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Summer Seminars and Institutes

Division of Education Programs

Receipt Deadline February 15, 2018

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

NEH Summer Seminars and Institutes grants support professional development programs in the humanities for school teachers and for college and university faculty. 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.

    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 31, 2017.

    Recent Changes to the Program

  • Please note that seminars (unlike institutes) have few, if any, visiting faculty. Visiting scholars in seminars should not exceed an average of one per week.

  • NEH Summer Seminars and Institutes may be as short as one week (two weeks was previously the shortest period) and may be no longer than four weeks (five weeks was previously the longest period). One-week programs may be offered twice during a summer.

  • Seminars for college teachers must include among the participants three or more non-tenure-track/adjunct faculty. Institutes for college and university teachers must include among the participants five or more non-tenure-track/adjunct faculty. Graduate students are no longer eligible to participate in these programs.

Program Statistics

In the last five competitions the Summer Seminars and Institutes program received an average of 147 applications. The program made an average of forty-eight 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 sem-inst[at]neh[dot]gov.


Contact the staff of NEH’s Division of Education Programs at 202-606-8471 or sem-inst[at]neh[dot]gov. Applicants who are deaf or hard of hearing can contact NEH via Federal Relay (TTY users) at 800-877-8399.

Guidelines Resources

Download Application Materials

Budget Resources

Program Resources

Sample Application Narratives