Research and Development
Maximum award amount
Period of performance
Optional Draft due
Expected notification date
Project start date
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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 recognizes that finding solutions to complex problems often requires forming interdisciplinary project teams, bringing together participants with expertise in the humanities; in preservation; and in information, computer, and natural science. The exact mix of specialists will depend on the particular nature of the project. Your project team should embody a well-defined humanities perspective that can frame your objectives and guide the project to successful completion. Such a perspective may be provided by members of an advisory committee, consultant(s), a project co-director, or another participant.
All projects must demonstrate how advances in preservation and access would benefit the cultural heritage community in supporting humanities research, teaching, or public programming.
Research and Development offers two funding tiers in order to address projects at all stages of development and implementation.
Tier I: Planning and Basic Research
Tier I provides awards up to $75,000 for a period of performance of one to two years. This level supports the following activities:
- planning and preliminary work for large-scale research and development projects; and
- stand-alone basic research projects, such as case studies, experiments, or the development of methods, models, and tools.
Proposals for planning work designed to culminate in large-scale projects must identify one or more project deliverables, such as the creation of an action agenda, work plan, published report, draft standard, or software prototype.
Proposals to conduct preliminary testing or stand-alone basic research must indicate how they will address research issues or problems in the cultural heritage field. When possible, grant recipients must make research data publicly accessible in a format inviting additional analysis or reuse.
Tier II: Advanced Implementation
Tier II provides awards up to $350,000 for a period of performance of one to three years. This level supports projects at a more advanced stage of implementation for the following activities:
- the development of standards, practices, methodologies, or workflows for preserving and creating access to humanities collections; and
- applied research addressing preservation and access issues concerning humanities collections.
Applications for Advanced Implementation must demonstrate significant planning or prior research in one or more relevant fields. Successful completion of a Tier I project is not a prerequisite for applying for a Tier II award.
Below you will find a lengthy but not exhaustive list of potential research fields, topics, and humanities collection types that may be addressed by projects in Research and Development.
Collection and Format Types
Research Fields and Topics
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Sample Application Narratives
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