Public Scholar Program

Division of Research Programs

Grant Snapshot

Maximum award amount

$5,000 per month

Open to

Individuals

Expected output

Book

Period of performance

Six to twelve months

Application available

Application due

Project start date

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.

Review your application package

As soon as you know you're ready to apply for this grant, make sure you register for a grants.gov account as this is vital to the grants process. If you already have registered, make sure it is up to date.

Begin by reading the full grant guidelines 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

Public Scholar Program Guidelines (PDF)

Public Scholar Program Guidelines (DOC)

Public Scholar Program Grants.gov Application Package

Program Resources

Public Scholar Program Frequently Asked Questions, 2018 (PDF)

List of recently funded Public Scholar Program projects

DUNS Number Requirement

Sample Application Narratives

A Biography of the American Architect Louis Kahn

A History of America through 100 Maps

    Complete your application package

    Be sure to follow the instructions outlined in the guidelines and in the grants.gov instructions. 

    Submit your application package on Grants.gov

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

    Verify you have received email messages from Grants.gov

    After you submit your application, Grants.gov 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.

    Monitor the status of the submission of your letters of recommendation

    NEH requests letters of reference from your recommenders approximately seven to ten days after the application deadline. You will be notified by e-mail when each of your letters of reference has been received. After you have received the fifth message from Grants.gov (confirming that NEH received your application), you may check the status of your letters by logging in to the secure area of NEH’s website. Enter your NEH application number and your Grants.gov tracking number. You will be able to see the names and e-mail addresses of your letter writers and whether their letters have arrived. If necessary, you may send reminders to your letter writers (including the upload link) from this site. You are responsible for ensuring that your letter writers have received the solicitations from NEH and submitted their letters.

    Program Statistics

    This grant has been awarded for
    3
    Years
    NEH received an average of
    358
    Applications
    per year
    This grant has a
    9%
    Funding Ratio
    NEH made an average of
    31
    Awards
    per year

    Examples of Projects Funded by this Grant Program