Time to Start Preparing 2021 DHAG Proposals

September 17, 2020

We are pleased to announce that the application materials for the 2021 Digital Humanities Advancement Grants (DHAG) program are now available for the January 15 and June 24, 2021 deadlines. Take some time to review the updated Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO), as some of the application components have changed.  

For the 2021 DHAG program, changes can be found in revised components of the Narrative, including the review criteria. Level III applications are now limited to 8 single-spaced pages. The Work Plan is now a separate attachment, and there is a new budget form.  

1. New Elements in the Narrative  

This year, we are asking all applicants to respond directly to one or more of the program’s priorities in the “Enhancing the Humanities” section of the Narrative:  

  • creating or enhancing experimental, computationally-based methods, techniques, or infrastructure that contribute to the humanities;  

  • pursuing scholarship that examines the history, criticism, and philosophy of digital culture or technology and its impact on society; and/or  

  • conducting evaluative studies that investigate the practices and the impact of digital scholarship on research, pedagogy, scholarly communication, and public engagement. 

We also want applicants to address the potential impact of their project’s proposed outcomes, specifically, which is also now an element in the revised review criteria.  

In the new section, “Activities and Project Team,” applicants should include a brief summary of the proposed activities and discuss who will be involved in the project, and whether or not their salaries will be paid with requested grant funds. Applicants must describe how the project will support and benefit all project staff, such as through project-based learning, mentoring, or immersion in the activities of the institution for undergraduate or graduate students. And in the last section, “Final Products and Dissemination,” applicants should explain how project team members and collaborators will be credited for their project contributions. 

2. Work Plan Attachment 

Many NEH programs are now requiring a detailed Work Plan as a separate attachment. This change offers applicants a separate space to provide a detailed schedule of tasks to be accomplished during the period of performance, and opens up more space in the Narrative. The Work Plan attachment is the new place where you will address risks such as staff attrition, software development delays, or travel restrictions.  

3. Research and Related Budget Form 

This is a federal budget form that is now required for all NEH grant programs and is available through the application package. A Budget Justification is now required and must be attached to this form. Your institutional grants office may be familiar with this form as it is required by other federal agencies. Since this is new for ODH programs, we ask that you begin working with your grants office earlier than usual on the budget since it may take longer than in years past. 

4. Letters 

Starting in 2021, we will no longer accept Letters of Support as part of DHAG applications.  

We do require brief Letters of Commitment from participants outside the applicant institution, such as advisory board members and cooperating institutions, confirming they understand their responsibilities over the course of the project. 

Helpful Reminders 

Please remember that details matter when completing a grant application. 
Applications will be declared ineligible for review if they do not include all required sections and components. Follow all “musts” outlined in the NOFO, especially page limits. Just as you might check for spelling and grammar, check the formatting of all PDFs before final submission. Give yourself some extra time in case PDFs aren’t compiled correctly, or if paragraphs drift onto extra pages. 

Application Resources & Drafts 

ODH has prepared a number of resources to help applicants write strong proposals. Please be sure to take some time to read these posts and guides as you think about your next project:      

To get feedback on an application draft, send it as an attachment to @email by December 1, for the January 15, 2021 deadline.  

For the June 24, 2021 deadline, drafts will be accepted until May 5, 2021. 

As always, when you have questions, please don’t hesitate to contact the ODH, @email, we are here to help.