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Collaborative Research Grants

Division of Research Programs

Receipt Deadline December 5, 2018 for Projects Beginning October 2019

Updated guidelines will be posted at least two months in advance of the deadline listed above.

In the meantime, please use the guidelines for the previous deadline, to get a sense of what is involved in assembling an application.

Brief Summary

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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 grant program encourages collaboration that proposes diverse approaches to topics, incorporates multiple points of view, and explores new avenues of inquiry that lead to publications and other resources for scholarly audiences and/or general audiences.

Collaborative Research grants support groups of two or more scholars engaging in significant and sustained research in the humanities. The program seeks to encourage interdisciplinary work, both within the humanities and beyond. 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.

Eligible projects must propose tangible and sustainable outcomes such as co-authored or multi-authored books; born-digital publications; themed issues of peer-reviewed journals; and content-rich, open-access digital resources (for example, websites, databases, or tools). All project outcomes must be based on and must convey interpretive humanities research. All grantees are expected to disseminate the results of their work to scholarly audiences and/or general audiences.

Collaborative Research offers three types of awards to address different sorts of projects and stages of development.

Type 1: Convening Grants – up to $50,000

Convening grants last one year and typically fund conferences and working group meetings to sharpen the chosen research topic and discuss and plan subsequent publication.

Type 2: Publication Grants – up to $250,000 (no more than $100,000 per year)

Publication grants last one to three years and support the project toward completion of its publication goals. Publications can appear in traditional print or in digital form. Note that costs paid to publishers and subventions are not supported.

Type 3: Archaeology Grants – up to $250,000 (no more than $100,000 per year)

Archaeology grants last one to three years and support projects that lead to publication.

Information about Preliminary Draft Proposals

Prospective applicants may submit a draft of their proposal for staff review (submission of draft proposals is optional) no later than October 15.

What’s New for 2017

At least 50 percent of grant funds must support U.S.-based institutions and U.S. citizens or residents as collaborators.

All applications must propose at least one form of publication, either in print, digital format, or both.

Previous applicants submitting a draft must explain how they have responded to recommendations made by reviewers.

No new materials may be added to an application after the deadline.

Only Times New Roman eleven-point or twelve-point font is allowed in the narrative.

Applications submitted for projects that will not be completed during the proposed grant period must address succession in project leadership.

The primary budget form may include only funds requested from NEH.

All cost-shared non-NEH funds that will support a project must be detailed on a separate budget form or narrative page.

The statement of funding received and requested should include pending applications.

All subcontracts must be included on a separate budget form.

Funding to pay consultants providing technical analysis is capped at 10 percent of the total NEH request. Funding for services, equipment, supplies, and materials is capped at $10,000.

Program Statistics

In the last five competitions the Collaborative Research program received an average of 123 applications per year. The program made an average of eleven awards per year, for a funding ratio of 9 percent.

The number of applications to an NEH grant program can vary widely from year to year, as can the funding ratio. Information about the average number of applications and awards in recent competitions is meant only to provide historical context for the current competition. Information on the number of applications and awards in individual competitions is available from collaborative[at]neh[dot]gov.


Contact NEH’s Division of Research Programs at 202-606-8200 and collaborative[at]neh[dot]gov. Applicants who are deaf or hard of hearing can contact NEH via Federal Relay (TTY users) at 800-877-8399.