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Summer Seminars and Institutes

Division of Education Programs

Receipt Deadline March 1, 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

These grants support professional development programs in the humanities for school teachers and for college and university faculty. NEH Summer Seminars and Institutes may be as short as one week or as long as four weeks.

NEH Summer Seminars and Institutes

  • provide models of excellent teaching;
  • provide models of excellent scholarship;
  • broaden and deepen understanding of the humanities;
  • focus on the study and teaching of significant topics, texts, and other sources;
  • contribute to the intellectual vitality of participants; and
  • build 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 be suitable for the project, providing facilities for collegial interaction and scholarship. These programs are designed for a national audience of participants.

What's New for 2015-2016

NEH Summer Seminars and Institutes may now be as short as one week (two weeks was previously the shortest period), and the longest programs are now limited to four weeks (five weeks was previously the longest period). One-week programs may be offered twice during a summer.

Graduate students are no longer eligible to participate in these programs. However, seminars for college and university faculty must now include three or more non-tenure-track/adjunct faculty members; institutes for college and university faculty must now include five or more non-tenure-track/adjunct faculty members.

Applicants are no longer asked to submit preliminary sketches of their proposals. NEH staff will, however, continue to respond to ideas for seminar and institute projects and to provide feedback on partial or full application drafts (the deadline for submitting drafts is January 25, 2016). These opportunities for receiving feedback are optional.

Program Statistics

In the last five competitions the Summer Seminars and Institutes program received an average of 149 applications. The program made an average of forty-seven awards per competition, for a funding ratio of 32 percent.

The number of applications to an NEH grant program can vary widely from competition to competition, as can the funding 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 the staff of NEH’s Division of Education Programs at 202-606-8471 or Hearing-impaired applicants can contact NEH via TDD at 1-866-372-2930.

Guidelines Resources

Download Application Materials

Budget Resources

Program Resources

Sample Application Narratives