Summer Seminars and Institutes for K-12 Educators

Division of Education Programs

Grant Snapshot

Open to


Period of performance

Fifteen months

Application available

Optional Draft due

Application due

Expected notification date

Project start date

NEH Summer Seminars and Institutes for K-12 Educators provide school teachers across the nation the opportunity to broaden and deepen their engagement with the humanities. One- to four-week residential programs, led by scholars and K-12 professionals, allow participants (NEH Summer Scholars) to study a variety of humanities topics. Seminars and Institutes focus on the intellectual quality of humanities education and address recent developments in scholarship, teaching, and/or curriculum.

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 inquiry.

    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 may be held only in the United States and its territories.Seminars and Institutes are open to the entire spectrum of K-12 educators. Individual projects target educators of one or more of the following grade ranges: K-5, 6-8, and/or 9-12.


A Seminar provides a 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. Seminars emphasize sustained interaction among the participants and director(s) through discussion of common readings and conversations about teaching. Substantial time is made available for reflection, work on independent projects, and related advising.


An Institute allows twenty-five to thirty-six participants to study a humanities topic with a team of experienced scholars and K-12 professionals. Because this larger format emphasizes the range of perspectives that can be brought to the topic, an institute typically has more and longer meetings per week than a seminar. The participants and scholarly team 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.

Staffing: Projects for K-12 educators must involve at least one person with significant K-12 experience in both project planning and implementation.

Participants: Seminars and Institutes for K-12 educators 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).

Reference Letters: The instructions for submitting reference letters (required 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 K-12 Educators Program Guidelines (PDF)

Summer Seminars and Institutes for K-12 Educators Program Guidelines (DOC)

Summer Seminars and Institutes for K-12 Educators application package

Budget Resources

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

Seminars for K-12 Educators Sample Budget, 2019 (PDF)

Institutes for K-12 Educators Sample Budget, 2019 (PDF)

Program Resources

Summer Seminars and Institutes for K-12 Educators 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 School Teacher Awards, 2016-2018

Summer Institute for School Teacher Awards, 2016-2018

DUNS Number Requirement

Sample Application Narratives

Summer Seminar for School Teachers: Re-enchanting Nature

Summer Seminar for School Teachers: Teaching the Holocaust through Visual Culture

Summer Institute for School Teachers: Slavery and Equality under the Constitution

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

Complete your application package

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

Submit your application package

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