Collaborative Research

Division of Research Programs

Grant Snapshot

Maximum award amount

Convening Grants: $50,000
Publication Grants: $250,000 (no more than $100,000 per year)

Open to


Expected output

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

Period of performance

Convening Grants: one year Publication Grants: one to three years

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 for scholars and general audiences.

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 they must remain firmly rooted in the humanities and must employ humanistic methods. Partnerships among different types of institutions are welcome. For example, research universities might partner with teaching colleges, libraries, museums, or independent research institutions.

Proposed projects must lead to tangible and sustainable outcomes such as co-authored or multi-authored books; born-digital publications; themed issues of peer-reviewed journals; a series of peer-reviewed articles in academic journals or articles in general audience publications or both; and open-access digital resources. All project outcomes must be based on and must convey interpretive humanities research.

What’s new in the Collaborative Research program in 2019

  • Program staff will no longer review draft applications.
  • Eligibility for this program has been restricted: individuals can no longer apply to this program.
  • A special encouragement has been added: “A More Perfect Union”: NEH Special Initiative Advancing Civic Education and Celebrating the Nation’s 250th Anniversary.”
  • Archaeological projects that are focused on fieldwork, rather than convening or publication, are currently suspended from the Collaborative Research program while the agency reexamines its funding in this area. During this hiatus, NEH-supported fellowships for archaeological research (publication and fieldwork) are available through the Archaeological Institute of America. For further information and application materials on the AIA-NEH grants, please use this link:

  • The narrative section of the application must be single-spaced and not exceed 10 pages.
  • At least half of each type of participant—such as directors, collaborators, participants, technical assistants, and student assistants—must be U.S. citizens or residents.
  • Applicants requesting federal matching funds should identify potential sources of gift funds.

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

Collaborative Research 2019-2020: What’s New and Application Writing Tips Webinar

The webinar, Collaborative Research 2019-2020: What’s New and Application Tips, was held on November 21, 2019. You can access the video recording and a transcript of the entire webinar—presentation and Q&A session—below.

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 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 Notice of Funding Opportunity 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

Collaborative Research Notice of Funding Opportunity (PDF)

Application Package on

Budget Resources

Sample Budget (PDF)

Budget Form (XLS)

Program Resources

Collaborative Research Frequently Asked Questions, 2019 (PDF)

Collaborative Research Awards, 2017-2019

Certification Regarding Lobbying (PDF) *

Disclosure of Lobbying Activities (PDF)

Disclosure of Lobbying Activities Instructions (PDF)

DUNS Number Requirement

This document may not open in your web browser. If this is the case, right click on the link to save the PDF to your desktop.

Sample Application Narratives

Indiana University, The Emergence of HIV/AIDS

University of Akron, British Asia and the British Atlantic Conference

University of Nebraska, Washington DC during the Civil War

Duke University, Convening Grant, Rediscovering Neglected Philosophical Works by Early Modern Women

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

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

    Complete your application package

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

    Submit your application package on

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

    Verify you have received email messages from

    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