Funding Alert! Digital Humanities Advancement Grants

National Endowment for the Humanities – Office of Digital Humanities

Attention humanities folks with an upcoming digital project! If your program is seeking funding for an innovative, experimental, or challenging digital project – whether in the early start-up phase, sustainability phase, or anywhere in between – you might be interested in this opportunity. The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) recently opened applications for the Digital Humanities Advancement Grants (DHAG) to support scholarly research, exploration of methodologies, development of software/technology, and other digital projects that enhance scholarship, teaching, and public programming in the humanities.

Who is eligible to apply?

Eligible applicants are any U.S. nonprofit organization with 501(c)(3) status, public and 501(c)(3) accredited institutions of higher education, state and local governmental agencies, and federally recognized Native American tribal governments.

What do these humanities projects look like?

Proposed projects should address at least one of these priorities:

  1. Creating or enhancing experimental, computationally based methods, techniques, or infrastructure that contributes to the humanities;
  2. Pursuing scholarships that explore the history, criticism, and philosophy of digital culture/technology and its societal impact; or
  3. Conducting evaluative studies that investigate the practices and impact of digital scholarship on research, pedagogy, scholarly communication, and public engagement.

Awards are available at three funding levels, based on the scope and maturity of the project:

  1. Level I: support for exploratory sessions, workshops, early prototypes, and initial planning to address a problem or research question, research agenda, or new methodologies or technology for digital humanities projects (both new projects and those needing revision or recovery). Level I awards are up to $50,000 with a maximum 24-month project period.
  2. Level II: support for projects that have completed an initial planning phase and that have a well-developed workplan that produces concrete or tangible outcomes, such as working prototypes, code, data sets/models, or documentation. Level II awards range from $50,001 to $100,000 with a maximum 24-month project period.
  3. Level III: support for established projects that have already completed a start-up or prototyping phase. Funding will allow applicants to scale up and expand projects that have demonstrated success and user needs. Level III awards range from $100,001 to $325,000 with a maximum 36-month project period. An additional $50,000 in federal matching funds may be available to leverage external support and promote sustainability.

There are two deadlines for this grant: January 15, 2021 (for projects beginning as early as September 1, 2021) and June 24, 2021 (for projects beginning as early as January 1, 2022.

The NEH expects to award 12-15 grants per deadline, with funding amounts based on the project level to which the applicant is applying (described above).

What makes a project a good fit?

The NEH is particularly interested in projects that advance humanities-related work in the following areas:

  • “A More Perfect Union”: NEH Special Initiative Advancing Civic Education and Commemorating the Nation’s 250th Projects would promote a deeper understanding of American history and culture, to help the public better understand American society;
  • Diverse topics in American history, such as Native American culture, rural life, the Civil War, etc., including projects that examine foundational documents in U.S. history;
  • The contributions of underrepresented communities in the United States;
  • Alignment with Institute of Museum and Library Services initiatives (for possible collaboration and additional funding opportunities); and
  • Projects that include Native American organizations and communities as lead applicants and/or partners.

What if I am ready to apply? The first round of proposals is due January 15, 2021. To move your application forward, take the following action steps ASAP:

What if I need help with this application?

Contact Assel Grant Services today! Our team can help with all aspects of preparing the application and managing the grant if you are awarded. If you would like to discuss this possibility, please contact AGS as soon as possible. Rosie Brennan, Community Engagement Specialist will be happy to talk with you about this opportunity and provide you a quote for grant services.

What if I am not ready to apply this year?

The next round for this funding opportunity is due June 24, 2021, so there’s still plenty of time! The NEH website has a wealth of resources available, including examples of previously funded projects.

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Skill 1.6: Identify fundable programs and projects for specific organization

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