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NEH at UH:

Regional National Endowment for the Humanities grants workshop Feb. 18 & 19

The National Endowment for the Humanities funds some of the most innovative research in the liberal arts and social sciences disciplines.

“The NEH’s goal has been to support humanities research so that we, as a country, can learn about ourselves, about how we form a society together, and to understand how we have come to be the society that we currently see,” said Dr. Steven Craig, interim CLASS dean.

College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences professors have successfully captured some of those grant dollars, including Natalie Houston, associate professor of English, and Casey Dué Hackney, professor and director of classical studies.

To encourage more faculty at UH and the greater Houston region to seek NEH funding, CLASS is hosting with the NEH a two-day workshop Feb. 18 and 19 that will provide insights and strategies for submitting strong applications.

“Through these workshops, NEH hopes to raise awareness of funding opportunities in the humanities and increase the number and quality of applications submitted for funding,” said Dr. Russell M. Wyland, Deputy Director, Division of Research Programs for the National Endowment for the Humanities.

NEH Division of Research Programs staff will conduct 12 such workshops around the country this year, including the one this month at University of Houston.

The NEH @ UH workshop is open to any researcher interested in learning about NEH funding opportunities and application strategies. Pre-registration is required for both the workshop and individual meetings. For more information or to register, visit

Dr. Mark Silver, Senior Program Officer in the Research Division of the Endowment at NEH, will conduct the workshop on February 18 at the UH Alumni Center’s Melcher Board Room. In addition, Dr. Silver will meet one-on-one with individuals to discuss specific proposals on February 19.

The first half of the workshop will provide an overview of NEH funding opportunities and offer tips for writing competitive proposals, focusing especially on NEH fellowships, summer stipends, and awards for faculty at Hispanic-serving institutions and historically black colleges and universities.

The second half of the workshop will consist of a mock application review panel. Using actual NEH applications that will be made available in advance to all workshop participants, a mock panel of UH faculty will read, discuss, and rank proposals following NEH's procedures in order to demonstrate how applications are evaluated and recommended for NEH funding.

The panel will be diverse across fields and experience levels. The goal of the mock panel is to illustrate to the audience how to reach a diverse panel while also conveying the academic merit of the work.

“The mock panel will evaluate actual NEH proposals from previous years,” Dean Craig said. “Each panelist will discuss the ranking publicly, and the NEH representative will use the comments to educate the audience on the type of things which cause the panel to give higher, or lower, scores.”

- By Monica Byars