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).

Starting with the 2020–21 competition and continuing through the 2021–22 round, the ACLS Fellowship will limit eligibility to non-tenured scholars who have earned their PhD within the past eight years (after September 30, 2013). This includes faculty on the tenure track and scholars without faculty appointments, as well as scholars serving as adjuncts, contingent faculty, and in other non-tenured roles. 

FYI: The ACLS Collaborative Research FellowshipFrederick Burkhardt Residential Fellowships for Recently Tenured Scholars and Mellon/ACLS Scholars & Society Fellowship programs will no longer be offered.

DEADLINE:  SEPTEMBER 29, 2021 (ACLS Fellowships)

DEADLINE: will be updated when available; the most recent deadline was October 28, 2020 (Luce/ACLS Program in Religion, Journalism & International Affairs Fellowships for Scholars)

DEADLINE: will be updated when available; the most recent deadline was November 2, 2020 (ACLS Leading Edge Fellowships)

DEADLINE: will be updated when available; the most recent deadline was December 15, 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.

From the IAS website: “The opening of our application for 2020-2021 has been delayed due to the changeover to a new application system. Our apologies.”

DEADLINE: OCTOBER 15, 2021  (School of Historical Studies)

DEADLINE: NOVEMBER 1, 2021  (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.


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.


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.


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.

A free online information session was held on February 9, 2021, for the previous competition. This live webinar for administrators and prospective applicants introduced the program, described the application process and eligibility criteria, and offered application-writing suggestions. The main slide presentation was 35 minutes. To watch the presentation, click here.


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). 


NEH-Mellon Fellowships for Digital Publication

Through NEH-Mellon Fellowships for Digital Publication, the National Endowment for the Humanities and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation jointly support individual scholars pursuing interpretive research projects that require digital expression and digital publication. To be eligible for this special opportunity, an applicant’s plans for digital publication must be integral to the project’s research goals. That is, the project must be conceived as digital because the research topics being addressed and methods applied demand presentation beyond traditional print publication. Successful projects will likely incorporate visual, audio, and/or other multimedia materials or flexible reading pathways that could not be included in traditionally published books, as well as an active distribution plan.


Fellowships for Advanced Social Science Research on Japan

The Fellowships for Advanced Social Science Research on Japan program is a joint activity of the Japan-U.S. Friendship Commission (JUSFC) and the National Endowment for the Humanities. The program aims to promote Japan studies in the United States, to encourage U.S.-Japanese scholarly exchange, and to support the next generation of Japan scholars in the U.S. Awards support research on modern Japanese society and political economy, Japan's international relations, and U.S.-Japan relations. The program encourages innovative research that puts these subjects in wider regional and global contexts and is comparative and contemporary in nature. Research should contribute to scholarly knowledge or to the general public’s understanding of issues of concern to Japan and the United States. Appropriate disciplines for the research include anthropology, economics, geography, history, international relations, linguistics, political science, psychology, and sociology. Awards usually result in articles, monographs, books, e-books, digital materials, translations, editions, or other scholarly resources.


Fellowship Programs at Independent Research Institutions

The Fellowship Programs at Independent Research Institutions program supports institutions that provide fellowships for advanced humanities research in the United States and abroad, foster communities of intellectual exchange among participating scholars, and provide access to resources that might otherwise not be available to the participating scholars.  Fellowship programs may be administered by independent centers for advanced study, libraries, and museums in the United States; American overseas research centers; and American organizations that have expertise in promoting humanities research in foreign countries. Individual scholars apply directly to the institutions for fellowships.


Institutes for Higher Education Faculty

NEH Institutes for Higher Education Faculty are professional development programs that convene higher education faculty from across the nation in order to deepen and enrich their understanding of a variety of topics in the humanities and enrich their capacity for effective scholarship and teaching.


Institutes for K-12 Educators

NEH Institutes for K-12 Educators are professional development programs that convene K-12 educators from across the nation in order to deepen and enrich their understanding of a variety of topics in the humanities and enrich their capacity for effective scholarship and teaching.  


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. 


Russell Sage Foundation

The Russell Sage Foundation’s Visiting Scholars Program provides a unique opportunity for select scholars in the social, economic and behavioral sciences to pursue their research and writing while in residence at the foundation’s New York headquarters.

DEADLINE: will update when available; the most recent deadline was June 24, 2021

Huntington Library

The Huntington Library awards over 150 research fellowships annually. The Huntington is a collections-based research institute, which promotes humanities scholarship on the basis of its library holdings and art collections.


Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University

With its fellowship program, CASBS @ Stanford brings together deep thinkers from diverse disciplines and communities to advance understanding of the full range of human beliefs, behaviors, interactions, and institutions. A leading incubator of human-centered knowledge, CASBS facilitates collaborations across academia, policy, industry, civil society and government to collectively design a better future.


Carnegie Corporation of New York

The process of determining likelihood of funding for an Andrew Carnegie Fellowship begins with a letter of inquiry; please see website. If you believe that your project aligns with the Carnegie Corporation’s priorities and funding strategies as outlined in the program descriptions, a link to start an online application can be found on each Focus Area page within the Programs section of this website.


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.


Competitive Fellowship Leave Guidelines

The Arts & Sciences Competitive Fellowship Leave (CFL) program is intended to promote the award of qualifying fellowships granted by the most prestigious and highly competitive national or international programs. The policy provides for a salary match and leave time, which is not counted against the regular sabbatical eligibility clock. 


Competitive Fellowship Leave Application

To facilitate planning and to determine eligibility for salary supplement, this form must be submitted in advance of any formal application for a fellowship under the Competitive Fellowship Leave policy.