General Information on Faculty Research Awards, 2009-2010

The deadline for accepting 2009-2010 NEH Faculty Research Awards is February 27, 2009.

Part One of this document describes the terms and conditions governing NEH Faculty Research Awards.

Part Two provides specific information on tenure, stipends, and payment procedures and instructions for completing the acceptance form.

We welcome your questions and comments. You can contact the program staff by calling (202) 606-8200, by writing us at the address listed above, or by sending us e-mail at @email. Because our regular mail deliveries are often delayed, we ask that you e-mail or fax your intention to accept or decline the award as soon as possible. Your paperwork may follow later.


  1. Full-time Study: During periods of award activity, you are expected to devote full or half time to the study and research for which the award is made. You may not accept teaching assignments or engage in other activities that will take time away from your award-supported studies during periods of award activity. However, you may attend conferences related to your award and give presentations on it. If you are contemplating any additional activity during those periods, you must first consult with the NEH program staff to determine whether the proposed activity is permissible. Awards are regarded as inactive when you are spending less than half time on your project and are not receiving NEH funds.
  2. Project Changes: You may make minor changes in your proposed project without consulting the Endowment. However, any significant change must be approved in advance. You should describe and justify the changes to the Endowment in writing so that the Endowment can determine whether the new plans fall within the intent of the award.
  3. Work Leading toward Degrees: Awards under this program are not intended to support graduate course work or completion of a master’s degree. Awards may, however, contribute to the completion of a doctoral dissertation.
  4. Resignation or Termination: Your award may be terminated by the Endowment if, for any reason, you resign or discontinue the proposed program before the end of the tenure period or fail to observe the terms and conditions of the award. If you resign before the end of the tenure period, you must return any funds received over and above those to which you are entitled.

    If during the course of your award you are unable to meet the terms of the award, then you are obliged to inform the Endowment immediately so that appropriate action may be taken. Because stipend payments are made in advance, it may be determined that a portion of the stipend must be returned to the Endowment; if this is the case, the Endowment will inform you of the amount that must be repaid, the basis for the calculation, and the date by which repayment must be made.

  5. Final Report: You must submit a final report on activities accomplished with your NEH award. This report can be completed online using NEH's eGMS system. If you do not have access to the Internet, please request a printed or electronic copy of the final report form by calling (202) 606-8494 or e-mailing The final report is due within ninety days after the conclusion of tenure.
  6. Prohibition on the Use of Funds for Lobbying Activities: The Byrd Anti-Lobbying Amendment, 31 U.S.C. 1352, prohibits recipients of federal contracts, awards, cooperative agreements, and loans from using appropriated funds to influence the Executive or Legislative Branches of the federal government in connection with a specific contract, award, cooperative agreement, loan, or any other award covered by §1352. 18 U.S.C. 1913 makes it a crime to use funds appropriated by Congress to influence members of Congress regarding congressional legislation or appropriations. Finally, the following are unallowable charges to award funds or cost sharing: certain electioneering activities, financial support for political parties, attempts to influence federal or state legislation either directly or through grass-roots lobbying, and some legislative liaison activities.

    The NEH is required by the provisions of its appropriations act to include the text of 18 U.S.C. 1913 in all of its award, cooperative agreement, and contract documents.

    Text of 18 U.S.C. 1913:

    No part of the money appropriated by any enactment of Congress shall, in the absence of express authorization by Congress, be used directly or indirectly to pay for any personal service, advertisement, telegram, telephone, letter, printed or written matter, or other device, intended or designed to influence in any manner a Member of Congress, a jurisdiction, or an official of any government, to favor, adopt, or oppose, by vote or otherwise, any legislation, law, ratification, policy, or appropriation, whether before or after the introduction of any bill, measure, or resolution proposing such legislation, law, ratification, policy, or appropriation; but this shall not prevent officers or employees of the United States or of its departments or agencies from communicating to any such Member or official, at his request, or to Congress or such official, through the proper official channels, requests for any legislation, law, ratification, policy, or appropriations which they deem necessary for the efficient conduct of the public business, or from making any communication whose prohibition by this section might, in the opinion of the Attorney General, violate the Constitution or interfere with the conduct of foreign policy, counter-intelligence, intelligence, or national security activities. Violations of this section shall constitute violations of Section 1352(a) of Title 31.

  7. Research Misconduct: NEH will take appropriate action against individuals or organizations upon a determination that misconduct has occurred in proposing, performing, or reviewing research or reporting results from research activities funded by NEH in accordance with NEH's Research Misconduct Policy.
  8. Publishing as a Result of Your NEH Award: Although there is no formal requirement that you publish the results of your investigations, most recipients intend to do so. You may copyright any material produced as a result of award activities, and you may make the results of your work available to the public without restriction.

    All materials publicizing or resulting from activities accomplished under an award must contain an acknowledgment of Endowment support. The acknowledgment must also include the following statement: “Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this (publication) (program) (Web site) do not necessarily reflect those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.”

    One copy of all award products should be forwarded to the Endowment as soon as they are available, no matter how long after tenure the work may appear.

  9. Medical Insurance and Other Fringe Benefits: The Endowment provides neither medical insurance nor any other fringe benefits for awardees. It is therefore recommended that you continue your existing medical insurance or other benefit programs in which you are participating. Unemployment compensation and Social Security insurance are not covered because recipients are not employees of the U.S. Government.
  10. Income Tax: The tax laws governing awards were amended by the Tax Reform Act of 1986, and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the courts decide the extent to which a particular award is taxable. The Endowment does not withhold taxes from stipends. Neither does the Endowment send to recipients an IRS form W-2 or IRS form 1099. You should familiarize yourself with the tax laws to determine the tax liability of your award and whether you are entitled to deduct any expenses in connection with it. The IRS has not advised the Endowment concerning tax treatment of awards, and NEH cannot provide tax advice or answers to tax questions.
  11. Activities Outside the United States: Prior to undertaking activities outside the United States, recipients shall secure the necessary passports, visas or other required documents for entry into foreign countries. Recipients shall also obtain the appropriate licenses, permits, or approvals. The recipient must notify the NEH if a permit is denied or revoked after an award has been issued, or if an unforeseen circumstance, such as a natural disaster or political turmoil, threatens or prevents the recipient from carrying out project activities.

    The NEH does not assume responsibility for recipient compliance with the laws and regulations of the country in which work is to be conducted.

    Recipients should consult the updated travel advisories and warnings issued by the State Department through the American Citizens Services at 202-647-5225 or fax service 202-647-3000 or at the State Department’s website.


The acceptance form is used to accept an NEH Faculty Research Award, identify the account into which your stipend payments will be deposited, and indicate the exact tenure dates of your award. You should retain a copy of the completed form for your records and notify the program whenever you make modifications to the arrangements agreed to by the Endowment. The acceptance form must include the following information:

  1. Application Number: Your application number, a combination of a two-letter prefix (HR) plus five digits, can be found on your offer letter.
  2. Name
  3. Social Security Number
  4. Mailing Address, Home and Office Phone Numbers, and E-Mail Address
  5. Award Tenure Period: Indicate the dates (month and year) on which you intend to begin and end your award tenure. The earliest date on which your award may begin is January 1, 2009. The latest date on which your award may begin is July 1, 2010. You must complete your award tenure within two years of the beginning date. All award periods will begin on the first day of a month and end on the last day of a month.

    The final amount of the stipend is based on the number of months you requested in your application. For each full month of tenure, the NEH pays $4,200. Thus, a fellowship for 12 months would carry a stipend of $50,400 ($4,200 X 12 months). NEH does not allow its fellows to increase the length of their awards from that mentioned in their applications; fellows may, however, decrease the length of their awards from that mentioned in their applications. The dates of your tenure may be different than those listed in your application.

    Tenure of your award may be continuous or divided, and during your award you can choose to work full time or half time. All award periods must be a minimum of six months of full-time work (or the equivalent) and may not exceed twelve months of full-time work (or the equivalent).

  6. Continuous tenure: You may choose a continuous tenure if you plan to begin and end your award without interruption. If you will have no concurrent commitments during this period, then you will be active on your grant full time. A continuous full-time tenure must be devoted to full-time work on the project and may not include a teaching assignment or any other major activity. If you have a concurrent, essential activity that cannot be relinquished while you are holding your award, then you will be active on your grant half time. No other major activity may be undertaken other than that finally agreed on between NEH and the recipient. Two whole months working half time on a project are equivalent to one whole month working full time.
  7. Divided tenure: The Faculty Research Awards Program is designed to allow its recipients flexibility during their tenure periods. Thus, you may choose to divide your tenure into distinct periods of work. For example, if you requested ten months of tenure in your application, you could request a full-time period from May through August (four months of full-time work), half-time from September through December (equivalent of two months of full-time work), inactive from January through April, and full-time again from May through August (four months of full-time work). The Endowment encourages you to construct a tenure that works best for your particular circumstances, following these two rules: 1) you are permitted only one "break" period during the span of your award, and 2) each segment of your award period must be for at least three contiguous months. Parts of a divided award can be either full or half time, but the periods spent on the grant must be the equivalent of six to twelve months of full-time work.

    The acceptance form includes a worksheet for plotting the tenure of your award. Be sure to account for the entire award tenure period you have selected, listing separately periods of activity and inactivity. Periods should be listed chronologically. This information will be used to establish a payment schedule for your entire award tenure period, so accuracy is important. Payment schedules will cover only periods of award activity.

    While you may hold other fellowships (e.g., sabbaticals and supplemental grants) or grants during faculty-research-award tenure, you may not hold other awards from the NEH Division of Research Programs during the fiscal or calendar year or years in which you hold an NEH Faculty Research Award.

  8. How would you like the stipend paid? Faculty Research Awards are paid in installments and prorated according to the length of tenure. Typically, the first payment is made at the beginning of the tenure period and subsequent payments are made every third month through the tenure of the award. The payment schedule and amounts for your particular award will be provided with the letter officially making the award.

    All payments are made electronically by the U.S. Treasury Department and can be deposited either in your bank account or in your employing institution’s bank. Please indicate the option you prefer. Please choose only one.

    Payments electronically deposited into your checking or savings account using the Automated Clearing House (ACH) system. If you choose this option, you must supply NEH with either your bank's ACH routing information or a voided check (a deposit slip is not acceptable) when you return your acceptance form.

    Payments electronically deposited into an account of your employing institution also using the Automated Clearing House (ACH) system. Some institutions are willing to continue paying fringe benefits if payments are made through them. If you think that this opportunity is available to you, please consult with your employing institution and complete the bank transit information.

    Please note that payments cannot be sent to foreign addresses. Recipients working abroad must have deposits made to a bank in the United States.

  9. Do you need your first payment early? You may receive your first payment thirty days before tenure begins if, for example, you anticipate major travel expenses early in your tenure. However, no payment can be made before January 1, 2009.
  10. Do you need a larger first payment? If you have particularly high initial expenses, you may receive a larger first payment to cover them.
  11. Acceptance and Certification: You must accept or decline the offer of a 2009-2010 NEH Faculty Research Award not later than February 27, 2009. To accept the award, you must complete and submit the acceptance form by this deadline.