Skip to main content

Enduring Questions

Division of Education Programs

Receipt Deadline September 11, 2014 for Projects Beginning May 2015

Updated guidelines will be posted at least two months in advance of the deadline listed above.

In the meantime, please use the guidelines for the previous deadline, to get a sense of what is involved in assembling an application.

Brief Summary

The NEH Enduring Questions grant program supports faculty members in the teaching and development of a new course that will foster intellectual community through the study of an enduring question. This question-driven course will encourage undergraduates and teachers to grapple with a fundamental concern of human life addressed by the humanities, and to join together in a deep and sustained program of reading in order to encounter influential thinkers over the centuries and into the present day.

What is an enduring question? The following list is neither prescriptive nor exhaustive but serves to illustrate.

  • What is good government?
  • Can war be just?
  • What is friendship?
  • What is evil?
  • Are there universals in human nature?
  • What are the origins of the universe?

What’s New for 2013

The maximum award amounts, stipend levels for project directors, and the limits for other project costs have all changed. The changes are summarized in the table below:

Number of Project Directors

Maximum Award Amount

Stipend 1

Stipend 2

Stipend 3

Stipend 4

Other Costs May Not Exceed

1

$22,000

$12,500

$0

$0

$0

$9,500

2

$33,000

$10,000

$10,000

$0

$0

$13,000

3

$38,000

$8,333

$8,333

$8,333

$0

$13,000

4

$38,000

$6,250

$6,250

$6,250

$6,250

$13,000

Stipends typically cover salaries, wages, and fringe benefits (institutional policies are applicable) and may not be decreased to increase other costs.

Other costs include the following items: books and other materials necessary for course development; funding for ancillary student activities (for example, attending plays, concerts, or museum exhibitions); expert advice for the development of the course’s content; consulting services to develop a digital humanities component, such as a project website; costs incurred in publicizing and disseminating the course; indirect costs; and fringe benefits (institutional policies are applicable).

Program Statistics

In its last five annual competitions, the Enduring Questions program received an average of 193 applications per year. The program made an average of nineteen awards per year, for a funding ratio of 10 percent.

The number of applications to an NEH grant program can vary widely year to year, as can the success ratio. Information about the average number of applications and awards in recent competitions is meant only to provide historical context for the current competition. Information on the number of applications and awards in individual competitions is available from enduringquestions@neh.gov.

Questions?

Contact the staff of NEH’s Division of Education Programs at enduringquestions@neh.gov and 202-606-8380. Hearing-impaired applicants can contact NEH via TDD at 1-866-372-2930.