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Digital Projects for the Public

Division of Public Programs

Receipt Deadline June 8, 2016 for Projects Beginning January 2017

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

Digital Projects for the Public grants support projects that significantly contribute to the public’s engagement with the humanities.

Digital platforms—such as websites, mobile applications and tours, interactive touch screens and kiosks, games, and virtual environments—can reach diverse audiences and bring the humanities to life for the American people. The program offers three levels of support for digital projects: grants for Discovery projects (early-stage planning work), Prototyping projects (proof-of-concept development work), and Production projects (end-stage production and distribution work). While projects can take many forms, shapes, and sizes, your request should be for an exclusively digital project or for a digital component of a larger project.

All Digital Projects for the Public projects should

  • deepen public understanding of significant humanities stories and ideas;
  • incorporate sound humanities scholarship;
  • involve humanities scholars in all phases of development and production;
  • include appropriate digital media professionals;
  • reach a broad public through a realistic plan for development, marketing, and distribution;
  • create appealing digital formats for the general public; and
  • demonstrate the capacity to sustain themselves.

All projects should also demonstrate the potential to attract a broad, general, nonspecialist audience, either online or in person at venues such as museums, libraries or other cultural institutions. Applicants may choose to identify particular communities and groups, including students, to whom a project may have particular appeal.

What's New for 2015

The Digital Projects for the Public program is now offering Production grants, supporting end-stage production and distribution work. These new grants supplement the Discovery grants for early-stage planning work and the Prototyping grants for proof-of-concept development work that were offered in the program's initial competition last year. The maximum award for a Production project is $400,000.

Program Statistics

In its initial competition the Digital Projects for the Public program received 64 applications and made six awards, for a funding ratio of 9 percent.


Contact the staff of NEH’s Division of Public Programs at 202-606-8269 or Hearing-impaired applicants can contact NEH via TDD at 1-866-372-2930.