NEH Infrastructure and Capacity Building Challenge Grants

Please see the full solicitation for complete information about the funding opportunity. Below is a summary assembled by the Research & Innovation Office (RIO). Please note the matching/cost-share requirements referenced in the Award Information and Matching Requirements section below.

Program Summary

The purpose of the program is to strengthen the institutional base of the humanities by enabling infrastructure development and capacity building. Awards of federal matching funds aim to help institutions secure long-term support for their core activities and expand efforts to preserve and create access to outstanding humanities materials. The program supports two distinct types of projects, each with its own Funding Opportunity Notice:

  • Capital Projects support the purchase, design, construction, restoration, or renovation of facilities for humanities activities. This includes costs related to planning as well as the purchase and installation of related moveable and permanently affixed equipment for exhibiting, maintaining, monitoring, and protecting collections (whether on exhibit or in storage), and for critical building systems, such as electrical, heating ventilation and air conditioning, security, life safety, lighting, utilities, telecommunications, and energy management. 
  • Digital Infrastructure supports the maintenance, modernization, and sustainability of existing digital scholarly projects and platforms.


CU Internal Deadline: 11:59pm MST August 15, 2022

NEH Application Deadline: September 27, 2022

Internal Application Requirements (all in PDF format)

  • Category: Capital Projects or Digital Infrastructure
  • Project Summary (3 pages maximum): Please describe: 1) the significance of humanities activities and programs; 2) the audience to be served; 3) how long-term institutional planning informs the project and how the institution is capable to sustain its humanities activities and programs; and 4) the project deliverables and outcomes.  
  • Matching Commitment Letter: Please provide a letter from the dean or chair including a list of potential donors and detail the strategies to be used for securing matching funds.
  • PI Curriculum Vitae
  • 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:


Please see the solicitations for full eligibility information.

Limited Submission Guidelines

Applicants may apply for only one NEH Challenge Grant per calendar year (either Capital Projects or Digital Infrastructure).

Award Information and Matching Requirements

Three levels of awards with different match ratios: For requests up to $150,000 the match ratio is 1:1. From $150,001 to $500,000 it is 3:1. From $500,001-$1,000,000 it is 4:1.

Review Criteria

  1. Humanities significance and audience
    • In what ways are the institution’s current and proposed activities significant for the advancement of the humanities?
    • Who are the identified users/audiences, is their number appropriate, and how will they benefit from the outcomes of the project over the long-term?
  2. Long-term impact and institutional commitment
    • How well is the proposed project aligned with and integrated into long-range institutional planning?
    • How strong is the institution’s commitment to the project and its expected outcomes?
    • If partners are identified, are they appropriate and committed to the project?
  3. Project plans
    • Are the work plan and budget convincing?
    • Are the proposed methodologies and/or technologies appropriate for the project goals?
  4. Fundraising plans
    • To what extent do the institution’s organization, resources, and history of fundraising suggest that it will be able to conduct a successful campaign to meet the requirement to raise third-party non-federal gifts?
    • Is the timeline and plan for fundraising realistic?
    • Are the prospective sources of funding promising and realistic?
  5. Project and fundraising teams
    • Does the project team possess the appropriate expertise and cover all the necessary aspects of the proposed activities?
  6. Project outcomes and their sustainability
    • Are the proposed outcomes and deliverables reasonable and aligned with the budget and work plan?
    • To what extent will the project, as described, help the applicant achieve its long-term goals for work in the humanities?
    • How compelling are the institution’s plans to sustain the project outcomes in the long- term?