General Information on NEH Public Scholar Program Awards

The deadline for accepting 2017-2018 NEH Public Scholar awards is September 18, 2017.  To accept the award, please complete, sign, and return the acceptance form to the NEH Public Scholar Program by either scanning and e-mailing it to @email or faxing it to (202) 606-8204 by this deadline.  If you have questions, contact the Public Scholar Program at (202) 606-8200.


PART ONE of this document describes the terms and conditions governing NEH Public Scholar awards.

PART TWO provides specific information on term dates, stipends, and instructions for completing the acceptance form.


Terms and Conditions of Award

A.   Time Commitment:  Public Scholar term periods may range between a minimum of six months and a maximum of twelve months. Terms must be continuous; no breaks from work on the project are allowable for the duration of the award. However, you may hold your award full-time, part-time, or a combination of the two. (Part-time is defined as a commitment to the project of anywhere between half-time and full-time.) Recipients must work at least half-time on their projects for the entire period of their term, and recipients who work full-time on their projects must forgo other major activities, including teaching. In any case--whether full-time, part-time, or a combination of the two--no term may exceed twelve months. You must complete your project work plan within twelve months of your chosen start date.

If you have questions, please contact the Public Scholar Program staff before accepting your award.

B.  Changes in Project Scope or Plan of Work:  Your project must be consistent with the scope of the proposal that NEH has approved for funding. The scope of a project encompasses the purpose for which the award is undertaken, the subject matter, the treatment of the subject matter, the plans for travel, and the products that are expected to result. You must also adhere to the plan of work you specify when you accept the award, including the period of the award and your time commitment to the project (full- or part-time) during that period. You must describe and justify in writing any proposed changes in your project's scope or your plan of work so that NEH can determine whether they fall within the intent of the award.

C.  Work Leading toward Degrees:  You may audit courses and seminars pertinent to your Public Scholar project, but you may not enroll in a degree program or engage in work you intend to apply toward a degree either now or later.

D.  Resignation or Termination:  NEH may terminiate your Public Scholar award if, for any reason, you resign or discontinue the proposed program before the end of the award period or fail to observe the award’s terms and conditions.  If you resign before the end of your term, you must return any funds received over and above those to which you are entitled.

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

E.  Final Report: You must submit a final performance report on the activities you have accomplished with your NEH award. You must submit this report electronically via "eGMS," the NEH's online grant management system at  When accessing eGMS for the first time, enter your eGMS username, which appears in parentheses next to your name in the "Recipient Contacts” box of the Official Notice of Action that will be included with your award letter. Then click the “reset password” button. An e-mail message will be sent to you with a link to create a new password.  A user guide containing additional instructions is available at the above eGMS site.

You must submit the final performance report within 90 days after the conclusion of your term. A final financial report is not required.

F.  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.

G.  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 the NEH Research Misconduct Policy.


H.  Publications and Public Appearances Resulting from Your NEH Award:  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.

NEH is eager to promote the work of its grant recipients in the Public Scholar Program. By accepting this award, you agree 1) to provide, if requested, an excerpt from the resulting product(s) for publication in Humanities magazine, with the nature and length of any such excerpt and the timing of its publication to be determined by mutual agreement among you, your publisher, and NEH; 2) to participate, if requested, on terms mutually acceptable to you and NEH, in NEH-sponsored public events (e.g., lectures, webcasts) intended to further the mission of the agency and/or promote public scholarship; 3) to provide NEH, insofar as possible, with advance notice of other public appearances (e.g., lectures, book signings, radio or television appreances) you may make for the purpose of promoting product(s) resulting from this grant, so that NEH may publicize them through social media or other means should it choose to do so.

NEH has prepared a guide for grantees for publicizing NEH-sponsored projects, including media tips and suggestions. We encourage you to consult this guide, available here:

I. Requirements for Acknowledgment of NEH Support:  All products resulting from the NEH award (for example, books, articles, films or videos, radio programs, databases, reports, Web resources, and/or exhibits) must contain an acknowledgment of NEH support. The acknowledgement must also include the following statement: "Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this (publication) (program) (website) do not necessarily reflect those of the National Endowment for the Humanities." Where possible, NEH support should be mentioned in any related newspaper articles, interviews, television, radio, or other media appearances, social media postings, book-signings, press conferences, or other public events. Where possible, NEH support should also be mentioned in the publicity for any such events related to the project. The NEH logo may be downloaded electronically from the NEH website at  The NEH has additional specific requirements regarding acknowledgements in films, videos, audio, and radio programs produced with NEH sponsorship; you agree to consult NEH staff for guidance in formulating such acknowledgments.

J. State Humanities Council Notification:  Your state humanities council must be notified of your award and, wherever possible, given advance notice of any related public events occurring in the state. A list of state humanities councils is available here:

K. Submission of Products to NEH and Use of Your Application:  You should forward one copy of all award products to the NEH as soon as they are available, no matter how long after grant completion the publication may appear.

After the award period and in accordance with disclosure laws, NEH may make available to the public the narrative and bibliography that you submitted with your application, in the form of samples of successful applications published on NEH's website or at workshops that staff members periodically conduct for prospective applicants.

 L.  Medical Insurance and Other Fringe Benefits:  NEH provides neither medical insurance nor any other fringe benefits for awardees. It is therefore recommended that you continue any benefit programs in which you are participating.  Unemployment compensation and Social Security insurance are not covered because NEH Public Scholars are not employees of the U.S. Government.

M.   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.  NEH does not withhold taxes from stipends.  Neither does the NEH 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 NEH concerning tax treatment of awards, and NEH cannot provide tax advice or answers to tax questions.            

N. 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 Web site.              

O.  Payment Procedures: Once you have submitted your completed and signed acceptance form (see Part Two below), NEH will send you an award letter that includes the payment schedule and instructions explaining how to submit your banking information to the NEH Accounting Office. We ask that you do not submit your banking information until you receive your award letter.  At that time, you will be required to submit to the NEH Accounting Office the ACH Vendor/Miscellaneous Payment Enrollment Form (Standard Form 3881).  To do this, you will complete the form and print a copy for signature (the signature must be hand written, not typed) by the authorized certifying official at your institution’s bank (if you choose deposit to your institution’s account) or at your own bank (if you choose deposit to a personal account).  Return the signed form to the NEH Accounting Office either by scanning and e-mailing it to @email or by faxing it to 202-688-2613.  Your NEH-assigned award number (beginning with FZ) must be on the ACH form (under “Agency Information”) for payment to be made.



Instructions for the Acceptance Form

The acceptance form is used to accept an NEH Public Scholar award and to indicate the exact term dates of your award.  You should retain a copy of the completed form for your records and notify the Public Scholar Program at @email whenever you make modifications to the arrangements agreed to by the NEH.  The acceptance form must include the following information:

1.  Application Number:  Your application number, a combination of a two-letter prefix (FZ) plus six 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.  Term Dates:  You may start your Public Scholar term any month during the thirteen-month window from September 2017 through September 2018. Please note that your term must begin on the first day of your chosen month and end on the last day of your chosen final month. Remember that you must complete your Public Scholar term within twelve months of the initial month you choose.

Your Public Scholar term must be continuous; that is, no breaks from work on the project are allowable for the duration of your award. Awards may be held full-time, part-time, or a combination of the two. Part-time is defined as a commitment to the project anywhere between half-time and full-time. You must work at least half-time on your project for the entire period of the grant.

The final amount of the stipend is based on the number of full-time equivalent months of your term. For each month of your term, NEH provides $4,200. Thus, a full-time Public Scholar term for twelve months carries a stipend of $50,400 ($4,200 x 12), a half-time term for twelve months carries a stipend of $25,200 ($2,100 x 12), and a three-quarter-time term for twelve months carries a stipend of $37,800 ($3,150 x 12).

The term dates you provide on the acceptance form may differ from the dates you originally requested in your application. You may not increase the length of your term beyond your original request, but you may decrease it. Please be certain of the term dates you enter on the acceptance form so that no changes will be required later.

Example: You could combine half-time and full-time work to design a Public Scholar term covering twelve months from September 2017 through August 2018:

--September 2017 through December 2017, full-time. Total time on you project: 4 months @ 1.0 commitment = 4 months full-time equivalent

--January 2018 through May 2018, teaching half-time. Total time on your NEH project: 5 months @ .5 commitment = 2.5 months full-time equivalent.

--June 2018 through August 2018, full-time. Total time on NEH project: 3 months @ 1.0 commitment = 3 months full-time equivalent.

This scenario, covering the maximum allowable term of twelve months, is equivalent to 9.5 full-time months. This award amount would be $39,900 ($4,200 x 9.5).

The acceptance form includes a worksheet for plotting your award term. Be sure to account for the entire term you have selected. You should list periods chronologically. The NEH will use this information to establish a payment schedule for your entire term, so accuracy is important.

You may concurrently hold non-NEH funding support (e.g., sabbaticals, supplemental grants, or other grants) for the same project during your NEH Public Scholar term. You may not, however, accept or hold more than one NEH individual award (Public Scholar, Fellowship, Award for Faculty, or Summer Stipend) in a given fiscal year (October-September). Nor may you work on a project supported by an NEH institutional award while holding an NEH individual award on a full-time basis. In some cases there are additional restrictions. Please contact staff before accepting your award if you have questions about multiple awards.

6.  How would you like the stipend paid?  NEH pays award stipends in installments and prorates them according to the term length.  Typically, the first payment is made at the beginning of the term period and subsequent payments are made every third month through the award term.  NEH will provide the payment schedule and amounts for your particular award with the letter officially making the award.

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

a.   Payments electronically deposited into your checking or savings account using the Automated Clearing House (ACH) system.

b.   Payments electronically deposited into an account of your employing institution using the Automated Clearing House (ACH) system.  Some institutions are willing to continue paying fringe benefits if payments are made through them.  Please consult with your institution about this option.   NOTE:  If you select this option, your institution is authorized to return any unspent award funds to you at the end of the award period to cover additional costs not administered through the institution.

Please note that payments cannot be sent to foreign addresses or deposited in non-U.S. banks.

IMPORTANT: The acceptance form does NOT request banking information for direct deposit of your award payments.  Once NEH receives your completed and signed acceptance form, you will be sent an award letter that includes instructions for submitting your banking information to NEH.

7.  Do you need your first payment early?  You may receive your first payment 30 days before your term begins if, for example, you anticipate major travel expenses early in your term.  However, no payment can be made before September 1, 2017.

8.  Do you need a larger first payment?  If you have particularly high initial expenses, you may receive a larger first payment to cover them.

9.  Acceptance and Certification:  You must accept or decline the offer of a 2017-2018 NEH Public Scholar award no later than September 18, 2017.  To accept the award, please complete, sign, and return the acceptance form to the NEH Public Scholar Program by either scanning and e-mailing it to @email or faxing it to (202) 606-8204 by this deadline.