Please review the eligibility criteria for participation in Summer Seminars and Institutes at
Summer Seminars and Institutes for School Teachers are offered by the National Endowment for the Humanities to provide teachers an opportunity for substantive study of significant humanities ideas and texts. These study opportunities are especially designed for this program and are not intended to duplicate courses normally offered by graduate programs. On completion of an NEH Summer Seminar or Institute, NEH Summer Scholars will receive a certificate indicating their participation.
Prior to completing an application to a specific seminar or institute, please review the project website 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.
A seminar for school teachers enables 16 NEH Summer Scholars to explore a topic or set of readings with a scholar having special interest and expertise in the field. The core material of the seminar need not relate directly to the school curriculum; the principal goal of the seminar is to engage teachers in the scholarly enterprise and to expand and deepen their understanding of the humanities through reading, discussion, writing, and reflection.
An institute for school teachers, typically led by a team of core faculty and visiting scholars, is designed to present the best available scholarship on important humanities issues and works taught in the nation's schools. The 25 to 30 NEH Summer Scholars compare and synthesize the various perspectives offered by the faculty, make connections between the institute content and classroom applications, and often develop improved teaching materials for their classrooms.
The use of the words “seminar” or “institute” in this document is precise and is intended to convey differences between the two project types.
Please note: An individual may apply to up to two projects (NEH Summer Seminars, Institutes or Landmarks Workshops), but may participate in only one.
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. Seminar selection committees typically consist of the seminar director, a school teacher who is usually a participant in a previous NEH seminar, and a colleague of the director. Institute selection committees typically consist of three to five members, usually all drawn from the institute faculty and staff members.
The most important consideration in the selection of participants is the likelihood that an applicant will benefit professionally and personally. Committee members consider several factors, each of which should be addressed in the application essay. These factors include:
1. effectiveness and commitment as a teacher/educator;
2. intellectual interests, in general and as they relate to the work of the project;
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 project; and
5. the likelihood that the experience will enhance the applicant's teaching.
Recent participants are eligible to apply, but project selection committees are charged to give first consideration to applicants who have not participated in an NEH-supported Seminar, Institute or Landmarks Workshop in the last three years ( 2013, 2014, 2015). When 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 Summer Seminar, Institute, or Landmarks Workshop, or who significantly contribute to the diversity of the seminar or institute.
STIPEND, TENURE, AND CONDITIONS OF AWARD
Teachers selected to participate in five-week projects will receive a stipend of $3,900; those in four-week projects will receive $3,300; those in three-week projects will receive $2,700; and those in two-week projects will receive $2,100. Stipends are intended to help cover travel expenses to and from the project location, books and other research expenses, and ordinary living expenses. Stipends are taxable. Applicants to all projects, especially those held abroad, should note that supplements will not be given in cases where the stipend is insufficient to cover all expenses.
Seminar and institute participants are required to attend all meetings and to engage fully as professionals 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.
At the end of the project's residential period, NEH Summer Scholars will be asked to submit online evaluations in which they review their work during the summer and assess its value to their personal and professional development. These evaluations will become part of the project's grant file.
Before you attempt to complete an application, please study the project website, which 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 and subsistence.
All application materials must be sent to the project director at the address listed on the project website. Application materials sent to the Endowment will not be reviewed.
A complete application consists of three hard copies of the following collated items:
- the completed application cover sheet,
- a résumé or brief biography
- an application essay as outlined below.
- three letters of reference
APPLICATION Cover Sheet
The application cover sheet must be filled out online at this address:
Please follow the prompts. Before you click the “submit” button, print out the cover sheet and add it to your application package. Then click “submit.” 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 to select the other project and repeat the process.
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 a cover sheet for several projects. A full application consists of the items listed above, as sent to the project director.
You must submit a separate cover sheet online for each project to which you are applying in order to generate a unique tracking number for each application. Do not copy and paste a new cover sheet.
Please include a résumé or brief biography detailing your educational qualifications and professional experience.
Three 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. Referees should be provided with the director's description of the seminar and the applicant's essay. Applicants who are current graduate students should secure a letter from a professor or advisor. Enclose the letters with your application.
The Application Essay
The application essay should be no more than four double‑spaced pages. 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.
SUBMISSION OF APPLICATIONS AND NOTIFICATION PROCEDURE
Completed applications should be submitted to the project director, not the NEH, and should be postmarked no later than March 1, 2016.
Successful applicants will be notified of their selection on Thursday, March 31, 2016, and they will have until Thursday, April 7 to accept or decline the offer. Applicants who will not be home during the notification period should provide an address and phone number where they can be reached. No information concerning the status of an application will be available prior to the official notification period.
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.
EQUAL OPPORTUNITY STATEMENT: Endowment programs do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability, or age. For further information, write to NEH Equal Opportunity Officer,400 7th Street, S.W.,Washington,D.C.20024. TDD: 202/606‑8282 (this is a special telephone device for the Deaf).
Contact for Information and for Application Submissions:
Megan Estes Ryan, Academic Dept. Coordinator
ATTN: 2016 NEH Summer Seminar
LJST Dept. Amherst College
PO BOX 5000
Amherst, MA 01002
413/542-2380 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org