What Grant Program Fits My Digital Project? 

September 26, 2019
Photo caption


Andra Brinzanuic, Flickr

It can be overwhelming for applicants to navigate through the NEH’s extensive list of funding opportunities to find the right program to fund a digital project. Since the Office of Digital Humanities began funding digital projects in 2008, complementary grant programs have expanded while others emerged across the Endowment to support digital work.

ODH remains the home for funding experimental, innovative digital methods and infrastructure projects in humanities research, teaching and learning, public engagement, and scholarly communications. The Digital Humanities Advancement Grants program (with deadlines in January and June) is where experimental methods or approaches are tested and implemented that advance the field beyond a singular project. Once those methods and technologies are honed, replicable models designed, or extensible free and open source software built, that work may be funded in other divisions in the NEH.  

ODH’s Institutes for Advanced Topics in the Digital Humanities program (with a deadline in March) seeks to increase capacity of humanities scholars and professionals by funding professional development opportunities in applying digital methods. 

As you consider developing a proposal for a digital humanities project, ask yourself the following questions. You may find programs outside of the ODH are a better fit to fund your digital project.    

  • Are you considering building a database of digitized collections or do you want to enable access to collections through visualizations such as a map or social network?
    See the Division of Preservation and Access’s Humanities Collections and Reference Resources program.    
  • Are you interested in building a digital documentary or critical edition, or are you working on a translation project with an existing software platform?
    Try the Research Division’s Scholarly Editions and Translations    
  • Are you a single scholar engaging in digital methods for humanities research resulting in an article or book? Or perhaps you wish to use an existing platform to create a digital publication?
    The Research Division’s fellowships program or NEH-Mellon Fellowships for Digital Publication (co-funded by ODH) might be a good fit.    
  • Are you designing a website, VR experience, or mobile app with a strong storytelling element for public audiences?
    Look at the Division of Public Programs’ opportunity, Digital Projects for the Public.   
  • Does your institution wish to sustain digital infrastructure and build staff capacity for the long-term support of digital projects through a combination of grant monies and fundraising efforts?
    Review the Infrastructure and Capacity-Building Challenge Grants Program in the Office of Challenge Grants.
  • Are you designing an interdisciplinary digital humanities minor/major for undergraduates?
    The Education Division offers opportunities through their Humanities Connections Grants.   
  • Are you teaching at a Presidentially Designated Institution (Historically Black Colleges and Universities, High Hispanic Enrollment, and Tribal Colleges and Universities) or Community College and interested in creating student-driven or curriculum-based digital projects or OERs (open educational resources)?
    Explore opportunities through the Education Division’s Humanities Initiatives programs.    

The questions above are to help you find the best funding opportunity for your digital project that aligns with the goals, approaches, and audiences for your work. We know it is hard, which is why NEH program staff are here to help.

We encourage you to start early and to contact us @email. We will do our best to advise you as you begin planning your next digital project.