Skip to content

External Funding Opportunities

External Funding and Fellowships

Refer to each opportunity’s official announcement for current information, including application instructions, eligibility, and deadlines.Be advised that if you are interested in submitting a proposal to foundation, first consult our college’s Development team and/or the university’s Corporate & Foundation Relationships team.

New and changing funding sources are always emerging; the following is just an example of external funders that support the humanities. To find funding relevant to your research interests, conduct a custom funding search.

Listed in alphabetical order. This list is not exhaustive. Please let us know of any useful updates.

American Council of Learned Societies offers a variety of grants and fellowships; some key ones to be aware of are listed below.

  • ACLS Fellowship supports full-time research and writing for projects at any stage of development in all disciplines of the humanities and interpretive social sciences. Awards are usually $5,000/month for 6-12 months. Supports a variety of scholarly works, including monographs, articles, scholarly resources, digital projects, community-engaged projects, etc. Accepts applications from eligible scholars across all career stages, working on or off the tenure track, and encourages applications from early-career scholars. The application usually opens in early June and closes in late September.

  • ACLS Digital Justice Grant supports projects that diversify the digital domain, advance justice and equity in digital scholarly practice, and/or contribute to public understanding of racial and social justice issues. Awards are usually up to $25,000 for 12-18 months for Seed grants and up to 100,000 for 12-18 months for Development grants. The application usually opens in mid September and closes in mid December. 

American Philosophical Society maintains several research grant programs regarding library and archive research, Native American studies, and field studies research. Application deadlines vary based on the program.

Andrew Carnegie Fellows Programsupports high-caliber scholarship in the social sciences and humanities. Fellowships of $200,000 are awarded to exceptional scholars, authors, journalists, and public intellectuals to devote time to research and writing for one or two years with the anticipated result of a book or major study. Each university president may nominate one junior scholar and one senior scholar. Nominations are usually due in mid November.

Guggenheim Fellowships are intended for mid-career scholars who have demonstrated exceptional capacity for productive scholarship and exhibit great promise for their future endeavors. Fellows are given creative freedom and may spend their grant funds in any manner they deem necessary to their work. Awards are generally about $30,000-$45,000 for 6-12 months. The application usually opens in mid August and closes in mid September.

Henry Luce Foundation offers funding through separate programs, including Asian Studies and Scholars, Indigenous Knowledge, Public Policy, and Religion and Theology. Awards vary based on program and range from $10,000 to $1 million for 6-12 months. Funding inquiry requests are accepted on an open basis.

John Templeton Foundation offers grants that support field-leading research and high-impact public engagement programs that cross disciplinary boundaries and challenge conventional assumptions. Their funding priorities focus on virtues and character development; religion, spirituality, science, and society, culture and global perspectives; and individual and free markets. Grants vary in value (ranging from $200,000 to $2.5 million) for up to 3-5 years max. Funding inquiry requests are usually due in mid August.

Mellon Foundation funds ambitious, visionary work at the intersection of the arts and humanities and social justice. They award grants in 4 areas: Humanities in Place, Arts and Culture, Higher Learning, and Public Knowledge. Awards vary from $50,000 to $2 million for up to 1-4 years. Funding inquiry requests are accepted on an open basis.

National Endowment for the Humanities has many funding initiatives; some key ones to be aware of are listed below. To help find an NEH grant that best fits your project, check out this guide and this article.

  • NEH Fellowships support research of value to humanities scholars, general audiences, or both. Provides recipients with time to write, to travel, and to conduct research and other project-related activities leading to a book, monograph, peer-reviewed articles, e-book, digital resource, translation, critical edition, etc. Supports projects at any stage of development, but especially those at mid stage (e.g., part way through a book project and propose to work on 1 chapter for every 2 months). Awards $6,000/month to support continuous full-time work for 6-12 consecutive months. The application usually opens in early January and closes in early April.
  • NEH Summer Stipends supports continuous full-time work on a humanities project for two consecutive months. Supports projects at any stage of development, but especially early-stage research and late-stage writing in which small awards are most effective. Awards $8,000, which may be used for recipient’s compensation, travel, and other costs related to the proposed scholarly research. Requires university nomination to apply (this just applies to tenured or tenure-track applicants); non-tenure-track faculty, adjunct faculty, staff, and retired faculty are exempt from nomination. The U internal competition usually opens in early May and closes in late July. If selected, full proposals are usually due to NEH in mid September.
  • NEH Collaborative Research Grants aim to advance humanistic knowledge by fostering rich scholarship and sustained collaboration by teams of scholars from one or more institutions. Grants support projects at different stages under four categories: (1) Planning International Collaboration; (2) Convening (conference, symposium, or seminar); (3) Manuscript Preparation; and (4) Scholarly Digital Projects. The application usually opens in late August and closes in late November.

National Institutes of Health (NIH) has many funding mechanisms, some of which are suited for humanities researchers. Faculty should initially consider introductory mechanisms such as the R03 grant, which provides $50,000 of funding for up to two years to support a small research project.

Examples of previous NIH funding in the College of Humanities:

  • Lee Ellington has received multiple grants from NIH to support her work on end-of-life communication and hospice care.
  • Avery Holton received support from UCEER to support his work on ethics and the communication of genetics.
  • Jakob Jensen received an NIH New Innovator grant to support a 5-year program on skin cancer prevention and communication.
  • A team of researchers led by Kimberly Kaphingst at Huntsman Cancer Institute was awarded a prestigious team science grant through the National Cancer Institute’s Cancer Moonshot initiative to study genetic counseling, genetic communication, and genetic services to patients.

National Science Foundation (NSF) has many funding mechanisms, some of which are suited for humanities researchers. The Social, Behavioral, and Economics (SBE) Directorate or Technology, Innovation, and Partnership (TIP) Directorate are great places to start.

Examples of NSF grant initiatives relevant to humanities researchers:

Examples of previous NSF funding in the College of Humanities:

  • Danielle Endres (Communication and Environmental Humanities) has received multiple NSF grants, including to support research on communication among scientists and engineers about low-carbon energy technology, to support work with the Northwestern Band of the Shoshone Nation on their Bear River Restoration project, and to support a conference titled, “Energy Democracy: Creating a Research Agenda”.
  • Katherine Coles (English) received an Antarctic Artists and Writers Grant from NSF to fund travel to an Antarctic Science Stationwhere she crafted a collection of poems titled “The Earth is Not Flat”.
  • Matt Haber (Philosophy) received NSF funding to support a conference on “Evolution and the Levels of Lineage”.
  • Melinda Fagan (Philosophy) received a research grant to support her work on a view of explanation focused on concepts of collaboration and interaction.
  • Sara Yeo (Communication and Environmental Humanities) received an NSF grant for research into how emotions and humor affect the formation of public attitudes toward science and technology.
Last Updated: 5/9/24