These projects are designed primarily for teachers of American undergraduate students.

  • An applicant need not have an advanced degree in order to qualify.
  • Adjunct and part-time lecturers are eligible to apply.
  • 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.
  • Three institute spaces are reserved for current full-time, advanced graduate students in the humanities (and humanistic social sciences).

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 three years immediately preceding the application deadline.

  • Foreign nationals teaching abroad at non-U.S. chartered institutions are not eligible to apply.

Please note these further eligibility restrictions:

  • An individual may not apply to study with a director of an NEH Summer 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.
  • An individual may apply to up to two projects in any one year (NEH Summer Seminars, Institutes or Landmarks Workshops for Community College Faculty), but may participate in only one.

Applicants must complete the NEH application cover sheet and provide all the information requested below to be considered eligible.

Selection Criteria
A selection committee will read and evaluate all properly completed applications in order to select the most promising applicants and to identify a number of alternates.

  • While recent participants are eligible to apply, first consideration will be given to applicants who have not participated in an NEH-supported Seminar, Institute or Landmarks Workshop in the last three years (2010, 2011, 2012).

The 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:

  • quality and commitment as a teacher, scholar, and interpreter of the humanities;
  • intellectual interests, both generally and as they relate to the work of the institute;
  • special perspectives, skills, or experiences that would contribute to the institute;
  • commitment to participate fully in the formal and informal collegial life of the institute;
  • the likelihood that the experience will enhance the applicant's teaching and scholarship.

When choices must be made among equally qualified candidates, several additional factors will be considered. Preference will be given to applicants who have not previously participated in an NEH Summer Seminar, Institute, or Landmarks Workshop, or who will significantly contribute to the diversity of the seminar or institute.

Application Process:
A complete application consists the following.

  • The completed application cover sheet.
    • The application cover sheet must be filled out online at this address: 
    • Please follow the online 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 detailed résumé, curriculum vitae, or brief biography (not to exceed five pages).
  • An application essay (not to exceed four double-spaced pages) explaining the applicant’s reasons for applying, including any relevant personal and academic information. It should address:
    • 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 institute and to make a contribution to a learning community;
    • a statement of what the applicant wants to accomplish by participating;
    • the relation of the project to the applicant's professional responsibilities, including scholarship, teaching, program leadership, and curriculum development.
  • Two letters of recommendation.
    • 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.

Send the letters of recommendation and three collated copies of the other materials to:

Professor Elizabeth Lowe, Director
Center for Translation Studies
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
707 South Mathews—MC-171
Urbana, Illinois 61801
Attention: NEH Institute Application

The application process follows a strict timeline:

  • The postmark deadline for all applications is March 4, 2013.
  • Successful applicants will be notified, by email and phone, of their selection on Monday, April 1, 2013. They will 
have until Friday, April 5 to accept or decline the offer.
  • Several alternates will also be selected. These applicants will be notified of their alternate status on Monday, April 1, 2013. Beginning on Monday, April 8, alternates will be invited to fill any open spots.
  • Once you have accepted an offer to attend any NEH Summer Program (NEH Summer Seminar, Institute or Landmarks Workshop), you may not accept an additional offer or withdraw in order to accept a different offer.