The Digital Humanities Start-Up Grants program awards relatively small grants to support the planning stages of digital projects that promise to benefit the humanities. The program supports both new projects in early stages of development and efforts to reinvigorate existing or dormant projects in innovative ways.
Proposals should be for the planning or initial stages of digital initiatives in any area of the humanities. Digital Humanities Start-Up Grants may involve
- creating or enhancing experimental, computationally-based methods or techniques for humanities research, teaching, preservation, or public programming;
- pursuing scholarship that examines the history, criticism, and philosophy of digital culture and its impact on society, or explores the philosophical or practical implications and impact of digital humanities in specific fields or disciplines; or
- revitalizing and/or recovering existing digital projects that promise to contribute substantively to scholarship, teaching, or public knowledge of the humanities.
Experimentation, reuse, and extensibility are hallmarks of this grant category, which incorporates the “high risk/high reward” paradigm often used by funding agencies in the sciences. NEH is requesting proposals for projects that take some risks in the pursuit of innovation and excellence.
Digital Humanities Start-Up Grants should result in plans, prototypes, or proofs of concept for long-term digital humanities projects prior to implementation. They can also be used to revitalize or recover projects in innovative ways that will allow greater access, reuse, and extensibility.
In its last five competitions the Digital Humanities Start-up Grants program received an average of 165 applications per competition. The program made an average of 23 awards per competition, for a funding ratio of 14 percent.
The number of applications to an NEH grant program can vary widely year to year, as can the funding 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Contact the NEH Office of Digital Humanities via e‑mail at email@example.com. Applicants wishing to speak to a staff member by telephone should provide in an e-mail message a telephone number and a preferred time to call. Hearing-impaired applicants can contact NEH via TDD at 1-866-372-2930.