NEH Public Scholar Program Terms and Conditions

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, sign, and return the acceptance form to the NEH Public Scholar Program by either scanning and e-mailing it to or faxing it to (202) 606-8204 by the deadline indicated on the acceptance form.  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.   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.  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 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.

B.  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-September) 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. In some cases there are additional restrictions.  Please contact staff before accepting your award if you have questions about multiple NEH awards.

C.  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.  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.

D.  Disallowed Activities

Public Scholar awards 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 N, below, “Prohibition on the Use of Funds for Lobbying Activities.”

E.  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 Safe Traveler Enrollment Program.  Recipients registering with the State Department's Safe Traveler Enrollment Program (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.  In addition, you can get travel advisories and warnings on the State Department's website (, by fax service at 202-647-3000; by telephone at (888) 407-4747 from within the United States, or, from overseas, +1 (202) 501-4444.  For specific questions regarding an emergency involving an American citizen overseas, recipients should contact the Office of Overseas Citizens Services [42], at (202) 647-5225.

Airfare paid with NEH funds, whether domestic or foreign, 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 USC 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

  1. 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:

Note on US/European Union Open Skies Agreement

In 2007, the US 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 US 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 US/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 US 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 US and points in the EU.

  1. Involuntary Rerouting

Travel on a foreign-flag carrier is permitted if a US-flag air carrier involuntarily reroutes the traveler via a foreign-flag air carrier, notwithstanding the availability of alternative US-flag air carrier service.

  1. Travel To and From the US on non-European Community Airlines

Use of a non-European Community foreign-flag air carrier is permissible if the airport abroad is:

a) the traveler's origin or destination airport, and use of US-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

b) an interchange point, and use of US-flag air carrier service would increase the number of aircraft changes the traveler must make outside of the US 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.

  1. Travel Between Points Outside the US on non-European Community Airlines

Use of a non-European Community foreign-flag air carrier is permissible if:

a) travel by a foreign-flag air carrier would eliminate two or more aircraft changes en route;

b) travel by a US-flag air carrier would require a connecting time of four hours or more at an overseas interchange point; or

c) the travel is not part of the trip to or from the US, and use of a US-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.

  1. 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 US-flag air carrier would double the travel time.

Lower cost, convenience, or traveler preferences are NOT acceptable reasons for using a foreign air carrier.

F.  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.

G.  Resignation or Termination:  NEH may terminate your Public Scholar award if, for any reason, you 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 the period of performance, you must return any funds received over and above those to which you are entitled.

If during the course of 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 make repayment.

H.  Final Report: You must submit a final performance report on activities accomplished with your NEH award.  This report is due within 90 days after the end date of the period of performance.  A final financial report is not required.

You must submit the final performance report electronically via eGMS Reach, NEH's online grant management system at  At the welcome screen, enter your eGMS Reach 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 “Sign in help,” select the appropriate radio button, and click “Send.”  The system will send you an e-mail message with a link to create a new password.  Once in eGMS Reach, follow the prompts for writing and submitting your final report.

I. Publications and Public Appearances Resulting from Your NEH Award:  You may copyright any work that is subject to copyright and was developed, or for which ownership was acquired, under your NEH award.  In accordance with the Code of Federal Regulations (2 CFR 200.315(b)) 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 has typically exercised this right in consultation with Public Scholar award recipients to publish an excerpt from resulting grant product(s) in Humanities magazine or on the NEH website.

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.

We strongly recommend that you catalog any publication that results from this award by 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 the recipient. For more information, see

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

J. 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, you should also mention NEH support in the publicity for any such events related to the project.  You may download the NEH logo 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.

K. 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:

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.  Submission of Products to NEH and Use of Your Application:  You should forward one copy of all products produced under the award to the NEH as soon as they are available, no matter how long after the end date of the period of performance the publication may appear.

After the period of performance 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.

M.  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.            

N. 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.             

O.  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 stipends do not cover unemployment compensation and Social Security insurance because NEH Public Scholars are not employees of the U.S. Government.

P.   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 Social Security, State or federal income taxes from your award.  The 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.

Q.  Payment Procedures:  Once you have submitted your completed and signed acceptance form (see Acceptance Form and Instructions), 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 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.

R.  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 mail to:  @email.  We will not release award funds until you provide documentation that the debt is resolved.