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Application Information and Instructions

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Please review the eligibility criteria for participation in NEH Summer Seminars and Institutes as an NEH Summer Scholars.

NEH Summer Seminars and Institutes allow K-12 teachers an opportunity to enrich and revitalize their teaching through the study of humanities topics that bear upon K-12 education. Participants will receive a certificate upon completion of the program, but the programs are not intended to duplicate graduate- level courses.

Each seminar provides an intimate and focused environment in which sixteen participants (NEH Summer Scholars) study a specific humanities topic under the guidance of one or two established scholars. Seminars have few, if any, visiting faculty. They emphasize sustained interaction among the participants and director(s) through discussion of common readings, conversations about teaching, and advising on independent projects.

Each institute allows twenty-five to thirty-six participants (NEH Summer Scholars) to pursue an intensive program of study under a team of scholarly experts, who present a range of perspectives on a humanities topic. Participants and scholars mutually explore connections between scholarship and teaching of the topic.

In any given year, an individual may apply to two Seminars or Institutes, but may attend only one.


Selection Criteria

A selection committee is comprised of the project director and two or more colleagues, at least one of whom is a K-12 teacher. They evaluate all complete applications to select a group of NEH Summer Scholars and identify alternates.

Application essays should explain how the specific program will benefit the participant professionally. They should, therefore, address the following:

  1. your effectiveness and commitment as a teacher/educator;
  2. your intellectual interests as they relate to the topic of the seminar;
  3. your special perspectives, skills, or experiences that would contribute to the program; and
  4. evidence that participation will have a long-term impact on your teaching.

The Selection Committee will read these essays very carefully as it works to build a diverse intellectual community of energetic and engaged participants. Our ideal seminar will include teachers at various stages in their careers and with different degrees of experience teaching our core texts or with using adaptations in the classroom. We are looking for teachers who will, in various ways, both contribute to and benefit from their participation in the seminar. We believe our seminar will be at its most enriching if it includes those who are new to Great Expectations or Jane Eyre as well as those who are lifelong Dickens or Brontë enthusiasts, novices as well as old hands when it comes to using film in the classroom, those with experience with adaptations-based pedagogies as well as those just beginning to explore these ideas and approaches. We welcome applications from teachers outside the field of English, and we are especially interested in applicants who are eager to disseminate the ideas of the seminar to a wide audience of students and colleagues.

Three seminar spaces and five institute spaces must be reserved for teachers who are new to the profession (those who have been teaching for five years or less). First consideration is given to those who have not previously attended an NEH Seminar or Institute. When choices must be made between equally qualified candidates, preference is given to those who would enhance the diversity of the program.


Stipend, Tenure, and Conditions of Award

Each participant will receive a stipend according to the duration of the Seminar or Institute, whether one ($1,200) two ($2,100), three ($2,700), or four ($3,300) weeks. The stipend is intended to help cover travel, housing, meals, and basic academic expenses. Stipends are taxable.

Seminar and institute participants must attend all meetings and engage fully as professionals in the work of the project. During the project, participants may not undertake teaching assignments or professional activities unrelated to their participation in the project. Those who, for any reason, do not complete the full tenure of the project will receive a reduced stipend.

At the end of the project’s residential period, NEH Summer Scholars are expected to submit online evaluations of the seminar or institute.


Application Instructions

Prior to applying to the seminar, please study the project website and carefully consider the project’s requirements. A complete application consists of the following three items:

Application Cover Sheet

• Compete the cover sheet online at:
• Follow the prompts. 
• Before you click the “submit” button, print the cover sheet and add it to your application package. Then click “submit.” 
• You will be asked if you want to fill out a cover sheet for a second project. If you do, repeat the process. 
Do not use the same cover sheet for different projects.

Résumé and References

Please include a résumé or curriculum vitae (not to exceed five pages). Include the name, title, phone number, and e-mail address of two professional references.

The Application Essay

The application essay should be no more than four double-spaced pages. It should address your interest in the subject to be studied; qualifications and experiences that equip you to do the work of the seminar or institute and to make a contribution to the learning community; a statement of what you want to accomplish by participating; and, if appropriate, description of an independent project and its relation to your professional responsibilities.


Submission of Applications and Notification Procedure

Applications must be submitted to the project director, not the NEH, and must be submitted no later than 11:59 PM Pacific Time on March 1, 2019. Applications sent to the NEH will not be reviewed.

You may submit your completed application electronically by using the Document Submission Portal (a link will be posted by 14 December, 2018). Save each of your completed resume, application essay, and data form as separate files that include your last name in the file name, for example “last name_essay.” Accepted document formats are .pdf, .rtf, .doc, or .docx.

When your documents are ready, complete the contact information on the Document Submission Portal (a link will be posted by 14 December, 2018). At the bottom of the page, attach all three documents (data form, application essay, and résumé) before you submit the form. Applicants that are missing any of the required documents will not be considered.

Should you experience any difficulties with the document submission form, email seminar staff at If you wish to submit application materials as hard copies instead of electronically, please contact us for instructions and mailing address. Be sure to submit your application materials before the deadline.

Successful applicants will be notified of their selection on Friday, March 29, 2019. They will have until Friday, April 5, 2019 to accept or decline the offer.

Note: Once you have accepted an offer to attend any NEH Summer Program (NEH Summer Seminar or Institute), 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, religion, sexual orientation, disability, or age. For further information, write to the Equal Opportunity Officer, National Endowment for the Humanities, 400 7th Street, SW, Washington, DC 20024. TDD: 202/606-8282 (this is a special telephone device for the Deaf).


Professional Development

A note on professional development: The Dickens Project and UCSC will provide any participant interested in receiving continuing-education credits with a letter allowing him or her to do so upon completion of the seminar.