Media Projects: Development Grants
Maximum award amount
Period of performance
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 general 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. 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.
Film and television projects may be single programs 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.
The Division of Public Programs encourages film and television projects that promote a deeper understanding of American history and culture and advance civics education. The Division of Public Programs also supports film and televsion projects that examine international themes and subjects in the humanities.
Radio and podcast projects may involve single programs, limited series, or segments within an ongoing series. Programs receiving production grants may be either broadcast or disseminated online. They may be intended for national or regional 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, supplemental educational websites, or museum exhibitions.
Development grants ($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 and television programs) or detailed treatment(s) (for radio programs and podcasts). They may also yield a detailed plan for outreach and public engagement in collaboration with a partner organization or organizations.
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
Sample Application Narratives
Be sure to follow the instructions outlined in the guidelines and in the grants.gov instructions.
You will receive a confirmation from grants.gov when you've successfully submitted your application.
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.