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Humanities Initiatives at Historically Black Colleges and Universities

Grant: Humanities Initiatives at Historically Black Colleges and Universities
Agency: National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH)      
Division: Division of Education
Deadline: June 25, 2015

Description: NEH Humanities Initiatives are intended to strengthen and enrich humanities education and scholarship at Historically Black Colleges and Universities. These grants may be used to enhance the humanities content of existing programs, develop new programs or lay the foundation for more extensive endeavors in the future. Each project must be organized around a core topic or set of themes. As an example, NEH provides sample application narratives from Albany State University (Albany, Georgia), Tuskegee University and Claflin University.

NEH will fund a variety of projects including those which:

  • Create opportunities for faculty members to study together while improving their capacity to teach humanities.
  • Support new humanities programs and enhance existing ones.
  • Support humanities contributions to professional training in fields such as business, law, economics, nursing and medicine.
  • Develop bridge programs for at-risk and nontraditional students.
  • Help institutions take advantage of humanities resources, especially in the digital humanities.
  • Support collaborative projects in the humanities between the applicant institution and another institution, such as a college or university, a school or school system, a museum or library, or a historical or cultural society.

In 2015, NEH invites projects related to its new initiative The Common Good: The Humanities in the Public Square. This initiative seeks broad engagement of the public and scholars with humanities resources that illuminate the conditions and complexity of national life. This project also incorporates the Standing Together initiative, which focuses on war and military service.

Fit for Public Broadcasting: University licensees at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) are prime candidates. Collaborations are also a strong component of this program and stations should consider partnering with a HBCU to submit an application. Project directors must be from an eligible institution. This is an excellent fit for stations to broaden the use of humanities in education through teacher trainings and professional development. Additionally, those stations participating in the American Graduate initiative may find a fit in the development of summer programs for at-risk high school students.                                     

Past Grantees:

  • In 2009, Norfolk State University received $100,000 to create a historical simulation of the Underground Railroad in Virginia using interactive gaming technology to educate high school and college students.
  • In 2012, Albany State University received $100,458 for a summer program, lasting two years, for selected high school students on the history, literature, art and music of the Civil Rights Movement. [Sample Narrative]

A full list of previously funded projects can be found, here.

Eligibility: Any U.S. nonprofit 501(c)3 tax-exempt historically black college or university is eligible to apply. Click here for a list of eligible institutions as determined by the U.S. Department of Education. Applicants are encouraged to collaborate with other institutions to share resources and expand the project’s potential audience.

Anticipated Funding: Successful applicants for NEH Humanities Initiatives may be awarded up to $100,000. The grant period may run between 12 and 36 months, depending on the project.

How to Apply: Applications must be submitted electronically via Online submission requires registration, a process that usually takes three to five business days but can take as long as four weeks. Be sure to visit and begin registering well in advance of the grant deadline.                                          

Program Notice
Program Website  
Humanities Initiatives Frequently Asked Questions
Recently Funded Projects