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  HOME  »  Fellowships  »  Application Information, Instructions, and Forms

2.   I N S T R U C T I O N S   F O R   A P P L I C A N T SPrinter friendly version of Instructions for Applicantsprinter friendly

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. Applicants must have doctorate or equivalent scholarly credentials. Young scholars must have a record of publication, and recent Ph.D.s should be aware that the Center does not award fellowships for the revision of a doctoral dissertation. Most fellowships are for the academic year (September through May), though a few may be awarded for the fall or spring semester. Scholars from any nation may apply for fellowships. In addition to scholars from fields normally associated with the humanities, representatives of the natural and social sciences, the arts, the professions, and public life may be awarded fellowships if their work has humanistic dimensions.

Application Guidelines

Submit five collated copies of the following:

  1. Application Form - the completed application form
  2. Curriculum Vitae - a curriculum vitae of no more than four pages
  3. Project Description - a 1,000 word project description
  4. Outline of Chapters - a one-page tentative outline of chapters
  5. Short Bibliography

Use 8 1/2" x 11" paper (or trim to 11" or 28 cm), copy on one side only, and do not staple any submitted materials. No application materials will be accepted via FAX or e-mail.

Please note: It is the applicant's responsibility to ensure that the three letters of recommendation as well as the completed application are postmarked no later than October 1.

1.   Application Form (*PDF file, available from this website)

Full name. Give complete name, last name first.

Academic year/semester for which you are applying. The Center awards fellowships for the academic year, September through May, though a few may be awarded for the fall or spring semester only. The Center does not award fellowships for the summer months (June, July, August).

Address. Give the address to which you want your correspondence sent. If you change your address, please let us know.

Telephone. Give home, work and FAX numbers, and e-mail address, including area codes. Applicants from overseas, include country and city codes.

Date and place of birth. List your date of birth (month/day/year) and birthplace.

Citizenship. Name the country of which you are a citizen. If you are a resident alien of the U.S., please indicate.

Education. Give the year of award, the institution, and the field of study for your undergraduate degree and Ph.D. or highest earned degree.

Current position. Give your rank, departmental affiliation, and institution (e.g., Associate Professor, Department of History, University of Michigan). Please give your departmental affiliation even if your title differs (e.g., if you are a Professor of Medieval Studies but appointed to the English Department, list the latter). Non-academic applicants should give their title and employer.

Principal research interests. List the areas of study on which you specialize, e.g., 19th-century American cultural and intellectual history.

Fellowship and research support during past 5 years. List grants, fellowships, or other awards that have given you leave or a reduced teaching load during the past 5 years. List the source (e.g., your university, Guggenheim Foundation, NEH), the amount awarded, the grant period (e.g., 9/98-6/99), and the nature of the award (i.e., sabbatical leave, fellowship for independent study, residential fellowship, teaching reduction, etc.). You may omit small grants for research materials, travel to collections, etc.; include those that enabled you to devote time to your research rather than to teaching or other professional commitments.

References. It is your responsibility to have three letters of recommendation sent to us by the application deadline. It is also your responsibility to ensure that the three letters of recommendation arrive. The National Humanities Center does not contact referees.

Your referees should be scholars who know you and your work, and they should comment specifically upon your proposed project, its significance, and your qualifications for undertaking it. They may also comment upon how your work would benefit from and contribute to the community of scholars at the National Humanities Center. Recommendations should be typed and the type should be dark enough to be reproduced by photocopying.

Project Title. Give a one-line title to your project.

Précis. Include a précis of the proposal, approximately 100 words long, in the box at the bottom of the form.

2.   Curriculum Vitae

Your curriculum vitae should not exceed four pages. It should include your educational and professional experience and a representative list of your publications.

3.   Project Description

Your project description should not exceed four double-spaced pages (approximately 1,000 words). Our reviewers appreciate legible, concise, well-organized material; we do not ask them to read applications that are not clearly typed or that exceed the prescribed length.

State clearly the objectives and significance of your project and the evidence and methodology to be used. Distinguish what will be original about the proposed work in contrast to existing publications on the subject. Your project description should be directed not only to specialists in your own field but also should be accessible to scholars in other fields who serve on the Center's selection committee.

In the concluding paragraph of the project description, summarize the present status of your research, including how much has been done in relevant collections and archives, and what you would hope to accomplish at the National Humanities Center. Include any research grants that have supported your work on this particular project.

4.   Outline of Chapters

Please attach a one-page tentative outline of chapters.

5.   Short Bibliography

Please attach a short bibliography to indicate what scholarship informs your approach to the project.

Financial Information

Submit three copies of the Financial Information Form (*PDF file, available from this website), not attached to your application. Fellowships are individually determined. The amount of a stipend depends upon the needs of the Fellow and the Center's ability to meet them. As the fellowship stipend does not in most instances replace full salary, applicants are urged to seek partial support in the form of sabbatical salaries or grants from other sources. Round-trip travel expenses are provided for Fellows and immediate family. The Center does not cover fringe benefits.

Nonstipendiary Requests. Applicants who do not require funding to replace their normal salaries may apply through the regular competition for nonstipendiary fellowships. With the approval of the selection committee, they will be appointed Fellows and will receive round-trip travel, minimal relocation expenses, and all services and privileges of the Center.

Selection Process

Applications are read by specialists in their fields and by an interdisciplinary committee of distinguished scholars. Criteria of evaluation are: (1) the significance of the proposed research; (2) the quality of the research proposal in definition, organization, clarity, and scope; (3) the quality or promise of the candidate; and (4) the likelihood of the project's being successfully pursued at the National Humanities Center. The selection committee seeks scholarly excellence and a good mix of disciplines, ages, regions, and institutions.

Application Deadline

Applications and letters of recommendation must be post marked no later than October 1. The staff will appreciate your mailing the application well before the deadline if possible. If you are applying from outside the United States, please send your application by airmail. No application materials will be accepted by FAX or e-mail.


Please include a self-addressed blank postcard so we may let you know immediately that your application has been received. The Center will notify you in mid-February of the results of the competition.

Application Checklist

The following items must be postmarked
by October 1.
  • 5 collated copies of the application form, your curriculum vitae, your 1,000 word project description, a one-page tentative outline of chapters, and a short bibliography

  • 3 copies of the financial information form

  • 3 letters of recommendation, to be mailed by your recommenders

  • a self-addressed blank postcard

*Download Adobe Acrobat Reader, free software that lets you view and print Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF) files.

National Humanities Center
7 T. W. Alexander Drive, P.O. Box 12256
Research Triangle Park, North Carolina 27709-2256 USA
Phone: (919) 549-0661   Fax: (919) 990-8535
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Revised: May 2013