Spotlight on Humanities in Higher Education
THE DEADLINE FOR THIS CYCLE 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.
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The Spotlight on Humanities in Higher Education program supports the exploration and development of small projects that would benefit underserved populations through the teaching and study of the humanities at small and medium-sized colleges and universities. NEH invites applications from two- and four-year institutions of higher education, as well as from nonprofit organizations and state, local, or Native American Tribal governments aiming to advance the humanities at these institutions.
The program supports activities including but not limited to curricular or program development, expert consultations, speakers’ series, student research, creation of teaching resources, and community engagement. Projects may benefit students, faculty, the institution or organization, and/or the community.
The Spotlight program features a simplified application. You may request support at one of two levels: Exploration or Development.
What’s New for 2023:
- “Small or medium-sized colleges and universities” is now defined by specific undergraduate enrollment numbers (for two-year institutions: below 5,000; for four-year institutions: below 10,000).
- These institutions should also meet at least one of the following criteria:
- Community colleges
- Minority-serving institutions (MSIs)
- Rural colleges and universities
- Colleges and universities enrolling a majority (greater than 50%) of students receiving Pell grants
- Institutions that have not received funding from the NEH Division of Education Programs since 2018
- If your institution is an eligible nonprofit organization or state or local government, your Spotlight project must benefit students and/or faculty at small and medium-sized colleges and universities that meet at least one of the criteria above.
- You will provide an organizational profile (Attachment 2) to establish that the institutions supported by the project are small or medium sized and meet at least one of the criteria above. Sample organizational profiles are available under “Step 1” below.
Sample application narratives from past successful proposals are now available under “Step 1” below.
If Spotlight is not an appropriate program, you may wish to consider other NEH funding opportunities. You can find brief information about several other programs (including Humanities Initiatives, Humanities Connections, and Preservation Assistance Grants) under Related Funding Opportunities in section H of the NOFO and full information for all our funding opportunities through the Grants section of the NEH website.
Spotlight Webinar 2023
Live Q&A Session: Thursday, August 24, 2023 at 1:00 p.m. Eastern Time. Click here to participate or call in (audio only): +1 202-600-8430, meeting code 452 925 151#
Optional Draft Review: Submit draft materials to @email by September 6, 2023 to receive feedback from program officers before the final deadline. You do not need to have a fully developed program idea or near complete application to submit materials for review and feedback.
If you have not already done so, you must create a Login.gov user account to register and log in to SAM and Grants.gov.
Ensure your SAM.gov and Grants.gov registrations and passwords are current. It may take up to one month to register with SAM.gov and Grants.gov. NEH will not grant deadline extensions for lack of registration.
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
- College of Idaho, Voices of the Treasure Valley
- Clark Atlanta University, Enhancing the Digital Humanities in English and Modern Languages
- Coastal Carolina University, Expanding Opportunities for Place-based Storytelling With(in) Community
- University of Puerto Rico at Bayamón, Revising an Online Business Writing Course
- Central Connecticut State University, Finding Your Place: Teaching the History of People of Color in Connecticut
- Stanly Community College, Humanities OER Course Conversion
- Plymouth State University, Humanities in the Sustainability Curriculum
- Savannah State University, Conversations in Literature and Culture Curriculum
- Thomas Edison State University, Incorporating DEI Concepts and Content into Humanities General Education Courses
When you are ready to apply, register for an account with SAM.gov and Grants.gov; both are required. If you already have completed the registrations, make sure they are current.
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.