Proposals Call for Collaborative Research Program for Humanities

Last date: 
Wednesday, December 2, 2020
United States

Detailed Description

The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Division of Research Programs is inviting proposals for the Collaborative Research program.

The Collaborative Research program aims to advance humanistic knowledge through collaboration between two or more scholars. The program encourages projects that propose diverse approaches to topics, incorporate multiple points of view, explore new avenues of inquiry in the humanities, and lead to manuscripts for print publications or scholarly digital grant products.

Funding Information

  • Approximately $2,500,000 is expected to be available to fund up to 20 recipients.

Eligibility Criteria

  • Eligible applicants include U.S. nonprofit organizations with 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status, public and 501(c)(3) accredited institutions of higher education, state and local governmental agencies, and federally recognized Native American tribal governments.
  • An eligible entity may apply on behalf of a consortium of collaborating organizations. The lead applicant would be programmatically, legally and fiscally responsible for the award.
  • Individuals, foreign and for-profit entities are not eligible to apply.

Review and Selection Process

  • NEH staff review applications for eligibility and completeness.
  • NEH uses a peer review process to evaluate all eligible and complete applications.
  • Peer reviewers are experts in the field with relevant knowledge and expertise in the types of project activities identified in the applications.
  • NEH instructs reviewers to evaluate applications according to the review criteria outlined in this notice of funding opportunity.
  • Peer reviewers must comply with federal ethics and conflicts of interest requirements.
  • NEH staff comments on matters of fact or on significant issues that otherwise would be missing from peer reviews, then makes recommendations to the National Council on the Humanities.
  • The National Council meets at least twice annually to advise the NEH Chairman.
  • The Chairman considers the advice provided by the review process and, by law, makes all funding decisions.

Application Review Information

Review Criteria

Peer reviewers will use the following criteria to review applications in the Collaborative Research program:


  • The intellectual significance of the project to humanities knowledge; the merit of the planned international collaboration, conference, resulting interpretive study, or digital project; the project’s potential to stimulate new research; and its relevance to larger questions in the humanities.

Methods and execution

  • The clarity of expression in the application; the appropriateness and feasibility of the research methods proposed to answer an explicit set of research questions; where relevant, the soundness and appropriateness of digital and technical methods; and the project team’s ability to access the research site or materials.

Collaborating scholars

  • The qualifications, expertise, and levels of commitment of the project director and collaborating scholars, and the appropriateness and value of the collaboration to achieve the project’s goals.

Work plan and completion

  • The clarity and feasibility of the work plan; the likelihood that the project goals will be completed within the stated time frame; and the reasonableness of the budget in relation to the proposed activities and plan of work. For organizations whose project has been previously funded, its productivity in relation to previous goals and accomplishments.

Outcomes and access

  • As applicable, the likelihood of a successful international collaboration or conference; the soundness of the publication, dissemination, and access plans, including the strength of the case for employing print, a digital format, or a combination of media; and the quality of the sustainability plan for digital projects.


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