Application Instructions

Completed applications should be submitted to the project director and should be postmarked no later than March 1, 2011. Successful applicants will be notified of their selection on April 1, 2011, and they will have until April 5 to accept or decline the offer. Applicants who will not be home during the notification period are advised to provide an address and phone number where they can be reached.  No information on 

Applicants are asked to complete the Application Cover Sheet online at the NEH's website. Please mail hard copies of all other required materials (three copies each of the cover sheet, a résumé, and an application essay, along with two letters of recommendation).

Before you apply, we encourage you to read a complete  INSTITUTE DESCRIPTION(Letter from the Directors), a tentative INSTITUTE OUTLINE, and the NEH APPLICATION GUIDELINES(or dowload the instructions in PDF format.). Applicants are responsible for reading the seminar description and the application guidelines prior to submitting an application. ELIGIBILITY

These projects are designed primarily for teachers of American undergraduate students.  Qualified independent scholars and those employed by museums, libraries, historical societies, and other organizations may be eligible to compete provided they can effectively advance the teaching and research goals of the seminar or institute.  Applicants must be United States citizens, residents of U.S. jurisdictions, or foreign nationals who have been residing in the United States or its territories for at least the three years immediately preceding the application deadline. Foreign nationals teaching abroad at non-U.S. chartered institutions are not eligible to apply.  

Applicants must complete the NEH Application Cover Sheet and provide all the information requested below to be considered eligible.  An applicant need not have an advanced degree in order to qualify. Adjunct and part-time lecturers are eligible to apply.  Individuals may not apply to study with a director of an NEH Summer Seminar or Institute who is a current colleague or a family member.  Individuals must not apply to seminars directed by scholars with whom they have studied.  Institute selection committees are advised that only under the most compelling and exceptional circumstances may an individual participate in an institute with a director or a lead faculty member who has guided that individual's research or in whose previous institute or seminar he or she has participated.   


A complete application consists of three copies of the following collated items:

  • the completed application cover sheet,
  • a detailed résumé, curriculum vitae, or brief biography, and
  • an application essay as outlined below.

In addition, it must include two letters of recommendation as described below. The application cover sheet

The application cover sheet must be filled out online at this address:

Please fill it out online as directed by the prompts. When you are finished, be sure to click on the "submit" button.  Print out the cover sheet and add it to your application package.  At this point you will be asked if you want to fill out a cover sheet for another project.  If you do, follow the prompts and select another project and then print out the cover sheet for that project.  Note that filling out a cover sheet is not the same as applying, so there is no penalty for changing your mind and filling out cover sheets for several projects.  A full application consists of the items listed above, as sent to a project director.      


Please include a detailed résumé, curriculum vitae, or brief biography (not to exceed five pages).

The Application Essay

The application essay should be no more than four double spaced pages.  This essay should include any relevant personal and academic information.  It should address reasons for applying; the applicant's interest, both academic and personal, in the subject to be studied; qualifications and experiences that equip the applicant to do the work of the seminar or institute and to make a contribution to a learning community; a statement of what the applicant wants to accomplish by participating; and the relation of the project to the applicant's professional responsibilities. 

  • Applicants to seminars should be sure to discuss any independent study project that is proposed beyond the common work of the seminar. 
  • Applicants to institutes may need to elaborate on the relationship between institute activities and their responsibilities for teaching and curricular development.

Reference Letters

The two referees may be from inside or outside the applicant's home institution.  They should be familiar with the applicant's professional accomplishments or promise, teaching and/or research interests, and ability to contribute to and benefit from participation in the seminar or institute.  Referees should be provided with the director's description of the seminar or institute and the applicant's essay.   Applicants who are current graduate students should secure a letter from a professor or advisor.  Please ask each of your referees to sign across the seal on the back of the envelope containing the letter.  Enclose the letters with your application. 


Completed applications should be submitted to the project director via email or US Mail and should be postmarked no later than March 1, 2011. We prefer that all materials be submitted by e-mail attachment to with the subject line "NEH Application." If you choose instead to submit your materials by regular mail, the mailing address is:

Frances Jones-Sneed, Ph.D.
Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts
375 Church Street
North Adams, MA 01247-4124


This seminar is supported by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, an independent federal agency.