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. 

  • 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. 


CU Internal Deadline: 11:59pm MST April 10, 2023

NEH Application Deadline: May 17, 2023

Internal Application Requirements (all in PDF format)

  • 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 will impact the institution’s building, site, humanities collections, and/or its humanities activities; and 4) the project deliverables, outcomes and long-term sustainability.  
  • Matching Commitment Letter: Please provide a letter from the dean or chair including a list of potential donors, fundraising personnel 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 submit only one application for Infrastructure and Capacity Building Challenge Grants per deadline.

Award Information and Matching Requirements

Three levels of awards with different match ratios: For requests up to $150,000 (2 year project period) the match ratio is 1:1. From $150,001 to $500,000 (2-5 year project period) it is 3:1. From $500,001-$1,000,000 (2-5 year project period) it is 4:1.

Review Criteria

  1. Humanities significance and audience
    • In what ways are the institution’s current and proposed building, site, collections, activities and/or programs significant for the advancement of the humanities?
    • Who are the identified audiences served, and how will they benefit from the outcomes of the capital 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?
    • Is the anticipated humanities impact commensurate with the level of funding requested?
    • If partners are identified, are they appropriate and committed to the project?
  3. Project plans
    • Is the project realistic and feasible?
    • Are the work plan and budget convincing?
    • Does the project comply with applicable federal, state, and local regulations?
  4. Fundraising plans
    • To what extent do the institution’s organization, resources, and history of fundraising suggest that it will conduct a successful campaign to meet the requirement to raise third- party, nonfederal gifts?
    • Is the timeline and plan for fundraising realistic and aligned with the capital project?
    • Are the prospective sources of funding promising and realistic?
  5. Project and fundraising teams
    • Does the project team possess the appropriate expertise and cover the necessary aspects of the proposed activities?
    • Does the fundraising team possess the appropriate expertise and cover 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 institution 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?