Application Process

Please note: An individual may apply to up to two NEH projects (Summer Seminars, Institutes, or Landmarks Workshops) but may participate in only one.

Eligibility Requirements:

Those who are eligible to apply are:

  • American full or part-time classroom teachers or librarians in public, charter, independent, or religiously affiliated schools, or home-schooling parents.
  • K-12 school personnel (administrators, substitute teachers, classroom professionals)
  • Teachers in the U.S. territorial possessions or Americans teaching in foreign schools where at least 50% of the students are American nationals.  Full-time and part-time teachers are equally eligible.

Applicants must be United States citizens, residents of U.S. jurisdictions, or foreign nationals who have been residing in the United States or its territories for at least the three years immediately preceding the application deadline.

Individuals not eligible to apply:

  • Foreign nationals teaching abroad at non-U.S.-chartered institutions
  • Current colleagues, family members, or former students of this institute’s directors


Procedures and Deadlines

All application materials must be sent to the project director at the email address or U.S. mail address listed on the project website. Application materials sent to the National Endowment for the Humanities will not be reviewed.

A complete application consists of the following items:

  1. A completed application cover sheet 

  2. A résumé or brief biography with contact information for two professional references*, and
  3. An application essay stating why the application would be a good fit for the institute. The essay should be no more than four double-spaced pages.  This essay should include your reasons for applying to the institute; your relevant personal and academic information; your qualifications to do the work of the project and make a contribution to it; what you hope to accomplish; and the relation of the study to your teaching.  You might also say something about past experiences in educational theatre, or if you have no past experience in theatre (which is fine!), discuss your willingness to engage in theatre as an educational method.  If you have familiarity with the specific texts or immigration themes under consideration by the institute, you might describe that as well.

Completed applications can be sent either via email or U.S. mail.  Applications should be sent or post marked no later than March 1, 2017.

Email applications should be sent to:

Mailed application should be sent to the project director at the following address:

Dr. Matthew Spangler
Department of Communication Studies
San José State University
One Washington Square
San José, CA 95192

Please note:

(1)  if you are submitting on-line, you will need to print out a copy of the cover sheet and scan it electronically, so it can be send with the rest of your application;

(2)  if you are submitting via the U.S. mail, please send 4 copies of your application.

Accepted applicants will be notified of their selection on March 31, 2017, and they will have until April 7, 2017 to accept or decline the offer.


Selection Committee

Four individuals will read and evaluate all properly completed applications in order to select the most promising applicants and to identify a number of alternates.  The committee will consist of the seminar directors, a school teacher, and a colleague of the directors.

The most important consideration in the selection of NEH Summer Scholars is the likelihood that an applicant will benefit professionally and personally from participation in the institute.   Committee members consider several factors, each of which should be addressed in the application essay.  These factors include:

  1. effectiveness and commitment as a teacher/educator;
  2. intellectual interests in general and as they relate to the work of the project;
  3. special perspectives, skills, or experiences that would contribute to the seminar or institute;
  4. commitment to participate fully in the formal and informal collegial life of the project; and
  5. the likelihood that the experience will enhance the applicant’s teaching.

Recent NEH Summer Scholars are eligible to apply, but project selection committees are charged to give first consideration to applicants who have not participated in an NEH-supported Seminar, Institute or Landmarks Workshop in the last three years (2014, 2015, 2016).   When choices must be made among equally qualified candidates, several additional factors are considered.

Recent participants are eligible to apply. When choices must be made among equally qualified candidates, however, NEH charges the selection committees to give preference to applicants who have not participated in an NEH-supported Seminar, Institute or Workshop in the last three years (2014, 2015, 2016) and to those who would significantly contribute to the diversity of the program.



Endowment programs do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, disability, or age.  For further information, write to NEH Equal Opportunity Officer, 1100 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W., Washington, D.C. 20506.  TDD: 202/606-8282 (this is a special telephone device for the deaf).

* Applicants from previous NEH institutes will note this change in policy.  However, letters of recommendation will still be accepted (please submit four copies of each letter).