The Humanities Connections grant program seeks to expand the role of the humanities in undergraduate education at two- and four-year institutions. Grants will support innovative curricular approaches that foster productive partnerships among humanities faculty and their counterparts in the social and natural sciences and in pre-service or professional programs (such as business, engineering, health sciences, law, computer science, and other technology-driven fields), in order to encourage and develop new integrative learning opportunities for students.
Humanities Connections projects must include:
- substantive and purposeful integration of the subject matter, perspectives, and pedagogical approaches of two or more disciplines (with a minimum of one in and one outside of the humanities)
- collaboration between faculty from two or more separate departments or schools at one or more institutions
- experiential learning as an intrinsic part of the curricular plan
- long-term institutional support for the proposed curriculum innovation(s)
Competitive applications will demonstrate:
- that the proposed curricular projects expands the role of the humanities in addressing significant and compelling topics or issues in undergraduate education at the applicant institution(s);
- that these projects engage the intellectual skills and habits of mind cultivated by the study of the humanities; and
- that faculty and students will benefit from meaningful collaborations in teaching and learning across disciplines as a result of the project.
The Humanities Connections program is accepting applications in two categories:
Planning Grants (up to twelve months) support the interdisciplinary collaboration of faculty from two or more separate departments or schools (a minimum of one in and one outside of the humanities), with the goal of designing a new, coherent curricular program or initiative. The award provides the institution(s) the opportunity to create a firm foundation for implementing the program. Project activities include identifying the members of a collaborative team and organizing the planning process; defining the rationale, design, and structure that would undergird a comprehensive and institutionally sustainable effort; and establishing potential scenarios for curriculum development and experiential learning opportunities. Institutions may draw on current short-term initiatives or curricular programs run by individual departments in this effort. The outcome of a successful planning award should be a project in, or ready for, the implementation stage.
Planning awards may be used to:
- establish and convene a collaborative team to develop overall project goals and outcomes
- consult outside experts on curriculum design or experiential learning opportunities (such as individual or collaborative undergraduate research projects, or a structured experience with community-based, project-based, or site-based learning)
- organize seminars for faculty and administrators on substantive issues related to the success of the project
- coordinate focus or discussion groups around issues central to project rationale
- design potential new courses, instructional models, and pedagogies for development
- work with institutional leadership to outline long-range planning and sustainability
Implementation grants (18 to 36 months) support the interdisciplinary collaboration of faculty from two or more separate departments or schools (a minimum of one in and one outside of the humanities), with a sustainable curricular program or initiative as the outcome. Implementation proposals must show unambiguous evidence of prior planning and present a defined rationale with clear intellectual and logistical objectives that are supported by institutional commitment. The award provides applicants the opportunity to build on faculty/administrative or institutional partnerships and to develop and refine the project's intellectual content, design, and scope. Applicants for Implementation awards should clearly demonstrate commitments of any partners or collaborators; outline preferred approaches to curriculum building/consolidation; incorporate experiential learning opportunities; and explain outreach strategies to attract students to the new educational opportunity. The outcome of an Implementation award should be a project that has completed its pilot phase.
Implementation awards may be used to:
- convene a core faculty team and develop working groups on issues central to project rationale
- engage outside experts on issues pertinent to project content, design, and sustainability
- develop, implement, assess, and refine curriculum (such as new courses, modules, and pathways) and instructional models for effective pedagogy
- establish pilot projects and activities for experiential learning (such as individual or collaborative undergraduate research projects, or a structured experience with community-based, project-based, or site-based learning)
- create and implement outreach strategies to attract students to new educational opportunities
- conduct mid-and long-range feasibility studies
Recipients of Implementation awards must prepare a final lessons learned” white paper for a broad professional audience, which may be made available on the NEH website.
NEH Areas of Interest NEH is especially interested in supporting projects that advance humanities-related work in the following areas.
A More Perfect Union”: Exploring America's Story and Commemorating its 250th Anniversary
The task of building a more perfect Union rooted in the ideal of human equality falls to every generation of Americans, ours no less than our predecessors. The basic goals of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness endure over time, even as the challenges change: from founding a nation out of colonies; to dismantling the institution of slavery; to prevailing through times of economic depression and war; to advancing civil rights for all; to strengthening our democratic institutions; to building a more inclusive and sustainable society. NEH's A More Perfect Union initiative encourages projects that explore, reflect on, and tell the stories of our quest for a more just, inclusive, and sustainable society throughout our history. NEH especially welcomes projects that bring the perspective of the humanities to questions of racial justice, gender equality, the evolution of the American landscape, as well as America's place in the world. Projects that strengthen Americans' knowledge of our principles of constitutional governance and democracy are strongly encouraged, as are projects that address the experiences of Native Americans and other under-represented communities. In addition, NEH welcomes projects that develop innovative approaches to sustaining the nation's humanities infrastructure and preserving its historical record.
In recognition of the importance of the humanities both in helping Americans to understand the experiences of service members and in assisting veterans as they return to civilian life, NEH has launched a special initiative titled Standing Together: The Humanities and the Experience of War. This special initiative draws on the power of the humanities 1) to support advanced research in the humanities that explores war and its aftermath; 2) to promote discussion and deepened understanding of the experiences of those Americans affiliated with the armed services, whether active duty or veterans; and 3) to support returning veterans and their families.
Protecting our Cultural Heritage
In response to the destruction of cultural heritage materials worldwide, NEH encourages applications for projects that study, document, or create digital representations of lost or imperiled cultural heritage materials. Proposed projects should be based on scholarly work and follow standards and best practices. Projects must demonstrate the capacity to be sustained and must be widely accessible to the public. Learn more about Protecting our Cultural Heritage.
In addition, NEH encourages projects that include Native American organizations and communities as lead applicants and project partners.
Links to recent Planning and Implementation Grants, as well as sample application narratives from some previous awardees can be found on the project page at https://www.neh.gov/grants/education/humanities-connections
If the project addresses core or general education requirements, or requirements for specific pathways or pre-professional programs, it must incorporate a fresh approach. For example, applicants might consider:
The prohibitions above also apply to subawards, including the experiential learning activities developed in collaboration with external contributors (such as community partners).