Collaborative Research

Division of Research Programs

Grant Snapshot

Maximum award amount

Up to $250,000 (depending on funding category)

Open to


Expected output

Digital Material and Publication;
Other Scholarly Resource;
Themed issue of peer-reviewed journal;

Period of performance

One to three years (depending on funding category)

Application available

Application due

Expected notification date

Project start date

Debate, exchange of ideas, and working together—all are basic activities that advance humanities knowledge and foster rich scholarship that would not be possible by researchers working on their own. The Collaborative Research program aims to advance humanistic knowledge through sustained collaboration between two or more scholars. Collaborators may be drawn from a single institution or several institutions across the United States; up to half of the collaborators may be based outside of the U.S. The program encourages projects that propose diverse approaches to topics, incorporate multiple points of view, and explore new avenues of inquiry in the humanities.

The program allows projects that propose research in a single field of study, as well as interdisciplinary work. Projects that include partnerships with researchers from the natural and social sciences are encouraged but must employ a humanistic research agenda. Partnerships among different types of institutions are welcome as well as new collaborations with international partners.

Proposed projects must aim to result in tangible and sustainable outcomes, for example, co-authored or multi-authored books; born-digital publications; themed issues of peer-reviewed journals; a series of peer-reviewed articles; and open-access scholarly digital resources. All project outcomes must incorporate interpretive work and collaboration to address significant humanities research questions.

What’s new in the Collaborative Research program in 2020 and 2021

  • Program staff will review of one draft per application using the template available under Application Materials. The deadline for submitting drafts is October 15, 2020.
  • The program now includes four categories: Planning International Collaboration (NEW), Conference (previously Convening), Manuscript Preparation (previously Publication), and Scholarly Digital Projects (NEW)
  • Conference applicants may request a second year of support to prepare papers for publication; the maximum award is $100,000 for two years.
  • The formerly separate statement of significance and impact is now incorporated into the application narrative.
  • The work plan is a separate attachment.
  • You must use the Research and Related Budget Form (included in the application package) and attach a budget justification.

Disclaimer: This list is not a complete list of all changes to this Notice of Funding Opportunity.

A pre-application webinar Collaborative Research 2020-2021: What's New and Application Tips was held on September 30, 2020 and can be seen below:

Review your application package

Begin by reading the Notice of Funding Opportunity.  You want to ensure you understand all the expectations and restrictions for projects delivered under this program and are prepared to write the most effective application.

Application Materials

Collaborative Research Notice of Funding Opportunity (PDF)

Collaborative Research application package

Program Resources

Collaborative Research Frequently Asked Questions, 2020

Collaborative Research draft template

Collaborative Research Awards, 2018-2020

Sample Application Narratives


Emory University, Chinese Foodways in the Modern World (19th c. - present): Reexamining Culinary Continuity and Change

University of Pennsylvania, New Narratives in the History of Philosophy: Women and Early Modern European Philosophy

University of Tennessee, Knoxville, In a Speculative Light: The Arts of Writer James Baldwin (1924-1987) and Painter Beauford Delaney (1901-1979)

Manuscript Preparation

Arizona State University, Unfinished Partitions in South Asia and the Making of Miyahs, Biharis, and Christians into Noncitizens (1947 - the Present)

Goucher College, Beyond Versailles: Reverberations of the "1919 Moment" in Asia

University of Chicago, Oriental Institute Nubian Archaeological Expedition Publication Project

Texas Christian University, Oral Histories of the Multiracial Freedom Struggle in Texas

University of Pennsylvania, The Long Road to Freedom Biddy Mason and the Making of  Black Los Angeles

Scholarly Digital Projects

Boston University, 'Ajami Literature and the Expansion of Literacy and Islam: The Case of West Africa

New York University, The Post-Soviet Public Sphere: Multimedia Sourcebook of the1990s

University of Nebraska, Washington DC during the Civil War

    Register for a SAM number and an account on

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    Complete your application package

    Be sure to follow the instructions outlined in the Notice of Funding Opportunity. 

    Submit your application package on

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    After you submit your application, 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
    per year
    This grant has a
    Funding Ratio
    NEH made an average of
    per year

    Examples of Projects Funded by this Grant Program