NEH Public Scholar Program Terms and Conditions
(Updated March 8, 2023 to reflect new ACH payment form instructions.)
If you have an academic institutional affiliation, NEH requires you to notify your department chair, chief academic officer, and director of sponsored research that NEH has offered you an award.
To accept the award, you must complete and submit the NEH Individual Program Acceptance Form through eGMS Reach, NEH's online grant management system, by the deadline indicated in your offer letter. You will find the acceptance form in the Forms & Reports tab of your offer in eGMS Reach. Learn how to access eGMS Reach.
If you have questions, contact the Public Scholar Program at (202) 606-8200.
Terms and Conditions of Award
These terms and conditions apply to all NEH Public Scholar Program recipients. Recipients assume legal, financial, administrative, and programmatic responsibility for administering their award in accordance with this document and the award documents. Failure to comply with these requirements may result in suspension or termination of the award and the NEH’s recovery of funds.
A. Roles and Responsibilities: The NEH, as a federal agency issuing grants and cooperative agreements (awards), is responsible to Congress and the U.S. taxpayer for carrying out its mission cost-effectively and in compliance with applicable requirements set forth in legislation, regulation, and policy. NEH seeks to ensure integrity and accountability in award issuance and administration by relying on a system of checks and balances and separation of responsibilities within its staff. The NEH roles and responsibilities are as follows:
- The NEH Office of Grant Management is responsible for overseeing compliance with the administrative requirements, cost principles, and other non-programmatic aspects of the award. Activities include, but are not limited to, evaluating applications for administrative content and compliance with statutes, regulations, and guidelines; negotiating awards; providing consultation and technical assistance to applicants and recipients, including interpretation of federal award administration policies and provisions; post-award monitoring and compliance, including closing out awards. The NEH Office of Grant Management is the only office authorized to issue the notice of award that obligates the NEH to the expenditure of federal funds or to change the funding, duration, or other terms and conditions of an award.
- NEH program officers are responsible for the programmatic aspects of assigned applications, grants and cooperative agreements. The NEH programs' responsibilities include, but are not limited to, development of programs to meet the NEH mission; preparation of funding opportunity announcements; provision of programmatic technical assistance; post-award monitoring of project/program performance, including review of performance reports; and other activities complementary to those of the NEH Office of Grant Management.
- The NEH Office of Accounting collects and confirms information submitted via the SF 3881 Automated Clearing House (ACH) form. The office also reviews payment requests and issues payments to grant and cooperative agreement recipients.
- The NEH Office of Inspector General is responsible for (1) conducting audits and investigations; (2) reviewing legislation; (3) recommending policies to promote efficiency and effectiveness; and (4) preventing and detecting fraud, waste, and abuse in the operations of the agency. Help NEH eliminate fraud and improve management by providing information about allegations or suspicions of waste, fraud, abuse, mismanagement, research misconduct (fabrication, falsification, plagiarism), or unnecessary government expenditures during the period of performance, to the NEH Office of the Inspector General. You can find details on how to report such allegations and suspicions here.
In accepting an NEH award, you, as the recipient, have full responsibility for conducting approved project activities, adhering to these terms and conditions, and informing the NEH during the course of the award of any significant issues that arise.
B. Time Commitment: Public Scholar project periods (also known as periods of performance) may range between a minimum of six months and a maximum of twelve months. The period of performance must be continuous. 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 performance, and must work a minimum of six full-time months or the equivalent. Recipients who teach while working part-time on a project must reduce their teaching load proportionately (i.e., if you are working half-time on your project, you may carry no more than a half-time teaching load as defined by your institution). Recipients who work full-time on their projects must forgo other major activities, including teaching. In any case--whether you work full-time, part-time, or a combination of the two--the period of performance for this award may not be less than six months and it may not exceed twelve months. You must complete your project work plan within twelve months of your chosen start date.
The time period and time commitment you indicate on the acceptance form are subject to approval by NEH staff.
If you have questions, please contact the Public Scholar Program staff before accepting your award.
C. Concurrent Funding: You may concurrently hold non-NEH funding support (e.g., sabbaticals, fellowships, or other awards) for the same project during your NEH Public Scholar term. You may also have an advance from a publisher. 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 federal fiscal year (October 1 -September 30) and you may not hold a Public Scholar award for work on a project previously supported by an NEH Fellowship or an Award for Faculty. Nor may you work on a project supported by an NEH institutional award while holding an NEH individual award on a full-time basis. Please contact staff before accepting your award if you have questions about multiple NEH awards.
D. 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.
E. Acknowledgment of NEH: All materials resulting from activities accomplished under an award (e.g., books or articles) must contain an acknowledgment of NEH support. The acknowledgment 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.” For additional information, including media tips and suggestions, see http://www.neh.gov/grants/manage/publicizing-your-project.
F. Payment Procedures: Once you have submitted the Individual Programs Acceptance Form (available in the “Forms & Reports” tab in eGMS Reach), NEH will send you a Notice of Action through eGMS Reach that will include your payment schedule and instructions explaining how to submit your banking information using the ACH Vendor/Miscellaneous Payment Enrollment Form SF-3881 (ACH). The ACH form allows NEH to electronically transfer funds to your account. You will not receive payment until you submit this form.
You must access and complete the ACH form in the “Forms & Reports” section of eGMS Reach. Do not attach it to an eGMS Reach message or email or fax it to the NEH accounting office.
If payments will be made to your employer on your behalf, a representative of the employer’s finance or accounting office should provide the proper routing and account number on the form. If you will receive payments directly from NEH, you may enter this information yourself.
Note: NEH no longer requires a signature from a bank official.
A sample check graphic is provided to assist you in identifying your routing and account numbers. DO NOT USE DEPOSIT SLIPS TO OBTAIN THIS INFORMATION. The routing and account numbers may be in slightly different places on your check. Please contact your financial institution to verify the correct routing and account numbers.
A bank’s Routing Transit Number (also known as an RTN or ABA Routing Number), is a 9-digit code assigned to all banks in the United States by the American Bankers Association (ABA) since 1911. Routing Numbers are used to identify your bank whenever you make a financial transaction like writing a check, setting up direct deposit, or using your bank’s Bill Pay feature. Tip: If the first two digits of the routing number are not 01 through 12, 21 through 32, or 61 through 72 the direct deposit will be rejected.
Your check may state that it is payable through a bank different from the financial institution at which you have your checking account. If so, do not use the routing number on that check. Instead, contact your financial institution for the correct routing number to enter on this line.
The checking account number can be up to 17 digits (no letters). Include hyphens but omit spaces and special symbols. Do not include the check number.
Tip: Funds must be transferred directly to a checking or savings account. Funds cannot be transferred to a trust.
G. Federal Debt: Recipients may not be delinquent in the repayment of any federal debt. Should you become delinquent during your period of performance, you must notify us immediately at @email. We will not release award funds until you provide evidence that you have entered into a repayment agreement with the Internal Revenue Service, and that you are current on all payments due. Examples of relevant debt include student loans, delinquent federal taxes, delinquent child support payments, and delinquent payroll taxes for household or other employees. (See OMB Circular A-129).
H. Equipment: Equipment is defined as tangible, nonexpendable personal property having a useful life of more than one year and an acquisition cost of $5,000 or more per unit. Consistent with Executive Order 13788 (“Buy American and Hire American”), if you purchase equipment and products costing $10,000 or more per unit with NEH funds, you should purchase only American-made equipment and products. This encouragement does not apply to commercial information technology.
I. Medical Insurance and Other Fringe Benefits: NEH provides neither medical insurance nor any other fringe benefits for awardees. NEH therefore recommends that you consider continuing any benefit programs in which you are participating. NEH awards to individuals do not cover unemployment compensation and Social Security insurance because recipients are not employees of the U.S. Government.
J. Income Tax: NEH does not and cannot provide tax advice. NEH does not withhold Social Security, State or federal income taxes from your award. NEH does not send 1099s or other tax forms. You should direct specific questions regarding the taxability of your award to the IRS, appropriate state or local officials, or your tax advisor. The IRS’s online interactive tax assistant addresses whether one should include a scholarship, fellowship, or education grant as income on a tax return. See https://www.irs.gov/help/ita/do-i-include-my-scholarship-fellowship-or-education-grant-as-income-on-my-tax-return
K. Travel: Airfare for domestic travel charged to the award may not exceed the value of the basic least expensive unrestricted accommodations class offered by commercial airlines.
L. Activities Outside the United States: It is your responsibility to secure the necessary passports, visas, licenses, permits, and approvals or other required documents prior to undertaking activities outside the United States. You 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 you from carrying out project activities.
The NEH does not assume responsibility for your compliance with the laws and regulations of the country (or countries) in which you conduct your work.
NEH encourages recipients to register with the State Department’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP). Recipients registering with STEP receive the most current information and travel alerts from the U.S. embassy in the country in which they are traveling, and registration makes it easier for the Embassy to know how to contact travelers in an emergency. For questions regarding American citizens involved in an emergency overseas, the State Department provides these telephone numbers: 888-407-4747 from within the U.S. or Canada, or +1 (202) 501-4444 from other countries. You can get travel advisories and warnings on the State Department's website (https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/country.html).
Airfare for foreign travel paid with NEH funds may not exceed the value of the basic least expensive unrestricted accommodations class offered by a commercial carrier. In accordance with the Fly America Act (49 U.S.C. 40118), all air transportation of persons or property that is paid in whole or in part with NEH funds must be performed on a U.S. flag air carrier. The regulations regarding the Fly America Act are available at 41 CFR 301-10.131-143. In the following circumstance, the use of a foreign air carrier would be permissible:
- Airline "Open Skies" Agreement:
You may use a foreign flag air carrier if the transportation is provided under an air transportation agreement between the United States and a foreign government, which the Department of Transportation has determined meets the requirements of the Fly America Act. For information on "open skies" agreements in which the United States has entered, please refer to the GSA website at: http://www.gsa.gov/portal/content/103191.
Note on U.S./European Union Open Skies Agreement
In 2007, the U.S. entered into an "Open Skies" Agreement with the European Union (“EU”). This agreement was modified in June 2010. The current Agreement gives European Community airlines (airlines of Member States) the right to transport passengers and cargo on flights funded by the U.S. government, when the transportation is between: (1) any two points outside the United States; or (2) a point in the United States and any point outside the United States that the EU airline is authorized to serve under the "Open Skies" Agreement.
In 2011, two significant changes were made to the U.S./EU Open Skies Agreement. First, EU airlines are now granted the right to transport civilian agency-funded passengers who are NOT eligible to travel on GSA Airline City Pair Contract fares (e.g., grant recipients) between a point in the United States and a point outside the United States even if there is a GSA Airline City Pair Contract fare in effect between the origin and destination points. An individual, however, who is traveling on a route for which there is a City Pair Contract fare in effect, and who is eligible for such a fare (e.g., federal employee), are be required to fly on a U.S. carrier, absent another applicable exception. Second, under the amended Agreement, EU airlines are now authorized to transport passengers between points in the United States and points outside the EU if the EU airline is authorized to serve the route under the Agreement. This includes flights that originate, arrive, or stop in the EU. Prior to this change, EU airlines were limited to flying passengers between points in the U.S. and points in the EU.
- Involuntary Rerouting
Travel on a foreign-flag carrier is permitted if a U.S.-flag air carrier involuntarily reroutes the traveler via a foreign-flag air carrier, notwithstanding the availability of alternative US-flag air carrier service.
- Travel To and From the U.S. on non-European Community Airlines
Use of a non-European Community foreign-flag air carrier is permissible if the airport abroad is:
- the traveler's origin or destination airport, and use of U.S.-flag air carrier service would extend the time in a travel status by at least 24 hours more than travel by a foreign-flag air carrier; or
- an interchange point, and use of U.S.-flag air carrier service would increase the number of aircraft changes the traveler must make outside of the U.S. by two or more, would require the traveler to wait four hours or more to make connections at that point, or would extend the time in a travel status by at least six hours more than travel by a foreign-flag air carrier.
4. Travel Between Points Outside the U.S. on non-European Community Airlines
Use of a non-European Community foreign-flag air carrier is permissible if:
- travel by a foreign-flag air carrier would eliminate two or more aircraft changes en route;
- travel by a U.S.-flag air carrier would require a connecting time of four hours or more at an overseas interchange point; or
- the travel is not part of the trip to or from the U.S., and use of a U.S.-flag air carrier would extend the time in a travel status by at least six hours more than travel by a foreign-flag air carrier.
5. Short Distance Travel
For all short distance travel, regardless of origin and destination, use of a foreign-flag air carrier is permissible if the elapsed travel time on a scheduled flight from origin to destination airport by a foreign-flag air carrier is three hours or less and service by a U.S.-flag air carrier would double the travel time.
Lower cost, convenience, or traveler preferences are NOT acceptable reasons for using a foreign air carrier.
M. Political and Social Advocacy: NEH funds may not be used for
- promotion of a particular political, religious, or ideological point of view;
- advocacy for a particular program of social or political action; or
- support of specific public policies or legislation.
See also Section V, below, “Prohibition on the Use of Funds for Lobbying Activities.”
N. Changes to Your Approved Project, Period of Performance, or Reporting Deadline
You may not change your project scope, work plan, period of performance or the due date of your reporting requirements without prior NEH approval. All requests for changes must be submitted through eGMS Reach as follows:
- 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 award’s period of performance and your time commitment to the project (full- or part-time) during that period.
To request a change through eGMS Reach, go to the Changes Requests tab and click the Submit a New Request button. Select “Scope and/or Work Plan Amendment Request” and follow the directions provided in eGMS Reach. 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. Requests for revisions to the project scope and/or work plan must be submitted through eGMS Reach as soon as possible, but no later than 30 days prior to the end of the period of performance.
- Changes in the period of performance: To request a change in the period of performance, go the Change Request tab in eGMS Reach, select “Extension Request,” and follow the directions provided. The request must be submitted through eGMS Reach at least 30 days before the end date of the period of performance. Approval of such requests may impact your payment schedule.
- Changes in the performance report due date: To request a report due date extension, select that option on the Change Request tab in eGMS Reach and follow the directions provided. The request must be submitted through eGMS Reach at least 30 days before the report is due.
Amendment requests are considered on a case-by-case basis, and approval is not guaranteed.
O. Final Report: You must submit a final performance report on activities accomplished with your NEH award. This report is due within 120 days if you received your award on or after November 12th, 2020. If you received your award before November 12th, 2020 your final report is due within 90 days of the end of your period of performance. A final financial report is not required.
You must submit the final performance report electronically via eGMS Reach. Once in eGMS Reach, select the Reports tab and follow the prompts for writing and submitting your final report.
P. Submission of Products to NEH: One copy of all award products should be forwarded to NEH as soon as they are available, no matter how long after grant completion the publication may appear.
Q. Record Retention
You are required to maintain a record of all documents pertinent to your award for a period of three years from the date you submit your Final Performance Report to the NEH.
R. Copyright: You may copyright any work that is subject to copyright and was developed, or for which ownership was acquired, under your NEH award. NEH reserves a royalty-free, non-exclusive, and irrevocable right to reproduce, publish, or otherwise use your NEH-supported work for federal purposes, and to authorize others to do so.
NEH is eager to promote the work of its award recipients in the Public Scholar Program. In addition to providing upon request an excerpt from the resulting product(s) for publication in Humanities magazine or on the NEH website, you agree if requested to participate, on terms mutually acceptable to you and NEH, in NEH-sponsored public events (e.g., lectures, webcasts, interviews) intended to further the mission of the agency and/or promote public scholarship; and to provide NEH, insofar as possible, with advance notice of other public appearances (e.g., lectures, book signings, radio or television appearances) 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.
In accordance with the Freedom of Information Act, 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.
S. Library of Congress Cataloging in Publication Program: We strongly recommend that you catalog any publication that results from this award under the Cataloging in Publication (CIP) Program of the Library of Congress before final printing. This method of cataloging enables libraries to acquire and process books quickly. Publishers ineligible for this program may be eligible for the Library’s Preassigned Card Number Program. Entering these titles in a national bibliographic database leads to greater dissemination of publications, thereby benefiting you, the recipient. For more information, see http://www.loc.gov/publish/cip/.
T. State Humanities Council Notification: You must notify your state humanities council of your award and, wherever possible, give advance notice of any related public events occurring in the state. A list of state humanities councils is available here: http://www.neh.gov/about/state-humanities-councils/
U. Research Misconduct: NEH will take appropriate action against individuals and 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.
V. 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.
W. Compliance with Drug-Free Workplace Act: Recipients must comply with the Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988 (2 CFR part 3373). Recipients may not engage in the unlawful manufacture, distribution, dispensing, possession, or use of a controlled substance in conducting any grant activity. (For the purposes of this Act, alcohol is not considered a controlled substance.) If convicted of a criminal drug offense that is the result of a violation occurring during the conduct of any grant activity, he or she will report the conviction to the Office of Grants Management (@email), in writing, within ten calendar days of the conviction. This notice must include the federal award identification number of each affected fellowship, grant, and/or cooperative agreement.
X. Compliance with Labor Standards: Recipients must comply with the labor standards set out in Labor Standards on Projects or Productions Assisted by Grants from the National Endowments for the Arts and Humanities. (See 29 CFR part 505.)
Y. Termination: NEH may terminate your Public Scholar award if, for any reason, you choose to discontinue the proposed program before the end of the period of performance or fail to observe the award’s terms and conditions. If you discontinue the proposed program before the end of your period of performance, you must return any funds received over and above those to which you are entitled.
If during your period of performance you are unable to meet the terms of the award, then you are obliged to inform NEH immediately. Because stipend payments are made in advance, you may be required to return a portion of the stipend to NEH; if this is the case, NEH will inform you of the amount that you must repay, the basis for the calculation, and the date by which you must repay.
Z. Debarment: Recipients may not be debarred, suspended, proposed for debarment, declared ineligible, or voluntarily excluded from participation in covered transactions by any federal department or agency or, within the three years preceding the submission of their application, have been convicted of or had a civil judgment rendered against them for commission of fraud or a criminal offense in connection with a public (federal, state, or local) transaction or a contract under a public transaction; for violation of federal or state antitrust statutes; for commission of embezzlement, theft, forgery, bribery, falsification or destruction of records, making false statements, or receiving stolen property; had any public transactions terminated for cause or default; or be presently indicted for or otherwise criminally or civilly charged by a governmental entity with any of the preceding offenses. (See 2 CFR Parts 180 and 3369.) Debarment will result in immediate termination of the award.