Research and Development
THE DEADLINE FOR THIS CYCLE HAS PASSED.
Updated guidelines will be posted in advance of the next deadline. In the meantime, please use these guidelines to get a sense of what is involved in assembling an application.
Maximum award amount
Tier II provides awards up to $350,000
Funding Opportunity for
Period of performance
Application available (anticipated)
Next deadline (anticipated)
Expected notification date
Project start date
The Research and Development program supports projects that address major challenges in preserving or providing access to humanities collections and resources. These challenges include the need to find better ways to preserve materials of critical importance to the nation’s cultural heritage—from fragile artifacts and manuscripts to analog recordings and digital assets subject to technological obsolescence—and to develop advanced modes of organizing, searching, discovering, and using such materials.
This program supports projects at all stages of development, from early planning and stand-alone studies to advanced implementation. Research and Development projects contribute to the evolving and expanding body of knowledge for heritage practitioners, and for that reason, outcomes may take many forms. Projects may produce any combination of laboratory datasets, guidelines for standards, open access software tools, workflow and equipment specifications, widely used metadata schema, or other products.
Research and Development supports work on the entire range of humanities collection types including, but not limited to, moving image and sound recordings, archaeological artifacts, born digital and time-based media, rare books and manuscripts, archival records, material culture, and art. Applicants must demonstrate how advances in preservation and access through a Research and Development project would benefit the cultural heritage community by supporting humanities research, teaching, or public programming.
Research and Development projects are encouraged to address one or more of the following areas of special interest:
- Preserving audiovisual and digital heritage
- Conserving the material past
- Protecting cultural heritage
- Serving under-represented communities
- Responding to climate change
What’s new for 2022-2023:
- The maximum funding amount for Tier I projects has been raised to $100,000 for a period of performance of up to two years.
- A new area of special interest encourages work investigating the impacts of climate change on heritage collections along with developing responses to advance sustainability and resilience.
- A new category for Tier II Advanced Implementation projects supports topic or area studies in heritage preservation and access. Projects may propose some combination of convenings such as forums, symposia, workshops, or conferences; surveys; and other qualitative and quantitative modes of investigations that would result in publications; resources; guidelines; or agenda for collective action with substantial national or international interest.
- We encourage projects aligning with NEH’s new special initiative, American Tapestry: Weaving Together Past, Present, and Future. American Tapestry supports projects that address one or more of the following themes: strengthening our democracy, advancing equity for all, and addressing our changing climate. Please note that Research and Development projects that do not address one of these themes are still eligible to apply.
- Applications will be declared ineligible for review if they do not include all required sections and components.
- Applications will be declared ineligible for review if they do not comply with all formatting requirements including page limits and file formats.
A new pre-recorded webinar with updated information discussing the Research and Development program was posted on February 24, 2023. You can watch the webinar here.
Read the Notice of Funding Opportunity to ensure you understand all the expectations and restrictions for projects delivered under this program and are prepared to write the most effective application.
Sample Application Narratives
Tier II Project: Foundation of the American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works, Building a Life Cycle Assessment Tool & Library of Preventive Conservation Methods
Tier II Project: Rochester Institute of Technology, Digital Preservation and Access to Aural Heritage Via A Scalable, Extensible Method
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Follow the instructions in the Notice of Funding Opportunity and Grants.gov.
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