External Funding Opportunities

Major competitive external funding opportunities

Fulbright Distinguished Chairs Fellowship

The Fulbright Distinguished Chairs Program comprises approximately forty distinguished lecturing, distinguished research and distinguished lecturing/research awards ranging from three to 12 months. Awards in the Fulbright Distinguished Chairs Program are viewed as among the most prestigious appointments in the Fulbright Scholar Program. Candidates should be eminent scholars and have a significant publication and teaching record.


American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS)

The ACLS invites research applications in all disciplines of the humanities and humanities-related social sciences. ACLS does not fund creative work (e.g., novels or films), textbooks, straightforward translation, or pedagogical projects. To be eligible, an individual must have had the PhD conferred at least two years before the application deadline, hold US citizenship or permanent resident status as of the application deadline date, and have concluded his or her most recent supported research leave prior to July 1 of the previous year (research leave is defined as the equivalent of one semester or more of time free from teaching or other employment to pursue scholarly research or writing).

DEADLINE: TBD (ACLS Collaborative Research Fellowships).  The ACLS Collaborative Research Fellowship program will not be offered in 2019-20.

DEADLINE:  SEPTEMBER 25, 2019 (ACLS FellowshipsFrederick Burkhardt Residential Fellowships for Recently Tenured Scholars)

DEADLINE: OCTOBER 23, 2019 (Mellon/ACLS Scholars & Society Fellowship)

DEADLINE: JANUARY 8, 2020 (ACLS Digital Extension Grants)

Institute for Advanced Study

The Institute for Advanced Study is one of the world’s leading centers for theoretical research and intellectual inquiry. The Institute exists to encourage and support fundamental research in the sciences and humanities – the original, often speculative, thinking that produces advances in knowledge that change the way we understand the world. It provides for the mentoring of scholars by Faculty, and it offers all who work there the freedom to undertake research that will make significant contributions in any of the broad range of fields in the sciences and humanities studied at the Institute.

DEADLINE: OCTOBER 15, 2019  (School of Historical Studies)

DEADLINE: NOVEMBER 1, 2019  (School of Social Sciences)


John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation

The John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation provides fellowships for advanced professionals in all fields (natural sciences, social sciences, humanities, creative arts) except the performing arts. The fellowships are awarded to men and women who have already demonstrated exceptional capacity for productive scholarship or exceptional creative ability in the arts. The Foundation consults with distinguished scholars and artists regarding the accomplishments and promise of the applicants and presents this evidence to the Committee of Selection. Appointments are ordinarily made for one year, and in no instance for a period shorter than six consecutive months. The amounts of the grants will be adjusted to the needs of the Fellows, considering their other resources and the purpose and scope of their plans.


National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH)

The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) is an independent federal agency created in 1965. It is one of the largest funders of humanities programs in the United States.

Because democracy demands wisdom, NEH serves and strengthens our republic by promoting excellence in the humanities and conveying the lessons of history to all Americans. The Endowment accomplishes this mission by awarding grants for top-rated proposals examined by panels of independent, external reviewers.

Media Projects: Production Grants

Production grants support the production and distribution of films, television programs, radio programs, and related programs that promise to engage the public. The NEH Division of Public Programs accepts application for this program at two deadlines a year: in January and August.

DEADLINE: JANUARY 9, 2019 (for projects beginning August 1, 2019)
DEADLINE: AUGUST 14, 2019 (for projects beginning April 1, 2020)

Media Projects: Development Grants

Development grants enable media producers to collaborate with scholars to develop humanities content and to prepare programs for production. Grants should result in a script and should also yield a detailed plan for outreach and public engagement in collaboration with a partner organization or organizations. The NEH Division of Public Programs accepts applications for this program at two deadlines a year: in January and August.

DEADLINE: JANUARY 9, 2019 (for projects beginning August 1, 2019)
DEADLINE: AUGUST 14, 2019 (for projects beginning April 1, 2020)

Humanities Connections

Humanities Connections Implementation Grants and Planning Grants seek to expand the role of the humanities in the undergraduate curriculum at two- and four-year institutions, offering students in all academic fields new opportunities to develop the intellectual skills and habits of mind that the humanities cultivate. Grant projects focus on connecting the resources and perspectives of the humanities to students’ broader educational and professional goals, regardless of their path of study. 


Dialogues on the Experience of War

The Dialogues on the Experience of War program supports the study and discussion of important humanities sources about war, in the belief that these sources can help U.S. military veterans and others to think more deeply about the issues raised by war and military service. The humanities sources can be drawn from history, philosophy, literature, and film—and they may and should be supplemented by testimonials from those who have served. The discussions are intended to promote serious exploration of important questions about the nature of duty, heroism, suffering, loyalty, and patriotism.


Collaborative Research Grants

Collaborative Research Grants support interpretive humanities research undertaken by a team of two or more scholars, for full-time or part-time activities for periods of one to three years. Support is available for various combinations of scholars, consultants, and research assistants; project-related travel; field work; applications of information technology; and technical support and services. 


Scholarly Editions and Translations Grants

Scholarly Editions and Translations grants support the preparation of editions and translations of pre-existing texts and documents of value to the humanities that are currently inaccessible or available in inadequate editions. These grants support full-time or part-time activities for periods of one to three years. Projects must be undertaken by a team of at least one editor or translator and one other staff member. Grants typically support editions and translations of significant literary, philosophical, and historical materials, but other types of work, such as musical notation, are also eligible.


Public Scholar Program

The Public Scholar Program supports well-researched books in the humanities intended to reach a broad readership. Although humanities scholarship can be specialized, the humanities also strive to engage broad audiences in exploring subjects of general interest. They seek to deepen our understanding of the human condition as well as current conditions and contemporary problems. The Public Scholar Program aims to encourage scholarship that will be of broad interest and have lasting impact.


Summer Seminars and Institutes

Summer Seminars and Institutes grants support professional development programs in the humanities for school teachers and for college and university faculty. NEH Summer Seminars and Institutes may be as short as one week or as long as four weeks.


Faculty Fellowships

Faculty Fellowships support individuals pursuing advanced research that is of value to humanities scholars, general audiences, or both. Recipients usually produce articles, monographs, books, digital materials, archaeological site reports, translations, editions, or other scholarly resources in the humanities. Projects may be at any stage of development.


Digital Projects for the Public

Digital Projects for the Public grants support projects that significantly contribute to the public’s engagement with the humanities. Digital platforms—such as websites, mobile applications and tours, interactive touch screens and kiosks, games, and virtual environments—can reach diverse audiences and bring the humanities to life for the American people. The program offers three levels of support for digital projects: grants for Discovery projects (early-stage planning work), Prototyping projects (proof-of-concept development work), and Production projects (end-stage production and distribution work). 


National Humanities Center

The National Humanities Center is a residential institute for advanced study in history, languages and literature, philosophy, and other fields of the humanities. Each year the Center awards fellowships to scholars of demonstrated achievement and to promising younger scholars. Fellows are expected to work at the Center.


Additional External Funding Resources

You may find additional external funding opportunities by checking out the links below for SPIN, hosted by Washington University’s Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research, and web pages maintained by other universities.


SPIN provides intuitive and easily customizable access to the most extensive research funding opportunity database on earth. Tools are provided that are geared towards both individual and administrative users, and SPIN provides both active searching as well as automated, daily opportunity notifications.


Boston University Humanities Fellowships and Grants

This list of fellowships, grants, and awards is intended as a resource for faculty searching for opportunities and assistance with research relating to the humanities.