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Debate, exchange of ideas, and working together—all are basic activities that advance humanities knowledge and foster rich scholarship that could not be accomplished by a single researcher working alone. The Collaborative Research program aims to advance humanistic knowledge by supporting sustained collaboration between two or more scholars. Collaborators may be drawn from one or more institutions. International collaboration is encouraged, but the project director must be based at a U.S. institution, and project teams must include an equitable balance of scholars based at U.S. institutions and scholars based at non-U.S. institutions. 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. Collaboration among different types of institutions is welcome.
Proposed projects must aim to result in 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; or open-access scholarly digital resources. All project outcomes must incorporate collaboration and interpretation to address significant humanities research questions.
The program includes four project categories: Planning International Collaboration, Conference, Manuscript Preparation, and Scholarly Digital Projects. The categories support different project types or stages and have different performance periods and award ceilings. Applicants must specify only one project category for support.
Applicants may submit an optional draft. The draft must use the draft template found under “Program Resources” on this page and must be submitted no later than Oct. 7, 2021, to @email. Put “Collaborative Research Draft” in the subject line of the message. NEH Staff will read only one draft per project per competition deadline.
A pre-application webinar Collaborative Research 2021 was held on Sept. 21, 2021, and can be seen below:
Read the Notice of Funding Opportunity to ensure you understand all the expectations and restrictions for projects delivered under this program and are prepared to write the most effective application.
Sample Application Narratives
Scholarly Digital Projects
As soon as you know you're ready to apply, make sure you register for a D-U-N-S® number, with SAM.gov, and with Grants.gov, as this is vital to the application process. If you already have registered, make sure they are up to date.
Follow the instructions outlined in the Notice of Funding Opportunity.
You will receive a confirmation from Grants.gov when you’ve successfully submitted your application. Subsequently, you will receive up to five more notices confirming different stages in the application process. Verify that you have received all confirmations. Note that email filters may send these messages to your spam or junk folder.