Promotion of the Humanities_Office of Digital Humanities

To support projects that utilize or study the impact of digital technology, including those that deploy digital technologies and methods to enhance our understanding of a topic or issue; those that study the impact of digital technology on the humanities--exploring the ways in which it changes how we

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read, write, think, and learn; and those that digitize important materials thereby increasing the public's ability to search and access humanities information.

Agency - National Endowment For The Humanities

The National Endowment for the Humanities is an independent grant-making agency of the United States government dedicated to supporting research, education, preservation and public programs in the humanities.

Website Address

Program Accomplishments

New program; not applicable.

Uses and Use Restrictions

Digital Humanities Start-Up Grants support the planning or initial stages of digital humanities initiatives in all areas of the humanities, including research that brings new digital approaches to the study of the humanities or that examines the implications for humanities scholarship on the use of emerging technologies; new digital modes of publication facilitating the dissemination of humanities scholarship in advanced academic as well as informal or formal educational settings at all academic levels; exploration of digital methods or approaches to preserve, archive, and make accessible traditional (i.e., analogue) and "new media" resources in the humanities; planning new digital tools for preserving, making accessible and analyzing humanities data; and programs addressing the innovative use of emerging digital technologies in formal and informal educational settings, including public forums such as museums, libraries, historic sites, and broadcast media, and K-12 schools and post-secondary institutions.

Digital Humanities Start-Up Grants support full-time or part-time activities for periods up to eighteen months.

Support is available for various combinations of scholars, consultants, and research assistants; project-related travel; and technical support and services.

Up to 20% of the total grant may also be used for the acquisition of computing hardware and software.

All grantees are expected to communicate the results of their work to appropriate scholarly and public audiences.

In order to facilitate dissemination and the maximum usage of the projects that are ultimately developed through the Digital Humanities Start-Up Grants, applicants are strongly encouraged to base their projects on open source and fully accessible software.

Eligibility Requirements

Applicant Eligibility


nonprofit organizations or institutions; state and local governmental agencies and Native American tribal organizations; and U.S.

citizens or foreign nationals who have been living in the United States or its jurisdictions for at least the three years immediately prior to the time of application.

Beneficiary Eligibility

U.S. nonprofit organizations or institutions; state and local governmental agencies and Native American tribal organizations; and U.S. citizens or foreign nationals who have been living in the United States or its jurisdictions for at least the three years immediately prior to the time of application.


Costs will be determined in accordance with OMB Circular No. A-87 for State and local governments. OMB Circular No. A-21 for educational institutions and OMB Circular No. A-122 for nonprofit organizations apply.

Aplication and Award Process

Preapplication Coordination

Prior to submitting a proposal, applicants are encouraged to contact program officers who can offer advice about preparing the proposal, and review draft proposals.

These comments are not part of the formal review process and have no bearing on the final outcome of the proposal, but applicants in other programs have found them helpful in strengthening their applications.

Program staff recommend that draft proposals be submitted six weeks before the deadline.

Time restraints may prevent staff from reviewing draft proposals submitted after that date.

Draft proposals may be submitted by E-mail attachment (, Fax: (202) 606-8216, or overnight mail (Digital Humanities Start-Up Grants, c/o OIRM, Room 203, 1100 Pennsylvania Avenue N.W.

Washington, DC 20506.

This program is excluded from coverage under E.O.


Application Procedures

Applications for this program must be submitted via Grants.Gov. Before using for the first time, each organization must register with the Web site to create an institutional profile.

Award Procedures

Knowledgeable persons outside NEH will read each application and advise the agency about its merits. The Endowment's staff comments on matters of fact or on significant issues that otherwise would be missing from these reviews, then makes recommendations to the National Council on the Humanities. The National Council meets at various times during the year to advise the NEH chairman on grants. The chairman takes into account the advice provided by the review process and, by law, makes all funding decisions.




National Foundation on the Arts and the Humanities Act of 1965, as amended, Public Law 89-209, 20 U.S.C. 951 et seq.

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time

Applicants will be notified by mail within five months after the submission of the application.


None, but applicant may reapply.


Renewal grants are processed and awarded in competition with and in the same manner as new applications.

Assistance Considerations

Formula and Matching Requirements

This program has no statutory formula or matching requirements. Source: Program Guidelines. Contact: See Headquarters Office below.

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

Digital Humanities Start-Up Grants support full-time or part-time activities for periods up to eighteen months.

Post Assistance Requirements


Final performance reports will be required.

A Federal Cash Transactions Report will be due within 30 days of the end of each calendar quarter.

A final Financial Status Report will be due within 90 days after the completion date of the award period.


In accordance with the provisions of OMB Circular No. A-133 (Revised, June 27, 2003), "Audits of States, Local Governments, and Nonprofit Organizations," nonfederal entities that expend financial assistance of $500,000 or more in Federal awards will have a single or a program-specific audit conducted for that year. Nonfederal entities that expend less than $500,000 a year in Federal awards are exempt from Federal audit requirements for that year, except as noted in Circular No. A-133. For nongovernmental recipients, audits are to be carried out in accordance with the provisions set forth in OMB Circular No. A-110, "Grants and Agreements with Institutions of Higher Education, Hospitals, and Other Nonprofit Organizations Uniform Administrative Requirements" and with OMB Circular No. A-133. In addition, grants are subject to inspection and audits by NEH and other Federal officials.


Documentation of expenditures and other fiscal records must be retained for 3 years following the submission of the final expenditure report.

Financial Information

Account Identification



Not separately identifiable.

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

Digital Humanities Start-Up Grants can comprise up to $30,000 in outright funds. The use of federal matching funds is encouraged.

Regulations, Guidelines, and Literature

45 CFR 1100 and 1105. Guidelines are available online at or by request from the National Endowment for the Humanities, Washington, DC 20506. Available from the Superintendent of Documents, Government Printing Office, Washington, DC 20402, is the Endowment's official publication, "Humanities" by subscription (6 issues annually, $24.00 domestic, $30.00 foreign).

Information Contacts

Regional or Local Office

Not applicable.

Headquarters Office

Office of Public Information, National Endowment for the Humanities, Room 402, Washington, DC 20506. Telephone: (202) 606-8400.

Criteria for Selecting Proposals

Evaluators apply the following criteria: (1) intellectual significance of the long-term project, including its potential to enhance research, teaching, and learning in the humanities; the likelihood that it will stimulate new research or approaches to the humanities or use new digital technologies to communicate humanities scholarship to broad audiences; its relationship to larger themes in the humanities; and the significance of the material on which the project is based; (2) quality of the specific start-up activities that will be funded through the grant as an initial step leading to the fulfillment of the long-term project goals; the appropriateness of the proposed methods; the appropriateness of the technology employed in the project; the feasibility of the work plan; (3) qualifications, expertise, and levels of commitment of the project director and key project staff or contributors; (4) promise of quality, usefulness to the targeted audience, and/or impact on scholarship of the long-term project; soundness of the dissemination plans, including benefit to the audience identified in the proposal and the strength of the case for employing print, microform, digital format, or a combination of media; (5) quality of the assessment and evaluation of the start-up activities, and the potential contribution of this evaluation to the realization of the long-term goals; and (6) potential for success, including the likelihood that the work proposed will be completed within the projected time frame; where appropriate, the project's previous record of success; and the reasonableness of the proposed budget in relation to anticipated results.

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