Media Projects: Development Grants

Division of Public Programs

Grant Snapshot

Maximum award amount

$75,000

Open to

Organizations

Expected output

Film/TV/Video Broadcast or Recording;
Podcast;
Online Video

Period of performance

Six to twelve months

Application available

Optional Draft due

Application due

Expected notification date

Project start date

ALERT from SAM.gov: The first time you log in to SAM.gov after June 29, 2018, you’ll be asked to create a login.gov user account (if you don’t already have one). Going forward, you will use your login.gov username and password every time you log in to SAM.gov. Your current SAM.gov username and password will no longer work.  If you are renewing or registering a new entity in SAM.gov, you must mail an original, signed notarized letter stating that you are the authorized Entity Administrator for the entity associated with the DUNS number. Read the FAQs to learn more about these process changes. Currently SAM.gov recommends that registrations and renewals submit their notarized letters at least 45 days in advance of expiration dates or anticipated needs. Please note that you will be unable to access Grants.gov Workspace or fillable application forms until your SAM.gov registration is active.

The Media Projects program supports documentary film, television, radio, and podcast projects that engage public audiences with humanities ideas in creative and appealing ways. All projects must be grounded in humanities scholarship in disciplines such as history, art history, film studies, literature, religious studies, philosophy, or anthropology. (You can find a more detailed description of the humanities here.) Projects must also demonstrate an approach that is thoughtful, balanced, and analytical. The approach to the subject matter must go beyond the mere presentation of factual information to explore its larger significance and stimulate reflection. NEH is a national funding agency, so the projects that we support must demonstrate the potential to attract a broad general audience.

The Division of Public Programs encourages media projects that promote a deeper understanding of American history and culture and advance civic education. The Division of Public Programs also supports media projects that examine international themes and subjects in the humanities.

Film and television projects may be single films or a series addressing significant figures, events, or ideas. Programs may be intended for regional or national distribution, via traditional carriage or online distribution. The Division of Public Programs welcomes projects that range in length from short-form to broadcast-length video.

Radio and podcast projects may involve single programs, limited series, or segments within an ongoing series. They may be intended for regional or national distribution.

NEH encourages projects that engage public audiences through multiple formats. Proposed projects might include supplementary components to a film, television, radio, or podcast project: for example, book/film discussion programs, supplementary educational websites, or museum exhibitions.

Applicants must have clear central ideas and a solid command of the major humanities scholarship on their subject, and they must have consulted with a team of scholarly advisers to work out the intellectual issues that the program will explore. The scholars must represent major fields relevant to the subject matter, have a strong record of research and scholarship in the humanities, and offer diverse perspectives and approaches.

Development awards ($40,000 to $75,000) enable media producers to collaborate with scholars to develop humanities content and to prepare programs for production. Awards should result in a script (for documentary film or television programs) or a detailed treatment (for radio programs or podcasts) and may also yield a plan for outreach and public engagement.

Review your application package

As soon as you know you're ready to apply for this grant, make sure you register for a SAM number/DUNS number, and for a grants.gov account as this is vital to the grants process. If you already have registered for these items, make sure they are up to date.

Begin by reading the full grant guidelines and studying the application. The files are linked below. You want to ensure you understand all the expectations and restrictions for projects delivered under this grant and are prepared to write the most effective application. 

Download Application Materials

Media Projects: Development Grants program guidelines (PDF)

Media Projects: Development Grants program guidelines (DOC)

Media Projects Grants.gov application package

Budget Resources

Budget Instructions, October 2018 (PDF)

Sample Budget, October 2018 (PDF)

Budget Form, October 2018 (MS Excel)

Program Resources

Media Projects frequently asked questions, January 2019 (PDF)

Media Projects: Development Grants awards, 2015-2018

DUNS Number Requirement

Sample Application Narratives

City Lore New York Center for Urban Culture, Jewish American Soldiers in World War II

Filmmakers Collaborative, Across the Pacific

Global Village Media, John Muir in the New World

    Complete your application package

    Be sure to follow the instructions outlined in the guidelines and in the grants.gov instructions. 

    Submit your application package on Grants.gov

    You will receive a confirmation from grants.gov when you've successfully submitted your application. 

    Verify you have received email messages from Grants.gov

    After you submit your application, Grants.gov will send you up to five e-mail messages confirming receipt of your application. These messages represent different stages in the application acceptance process. You should verify that you have received all confirmation messages. Please note that email filters may send these messages to your spam or junk folder.

    Program Statistics

    In the last five competitions this program received an average of
    30
    Applications
    per competition
    This program has a
    10%
    Funding Ratio
    NEH made an average of
    3
    Awards
    per competition