Summer Seminars and Institutes

Division of Education Programs

Grant Snapshot

Maximum award amount

Seminars: $125,000
Institutes: $200,000

Open to


Expected output

Faculty Development;
Teaching Resources

Period of performance

Seminars: twelve months Institutes: fifteen months

Application available

Application due

ALERT from The first time you log in to after June 29, 2018, you’ll be asked to create a user account (if you don’t already have one). Going forward, you will use your username and password every time you log in to Your current username and password will no longer work.  If you are renewing or registering a new entity in, you must mail an original, signed notarized letter stating that you are the authorized Entity Administrator for the entity associated with the DUNS number. Read the FAQs to learn more about these process changes. Currently recommends that registrations and renewals submit their notarized letters at least 45 days in advance of expiration dates or anticipated needs. Please note that you will be unable to access Workspace or fillable application forms until your registration is active.

NEH Summer Seminars and Institutes grants broaden and deepen understanding of the humanities in supporting professional development programs, specifically designed for a national audience of K-12 educators or college and university faculty. The programs provide one- to four-week opportunities for participants (NEH Summer Scholars) to explore a variety of topics relevant to K-12 or undergraduate education in the humanities.

NEH Summer Seminars and Institutes

  • focus on the study and teaching of significant texts and other resources;

  • provide models of excellent scholarship and teaching;

  • contribute to the intellectual growth of the of participants; and

  • build lasting communities of inquiry.

    An NEH Summer Seminar or Institute may be hosted by a college, university, learned society, center for advanced study, library or other repository, cultural or professional organization, or school or school system. The host site must provide facilities for collegial interaction and scholarship. The program must be held only in the United States and its territories.

    Seminars and Institutes are designed either for K-12 educators or for college and university faculty. Programs for K-12 educators must involve someone with significant K-12 experience in both project planning and implementation and must respond to K-12 curricular needs.


    A Seminar provides an intimate and focused environment in which sixteen participants study a specific humanities topic under the guidance of one or two established scholars. Seminars have few, if any, visiting faculty. They emphasize sustained interaction among the participants and director(s) through discussion of common readings, conversations about teaching, and advising on independent projects.


    An Institute allows twenty-five to thirty-six participants to pursue an intensive program of study under a team of scholarly experts, who present a range of perspectives on a humanities topic. Participants and scholars mutually explore connections between scholarship about and the teaching of the topic.

    Information about Preliminary Draft Proposals

    Prospective applicants may submit a draft of their proposal for staff comment (note that submission of draft proposals is optional) no later than January 22, 2018.

    Recent Changes to the Program

    Staffing: For school teacher projects, both project planning and implementation require at least one faculty or staff member with a background or significant experience in K-12 education.

    Participants: Seminars and Institutes for school teachers must reserve three and five spaces, respectively, for teachers who are new to the profession (those who have been teaching for five years or less).

    Participants: Seminars for college faculty must include among the participants three or more non-tenured/non-tenure-track faculty; they may include up to two spaces for advanced graduate students. Institutes for college and university faculty must include among the participants five or more non-tenured/non-tenure-track faculty; they may include up to three spaces for advanced graduate students.

    Reference Letters: The instructions for submitting reference letters (required only for project directors who have not previously directed an NEH summer program) have changed.

Review your application package

As soon as you know you're ready to apply for this grant, make sure you register for a SAM number/DUNS number, and for a account as this is vital to the grants process. If you already have registered for these items, make sure they are up to date.

Begin by reading the full grant guidelines and studying the application. The files are linked below. You want to ensure you understand all the expectations and restrictions for projects delivered under this grant and are prepared to write the most effective application.

Download Application Materials

Summer Seminars and Institutes Program Guidelines (PDF)

Summer Seminars and Institutes Program Guidelines (DOC)

Summer Seminars and Institutes application package

Budget Resources

Summer Seminars and Institutes Budget Form (MS Excel)

Seminars Sample Budget (PDF)

Institutes Sample Budget (PDF)

Program Resources

Summer Seminars and Institutes Frequently Asked Questions, 2018 (PDF)

Principles of Civility for NEH Summer Programs (PDF)

2018 NEH Summer Programs in the Humanities for School Teachers and College and University Faculty

Summer Seminar for College Teacher Awards, 2015-2017

Summer Seminar for School Teacher Awards, 2015-2017

Summer Institute for College and University Teacher Awards, 2015-2017

Summer Institute for School Teacher Awards, 2015-2017

DUNS Number Requirement

Sample Application Narratives

Summer Seminar for School Teachers: Reading Material Maps in the Digital Age

Summer Seminar for School Teachers: The 1918 Spanish Influenza Epidemic in U.S. and World History

Summer Institute for School Teachers: American Women at War

Summer Institute for School Teachers: John Steinbeck as Social Critic and Ecologist

Summer Seminar for College Teachers: Enlightenment Thinkers from Mandeville to Hegel

Summer Seminar for College Teachers: Elizabeth Bishop and the Literary Archive

Summer Institute for College Teachers: The Columbia Plateau and the Native American West

Summer Institute for College Teachers: Transcendentalism and Reform

    Complete your application package

    Be sure to follow the instructions outlined in the guidelines and in the instructions. 

    Submit your application package on

    You will receive a confirmation from when you've successfully submitted your application. 

    Verify you have received email messages from

    After you submit your application, will send you up to five e-mail messages confirming receipt of your application. These messages represent different stages in the application acceptance process. You should verify that you have received all confirmation messages. Please note that email filters may send these messages to your spam or junk folder.

    Monitor the status of the submission of your letters of recommendation


    Several days after the deadline, NEH will provide instructions for how to generate the complete set of reference letters. The directions will be sent to the project director named on the application cover sheet. (The directions will involve sending a specific link to each referee who will then submit an electronic letter directly to the application file.) National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Seminars and Institutes Page 17 of 22 It is this director’s responsibility to send the NEH instructions immediately to each referee (including, when appropriate, referees for a co-director). Reference letters must be submitted no later than March 8. (It is also this director’s responsibility to provide referees with a draft of the proposal narrative, so they may write effective letters.)

    Program Statistics

    In the last five competitions this program received an average of
    This grant has a
    Funding Ratio
    NEH made an average of
    per year

    Examples of Projects Funded by this Grant Program