaching the specific humanities subject matter and not on pedagogical theory and approaches.
Seminar for college and university teachers—sixteen participants (NEH Summer Scholars): A seminar enables participants (including two full-time graduate students in the humanities) to conduct scholarly research or focused study under the direction of a scholarly expert. The director designs a program of study to articulate key issues and focus discussion in seminar meetings. The director also advises participants on individual research and teaching projects.
Institute for college and university teachers—twenty-five participants (NEH Summer Scholars): An institute focuses on a topic of major importance in undergraduate curricula. Guided by a team of scholars, participants (including three full-time graduate students in the humanities) explore a challenging and complex subject. The primary goal is to deepen understanding of a subject in order to advance humanities teaching.
These four models allow for considerable variation. For example, seminars may be co-directed or they may include one or more visiting scholars who contribute additional viewpoints or scholarly expertise. Institutes may provide time for individual research, reading, or writing. Variations in format should be explained in the proposal and time and resource allocations fully justified.
NEH encourages Summer Seminars and Institutes in the following areas:
projects for school teachers or college and university faculty designed to strengthen foreign language instruction at the advanced level through the use of humanistic sources;
projects intended primarily for community-college faculty; and
projects that respond to NEH's Bridging Cultures initiative. Such projects could focus on cultures internationally, or within the United States. International projects might seek to enlarge Americans’ understanding of other places and times, as well as other perspectives and intellectual traditions. American projects might explore the great variety of cultural influences on, and myriad subcultures within, American society. These projects might also investigate how Americans have approached and attempted to surmount seemingly unbridgeable cultural divides, or examine the ideals of civility and civic discourse that have informed this quest.
Any U.S. nonprofit organization with 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status is eligible, as are state and local governmental agencies and federally recognized Indian tribal governments. Individuals are not eligible to apply.
A director who submitted his or her first successful NEH seminar or institute application in 2010 is not eligible to reapply in 2011. First-time directors must instead complete their seminar or institute, and receive evaluations from the NEH Summer Scholars, before they can submit proposals to direct future summer programs.
NEH generally does not award grants to other federal entities or to applicants whose projects are so closely intertwined with a federal entity that the project takes on characteristics of the federal entity’s own authorized activities. This does not preclude applicants from using grant funds from, or sites and materials controlled by, other federal entities in their projects.
Late, incomplete, and ineligible applications will not be reviewed.
NEH anticipates that awards for seminars will range between $60,000 and $140,000 for a grant period of twelve months.
Awards for institutes range from $80,000 to $200,000 for a grant period of fifteen months.
Seminars (twelve months): October 1, 2011, to September 30, 2012
Institutes (fifteen months): October 1, 2011, to December 31, 2012
Center for the Humanities
and the Public Sphere
College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
200 Walker Hall
P.O. Box 118030
University of Florida
Gainesville, FL 32611