Summer Seminars and Institutes for Higher Education Faculty

Division of Education Programs

Grant Snapshot

Open to


Expected output


Period of performance

Fifteen months

Application available

Optional Draft due

Application due

Expected notification date

Project start date

NEH Summer Seminars and Institutes for Higher Education Faculty provide higher education faculty across the nation the opportunity to broaden and deepen their engagement with the humanities. The one- to four-week professional development programs allow participants (NEH Summer Scholars) to explore recent developments in scholarship, teaching, and/or curriculum through study of a variety of humanities topics.

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 participants; and
  • build lasting communities of intellectual and professional collaboration.
    A program may take place at 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 generally designed for a broad and diverse group of higher education faculty. Individual projects may target a more focused group of participants or extend their reach to include those outside the humanities.


A Seminar provides a focused environment in which sixteen participants study a humanities topic under the guidance of one or two established scholars. Seminars have few, if any, visiting faculty. Seminars emphasize close interaction among the participants and director(s) through discussion of common readings and conversations about scholarship and teaching. Substantial time is made available for reflection, work on independent or collaborative projects, and related advising.


An Institute allows twenty-five to thirty-six participants to study a humanities topic with a team of experienced scholars. Because this larger format emphasizes the range of perspectives that can be brought to a topic, an institute typically has more and longer meetings per week than a seminar. Project leaders and participants mutually explore connections between scholarship and teaching, and some time is provided for work on individual or collaborative projects.

What’s New for 2019

Eligibility: The same project (that is, a project with essentially the same substantive content) may not be offered in consecutive years.

Previously Offered Projects: Previously offered projects must demonstrate appropriate changes to the previous project and must present a specific and robust program of dissemination beyond the participant audience.

Staffing: Visiting scholars in seminars should average no more than one day per week.

Participants: Seminars for higher education 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 higher education 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, and for previously funded directors who are applying for an entirely new project) 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 for Higher Education Faculty Program Guidelines (PDF)

Summer Seminars and Institutes for Higher Education Faculty Program Guidelines (DOC)

Summer Seminars and Institutes for Higher Education Faculty application package

Budget Resources

Summer Seminars and Institutes Budget Form, 2019 (MS Excel)

Seminars for Higher Education Faculty Sample Budget, 2019 (PDF)

Institutes for Higher Education Faculty Sample Budget, 2019 (PDF)

Program Resources

Summer Seminars and Institutes for Higher Education Faculty Frequently Asked Questions, 2019 (PDF)

Principles of Civility for NEH Summer Programs (PDF)

2019 NEH Summer Programs in the Humanities for School Teachers and College and University Faculty

Summer Seminar for College Teacher Awards, 2016-2018

Summer Institute for College and University Teacher Awards, 2016-2018

DUNS Number Requirement

Sample Application Narratives

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

Summer Seminar for College Teaches: The Bhagavad Gita, Ancient Poem, Modern Readers

Summer Institute for College Teachers: The Native American West, a Case Study of the Columbia Plateau

Summer Institute for College Teachers: Buddhist East Asia

    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
    per year
    This program has a
    Funding Ratio
    NEH made an average of
    per year