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

NEH invites applications from eligible organizations seeking support for at-risk humanities positions and projects that have been impacted by the coronavirus. Through this funding opportunity, NEH will award grants to museums, libraries and archives, historic sites, independent research institutions, professional organizations, colleges and universities, and other cultural organizations across the country to help these entities continue to advance their mission during the interruption of their operations due to the coronavirus pandemic.

NEH has designed a simplified application process and expedited review for the distribution of these critical funds. Applicants may apply in one of the following areas, choosing the one that best aligns with their proposed activities: education, public programming, digital humanities, scholarly research, or preservation and access.

Funds are available to support a range of activities over a six and a half-month period of performance. While not comprehensive, the following examples are provided to illustrate the types of activities that could be proposed in this program:

  • a university requests support to assist adjunct or contingent faculty members and staff converting to online teaching
  • a museum requests support to train staff to engage with visitors virtually, including developing online virtual tours or transcribing digital collections to make the collections more broadly available to the general public
  • a historic site that is temporarily closed hires staff to provide exhibition maintenance, and to sanitize spaces so that, when social distancing ends, the site is ready to welcome visitors safely
  • a scholarly society requests support to continue editing its journal, an activity that would normally be supported by revenue from an annual conference that was cancelled due to the pandemic
  • an independent research institution requests support to continue serving the scholarly community by offering online professional development or organizing online lectures at a time when membership revenue has decreased due to the coronavirus
  • an archive requests support for staff who would have been furloughed to prepare or initiate their disaster plans, online archives, and/or procedures for re-opening after forced closure
  • a tribal community requests support to continue a program creating, preserving, and making available oral history interviews
  • a liberal arts college requests support for staff to develop documentation and outreach plans to broaden the use of open-access digital resources in research and teaching
  • an institution working on humanities research requiring technical equipment that cannot be accessed remotely requests support for staff to refocus on data cleaning and software documentation
  • a public radio station requests support for the development of a podcast to contextualize the global impact of the coronavirus in relation to historical events such as plagues, natural disasters, and world wars that significantly altered human society


CU Internal Deadline: 11:59pm MST April 28, 2020

Sponsor Application Deadline: May 11, 2020

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 organization may submit only one application under this announcement.

Award Information

Award Amount: $300,000

Expected Number of Awards: 300-600

The period of performance may begin as early as June 15, 2020 and must end on or before December 31, 2020.

Review Criteria

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

  1. The degree to which the proposed project would retain humanities jobs threatened by the coronaviruspandemicorcreatenewjobs,andthequalificationsandlevelofinvolvementof the relevant personnel dedicated to the proposed activities (corresponds to narrative sections “Jobs and personnel” and Attachment 3: Biographies).
  2. The importance of the proposed humanities activities to the applicant’s mission, to the cultural sector, 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,” “Proposed activities and audience” and Attachment 2: Work plan).
  3. The reasonableness of the proposed budget in relation to the proposed activities, the applicant’scapacitytoproperlyadministerfederalrelieffundsinthecurrentenvironment, and the long-term viability of the organization (corresponds to narrative sections “Institutional capacity” and the budget and budget justification).