NEH Public Scholar Program

9 January 2019

The National Endowment for the Humanities seeks applications to its “Public Scholar Program” for grants to support the creation of 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. Applicants may seek support for the creation of digital or Web-based products intended to supplement the book that they propose.

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.

Upon completion of their book projects, Public Scholar award recipients will be expected to participate in public events, such as serving as keynote speakers at conferences and offering public lectures at book festivals, library and museum programs, or other events aimed at reaching broad audiences. Additional NEH support for such events may become available.

The Public Scholar Program provides a stipend of $5,000 per full-time month for continuous full- or part-time work over a period of six to twelve months, beginning as early as September 1, 2019, but not later than September 1, 2020. (The maximum stipend is $60,000 for a twelve-month period. Recipients who work full-time on their projects must forgo other major activities, including teaching.)

Interested applicants can contact Christopher Tassava in the Office of Corporate & Foundation Relations for further information about the program and about submitting applications by the deadline of Wednesday, February 6, 2019.