Seminars and Institutes for College and University Teachers
are offered by the National Endowment for the Humanities
to provide college and university faculty members and independent
scholars with an opportunity to enrich and revitalize their
understanding of significant humanities ideas, texts, and
topics. These study opportunities are especially designed
for this program and are not intended to duplicate courses
normally offered by graduate programs, nor will graduate
credit be given for them. Prior to completing an application,
please review the enclosed letter from the project director
and consider carefully what is expected in terms of residence
and attendance, reading and writing requirements, and general
participation in the work of the project.
15 participants working in collaboration with one or two
leading scholars. Participants will have access to a major
library collection, with time reserved to pursue individual
research and study projects. Institutes provide intensive collaborative
study of texts, topics, and ideas central to undergraduate
teaching in the humanities under the guidance of faculties
distinguished in their fields of scholarship. Institutes
aim to prepare participants to return to their classrooms
with a deeper knowledge of current scholarship in key fields
of the humanities. Please note: The use of the words “seminar”
or “institute” in this document is precise and is intended
to convey differences between the two project types.
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 are not eligible to apply.
must complete the NEH application cover sheet and provide
all the information requested below to be considered eligible.
Applicants must have completed professional training by
the application deadline. An applicant need not have an
advanced degree in order to qualify. Candidates for degrees
are generally not eligible. Adjunct and part-time lecturers
are eligible to apply. Individuals may not apply to study
with a director of a 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 previously
studied. An individual may apply to no more than two NEH seminars or institutes
in any one year.
selection committee reads and evaluates all properly completed
applications in order to select the most promising applicants
and to identify a small number of alternates. (Seminar
selection committees consist of the project director and
two colleagues. Institute selection committees consist
of three to five members, usually drawn from the institute
faculty and staff members.) Selection committees are charged
to give first consideration to applicants who have not participated
in an NEH-supported seminar or institute in the last three
most important consideration in the selection of participants
is the likelihood that an applicant will benefit professionally.
This is determined by committee members from the conjunction
of several factors, each of which should be addressed in
the application essay. These factors include:
1. quality and commitment as a teacher, scholar, and interpreter
of the humanities;
2. intellectual interests, both generally and as they relate
to the work of the seminar or institute;
3. special perspectives, skills, or experiences that would
contribute to the seminar or institute;
4. commitment to participate fully in the formal and informal
collegial life of the seminar or institute;
5. the likelihood that the experience will enhance the
applicant's teaching and scholarship; and
6. for seminars, the conception and organization of the
applicant's independent project and its potential
contribution to the seminar.
choices must be made among equally qualified candidates,
several additional factors are considered: Preference
is given to applicants who have not previously participated
in an NEH seminar or institute, or who would significantly
contribute to the diversity of the seminar or 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 previously guided that individual’s research
or in whose previous institute or seminar he or she has
STIPEND, TENURE, AND CONDITIONS OF AWARD
selected to participate in six-week long projects will receive
a stipend of $3,700; those in five-week projects will receive
$3,250; and those in four-week projects will receive $2,800.
Stipends are intended to help cover travel expenses to and
from the project location, books and other research expenses,
and living expenses for the duration of the period spent
in residence. Adjustments in cases where the stipend is
insufficient to cover all expenses are not possible.
and institute participants are required to attend all meetings
and to engage fully in the work of the project. During
the project's tenure, they may not undertake teaching assignments
or any other professional activities unrelated to their
participation in the project. Participants who, for any
reason, do not complete the full tenure of the project must
refund a pro-rata portion of the stipend.
the end of the project's residential period, participants
will be asked to submit evaluations in which they review
their work during the summer and assess its value to their
personal and professional development. Special forms for
this report will be distributed by each project director.
Completed forms should be returned directly to the Endowment.
They will become part of the project's grant file and may
become part of an application to repeat the seminar or institute.
application packet should accompany a letter from the project
director that contains detailed information about the topic
under study; project requirements and expectations of the
participants; the academic and institutional setting; and
specific provisions for lodging, subsistence, and extracurricular
activities. If you do not have such a letter, please request
one from the director of the project in which you are interested
before you attempt to compete and submit an application.
All application materials
should be sent to the project director. Sending application
materials and reference letters to the Endowment will result
CHECKLIST OF APPLICATION MATERIALS
following items constitute a completed application to a
summer seminar or institute:
- three copies of the completed application cover sheet,
- three copies of a detailed résumé,
- three copies of an application essay as outlined below,
- two letters of recommendation (sent separately).
The Application Essay
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.
two referees should be chosen carefully. They should be
familiar with the applicant's professional accomplishments
or promise, interests, and ability to contribute to and
benefit from participation in the seminar or institute.
They should specifically address these issues in their recommendations.
Letters from colleagues who know the applicant's teaching
and from those outside the applicant's institution who know
his or her scholarship are often more useful than letters
from college or university administrators. Referees should
be provided with copies of the director's description of
the seminar or institute and the applicant's essay.
If an applicant has previously participated in an NEH
summer seminar or institute, a recommendation from the director
or lead scholar of that program would be useful. It is the applicant's responsibility to ask the referees to send
their letters directly to the project director and to make certain that
their letters are mailed to arrive not more than one week
after the March 1 deadline.
OF APPLICATIONS AND NOTIFICATION PROCEDURE
applications should be submitted to
the project director and should be postmarked
no later than March 1, 2003.
applicants will be notified of their selection by April
1, 2003, and they will have until April 15 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 the status of applications will be available prior to
the official notification period.
EQUAL OPPORTUNITY STATEMENT
programs do not discriminate on the basis of race, color,
national origin, sex, disability, or age. For further information,
write to the Equal Opportunity Officer, National Endowment
for the Humanities, 1100 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington,
D.C. 20506. TDD: 202/606‑8282 (this is a special
telephone device for the Deaf).