Public Scholars

Division of Research Programs

Grant Snapshot

Maximum award amount

$5,000 per month

Funding Opportunity for


Expected output


Period of performance

Six to twelve months

Application available


Expected notification date

Project start date

The Public Scholars program offers grants to individual authors for research, writing, travel, and other activities leading to the creation and publication of well-researched nonfiction books in the humanities written for the broad public. Writers with or without an academic affiliation may apply, and no advanced degree is required. The program encourages non-academic writers to deepen their engagement with the humanities by strengthening the research underlying their books, and it encourages academic writers in the humanities to communicate the significance of their research to the broadest possible range of readers. NEH especially encourages applications from independent writers, researchers, scholars, and journalists.

Watch a Recording of the Online Information Session 

A live online information session for prospective applicants was held on Thursday, September 21. The session explained the goals of the NEH Public Scholars program, the eligibility requirements, how to apply, how applications are reviewed, and how to write an effective application. To view a recording of the session, please click here or on the image below. The main presentation is thirty minutes long. It is followed by a thirty-minute question period.

The recording, which is closed captioned, will remain available through the November 29 application deadline.

Register for an account on account is vital to the grants process; register as soon as you know you are going to apply for this grant. If you are already registered, make sure your registration is current.

Complete your application package

Follow the instructions outlined in the Notice of Funding Opportunity and instructions.

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.

Monitor the status of the submission of your letters of recommendation

The Public Scholars program staff will request letters of reference from your recommenders on or about January 9 (a little over one full month 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 (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 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
7 Years
NEH received an average of
267 Applications
per year
This program has a
9% Funding Ratio
NEH made an average of
25 Awards
per year

Examples of Projects Funded by this Grant Program