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Scholarly Editions and Translations Grants

Division of Research Programs

Receipt Deadline December 7, 2016 for Projects Beginning October 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

Scholarly Editions and Translations grants support the preparation of editions and translations of pre-existing texts of value to the humanities that are currently inaccessible or available in inadequate editions. Typically, the texts and documents are significant literary, philosophical, and historical materials; but other types of work, such as musical notation, are also eligible.

Projects must be undertaken by at least one editor or translator and one other collaborating scholar. These grants support full-time or part-time activities for periods of one to three years.

Applicants should demonstrate familiarity with the best practices recommended by the Association for Documentary Editing or the Modern Language Association Committee on Scholarly Editions. Translation projects should also explain the theory and method adopted for the particular work to be translated. Editions and translations produced with NEH support contain scholarly and critical apparatus appropriate to the subject matter and format of the edition. This usually means introductions and annotations that provide essential information about a text’s form, transmission, and historical and intellectual context.

Proposals for editions of foreign language materials in the original language are eligible for funding, as well as proposals for editions of translated materials.

Information about Preliminary Draft Proposals

Prospective applicants may submit a draft of their proposal for staff review (submission of draft proposals is optional) no later than October 15.

What’s New for 2015

Please note the following changes that will appear in the new guidelines.

  • Applications must include a bibliography in the appendix.
  • A previously successful applicant must provide information about productivity in table format, comparing the work plan that was approved in the most recent NEH grant with the actual accomplishments during this grant.
  • The program is no longer accepting supplemental audio and visual materials.
  • The first evaluation criterion was revised. It now acknowledges that projects may simultaneously be significant to both public and scholarly audiences. (Projects may still, however, be significant only to a scholarly audience.)
  • The fifth evaluation criterion was revised. It now emphasizes that evaluators should assess whether projects receiving past NEH support succeeded in meeting their stated goals.

Program Statistics

In the last five competitions the Scholarly Editions and Translations program received an average of 97 applications per year. The program made an average of 26 awards per year, for a funding ratio of 27 percent.

The potential applicant pool for Scholarly Editions and Translations is limited, since applicants must assemble project teams with demonstrated expertise in the content of the materials to be edited, the editorial process, and (when applicable) the translation process. On the one hand, this results in a somewhat small number of applications each year. On the other hand, the quality of the applications tends to be high, so that about one-third of all applicants have historically received funding.

The number of applications to an NEH grant program can vary widely from 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


Contact NEH’s Division of Research Programs at 202-606-8200 and Hearing-impaired applicants can contact NEH via TDD at 1-866-372-2930.