NEH American Rescue Plan

Please see the full solicitation for complete information about the funding opportunity. Below is a summary assembled by the Research & Innovation Office (RIO).

Program Summary

The American Rescue Plan: Humanities Organizations program invites applications from eligible organizations seeking support for humanities positions and projects that have been adversely impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. Through this funding opportunity, NEH will award grants to museums, libraries and archives, historic sites, independent research institutions, academic presses, professional organizations, colleges and universities, and other humanities organizations across the country to help them continue to advance their mission during the interruption of their operations due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Funds are available to support a range of activities over a yearlong period of performance. NEH especially encourages applications from underserved and minority-serving institutions and organizations.

Allowable costs include, but are not limited to:

  • personnel costs (salaries and fringe benefits) for individuals employed by the applicant and dedicated to the proposed activities
  • fees for consultants and contractors
  • supplies and materials necessary to carry out the proposed activities
  • equipment necessary to carry out the proposed activities (not to exceed 20 percent of the total funds requested)
  • general operating support (typically recovered through indirect costs)


CU Internal Deadline: 11:59pm MST April 20, 2021

Sponsor Application Deadline: May 14, 2021

Internal Application Requirements (all in PDF format)

  • Project Summary (2-3 pages maximum; single-spaced pages with one-inch margins and a font size no smaller than twelve points): Describe the proposed activities to be funded by an NEH award in response to the coronavirus pandemic, how the activities would support the mission of your organization and advance the humanities for the cultural sector and/or the general public. Indicate the number and titles of the positions that would be retained or created in conducting the proposed activities. Explain how these positions have been affected by the coronavirus pandemic, or, if new, how they would help your organization or your part of the humanities sector respond to the pandemic’s impact. Identify the people who hold (or will hold) these positions and describe the work they will do.
  • Budget Overview (1 page maximum): A basic budget outlining project costs is sufficient; detailed OCG budgets are not required.

To access the online application, visit:


There are no special eligibility requirements.

Limited Submission Guidelines

An applicant may not submit multiple applications under this notice. NEH will consider parent organizations and their subordinates to be a single entity for purposes of eligibility.

Award Information

Award Amount: $500,000 (CU Boulder is eligible for Level III, defined as organizations with an annual operating budget of greater than $10,000,000). Level III organizations may request up to $500,000.

Expected Number of Awards: Approximately 150

The period of performance is one year. Projects may start as early as October 1, 2021 and as late as January 1, 2022.

Review Criteria

Peer reviewers will use the following criteria to review applications in this program:

  1. The degree to which the applicant advances the humanities; the importance of the proposed humanities activities to the applicant’s mission, to the cultural and educational sectors, and/or to the general public; and the feasibility of successfully completing the proposed activities within the period of performance (corresponds to narrative sections “Humanities mission and record of contribution” and “Proposed activities and audience,” and Attachment 2: Work plan).\
  2. The extent to which the applicant has clearly articulated the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the organization and provided relevant evidence to support its claims; the appropriateness of the proposed activities in addressing the need(s) identified(corresponds with narrative sections “Project justification” and “Proposed activities and audience” and Attachment 2: Work plan).
  3. The degree to which the project will support the creation of new humanities programs or sustain/maintain existing programs threatened by the coronavirus pandemic; the degree to which the proposed project will retain humanities jobs threatened by the coronavirus pandemic or create new jobs; the qualifications of the relevant personnel for the proposed activities (corresponds to narrative sections “Jobs and personnel” and Attachment 3: Biographies).
  4. The reasonableness of the proposed budget in relation to the proposed activities, the applicant’s capacity to properly administer federal relief funds in the current environment, and the long-term viability of the organization (corresponds to narrative sections “Institutional capacity” and the budget and budget justification).