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Public Scholar Program

Division of Research Programs

Receipt Deadline February 7, 2018 for Projects Beginning September 2018

The deadline for this program has passed.

Updated guidelines will be posted in advance of the next deadline. In the meantime, please use these guidelines to get a sense of what is involved in assembling an application.

Brief Summary

The Public Scholar Program supports well-researched books in the humanities intended to reach a broad readership. Some humanities scholarship is necessarily specialized, but the humanities can also engage broad audiences in exploring subjects of general interest. Such scholarship might present a narrative history, tell the stories of important individuals, analyze significant texts, provide a synthesis of ideas, revive interest in a neglected subject, or examine the latest thinking on a topic. Books supported by this program must be grounded in humanities research and scholarship, making appropriate use of primary and/or secondary sources. They must also be written in a readily accessible style, addressing significant humanities themes in a way that will appeal to a large audience of general readers. Applications to write books directed primarily to scholars are not appropriate for this program.

 

By establishing the Public Scholar Program, NEH has entered a long-term commitment to encourage scholarship in the humanities for general audiences. The program is open to both individuals affiliated with scholarly institutions and to independent scholars, researchers, and writers. Projects may be at any stage of development.

Program Statistics

In its first three competitions the Public Scholar Program received an average of 358 applications per year. The program made an average of 31 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 publicscholar[at]neh[dot]gov.

Questions?

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