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Scholarly Editions and Scholarly Translations Program

Grants to USA Nonprofits, Agencies, Tribal Governments,
and IHEs for the Translation of Humanities Texts

Agency Type:


Funding Source:

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National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) - Division of Research Programs

Deadline Date:

12/04/19 11:59 PM ET


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Grants to USA nonprofit organizations, government agencies, tribal governments, and institutions of higher education to support the translation and preparation of humanities texts. Funding is intended for editions and translations of valuable existing humanities texts that are currently inaccessible or available only in inadequate editions or transcriptions. Projects must be undertaken by at least two scholars working collaboratively.

A special encouragement has been added: “A More Perfect Union”: NEH Special Initiative Advancing Civic Education and Celebrating the Nation’s 250th Anniversary.” This initiative will help Americans better understand the world’s oldest constitutional democracy and how our founding ideals are met in a modern, pluralistic society. NEH welcomes consideration of diverse topics in American history, from Native American culture to rural life to the rise of the industrial city, from the Civil War to the Cold War to the Civil Rights movement, projects that examine foundational documents in U.S. history, etc., as well as projects that examine historical objects, places, traditions, events, and individuals who collectively shaped our states and nation. Applications about the contributions of underrepresented communities are highly encouraged.

Scholarly Editions and Translations grants support the preparation of editions and translations of pre-existing texts of value to the humanities that are currently inaccessible or available only in inadequate editions or transcriptions. Textual editing and translation are vital endeavors for the humanities, providing the very foundations for research and teaching. Typically, the texts and documents are significant literary, philosophical, and historical materials; but other types of work, such as musical notation, are also eligible.

In response to the destruction of cultural heritage materials worldwide, NEH encourages applications for projects that study, document, or create digital representations of lost or imperiled cultural heritage materials. Proposed projects should be based on scholarly work and follow standards and best practices. Project teams must include appropriate methodological specialists and humanities scholars. Projects must demonstrate the capacity to be sustained and must be widely accessible to the public.

Organizations may submit proposals for editions of foreign language texts in the original language, and for translations of foreign language texts into English.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 151063

Estimated Size of Grant:

Awards are capped at $300,000, not to exceed $100,000 per year. However, organizations submitting proposals that respond to the “A More Perfect Union” special initiative may apply for up to $525,000, not to exceed $175,000 per year.

Term of Contract:

These grants support sustained full-time or part-time activities during the periods of performance of one to three years. Project start date is October 1, 2020.


  • City or township governments
  • County governments
  • Native American tribal governments (Federally recognized)
  • Nonprofits having a 501(c)(3) status with the IRS, other than institutions of higher education
  • Private institutions of higher education
  • Public and State controlled institutions of higher education
  • See RFP and/or Grant Guidelines for full eligibility
  • Special district governments
  • State governments

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

The following types of applicants are eligible to apply:
- U.S. nonprofit organizations with 501(c)(3) status
- Accredited public or 501(c)(3) institutions of higher education
- State and local governments
- Federally recognized Native American tribal governments

The following types of applicants are ineligible:
- Other federal agencies
- For-profit institutions
- Individuals

At least half of each type of participant—such as directors, collaborators, participants, technical assistants, and student assistants—must be U.S. citizens.

Designating project directors and co-directors:
- Project directors must be a scholar. Applicant institutions typically designate an affiliated scholar as the project director and collaborating scholars that may or may not be affiliated with the applicant institution as co-directors. Applicant institutions may, however, designate a project director affiliated with another institution if that person is a leading scholar in a relevant field of study.
- Project directors must devote significant time to sustained work on the project.
- Project participants (including the project director) need not be U.S. citizens or U.S. residents, so long as the applicant institution is eligible. However, at least 50 percent of award funds (excluding indirect costs) must be used to support research conducted at U.S.-based institutions, research conducted by citizens of or residents in the U.S., or both. A majority of each type of participant (such as directors, collaborators,
participants, technical assistants, and student assistants) must be U.S. citizens.
- Degree candidates may not be project directors, co-directors, or the only other collaborator. If an individual on the project team is the project director, co-director, or the only other collaborator, and has satisfied all the requirements for a degree and is awaiting its conferral, the application must include as an appendix a letter from the dean of the conferring school attesting to the individual’s having completed all degree requirements by the application deadline.
- An individual may only serve as the project director on a single application to either the Scholarly Editions and Scholarly Translations program or to the Collaborative Research program, but not both. They may, however, apply for other NEH awards, including Fellowships and Summer Stipends.
- Project directors and collaborating scholars of funded applications may not hold concurrent full-time awards from the NEH Division of Research Programs—for example an NEH Fellowship.
- NEH must approve any change in the project director(s) and collaborating scholar(s)

Scholarly Editions and Translations Grants may not be used for:
-Projects undertaken by individuals without collaboration;
-Development of tools, including digital tools, or any materials analysis whose primary goal is refinement of a method, unless the development contributes to the larger editorial goals of the project and coincides with research activities;
-Work on recurrent publications such as magazines or scholarly journals;
-Digitization of pre-existing texts or previously published materials without the addition of a new scholarly and critical apparatus;
- Translation of a text into a language other than English
- Translations of existing editions without the addition of a new scholarly apparatus
-Preparation or publication of textbooks;
-Professional development or training;
-The creation of original works of fiction, poetry, drama, or music;
-Promotion of a particular political, religious, or ideological point of view;
-Advocacy for a particular program of social or political action;
-Support of specific public policies or legislation; or
-Projects that fall outside of the humanities (including the creation or performance of art; creative writing, memoirs, and creative nonfiction; and empirically based social science research or policy studies).

Pre-proposal Conference:

A pre-recorded technical assistance webinar for prospective applicants will be posted to the program resource page on October 7, 2019.

Find the webinar here:

Pre-Application Information:

Applications are due on by December 4, 2019, 11:59 PM Eastern Time

The expected notification date is August 28, 2020.

Program staff are unable to review draft applications.

To apply for this grant, you will be need to be registered for a DUNS number, with the System for Awards Management (SAM), and with If you have registered with these systems previously, confirm that your registrations are current and up to date. If you fail to allow ample time to complete registration with SAM or, you will not be eligible for a deadline extension or waiver of the online electronic submission requirement.

-Until December 4, 2019: Contact Division of Research Programs program officers with questions and for advice (optional)
-October 24, 2019: Institutional applicants that have not registered in, the System for Award Management (SAM), and should begin the process by this date
- November 21, 2019: All applicants must register (or verify registration) by this date.
- December 4, 2019: Applications must be submitted through and validated by by 11:59 PM Eastern Time on this date
-March-April 2020: Peer review panels take place
-July 2020: Meeting of the National Council on the Humanities, followed by funding decisions
-August 2020: Applicants are notified of the funding decisions
-September 2020: Institutional grants administrators and project directors of successful applications receive award documents by e-mail from the NEH Office of Grant Management
-October 1, 2020: Successful applicants may begin work on their projects as early as this date
-September 1, 2021: Successful applicants must begin work on their projects no later than this date

Register for Applicant Tools and Tips:

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For a list of application documents, see the Package tab (press Preview) on the page above.

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

If you have questions about this program, contact
NEH Division of Research Programs Team

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Geographic Focus:

USA: Alabama;   Alaska;   Arizona;   Arkansas;   California;   Colorado;   Connecticut;   Delaware;   Florida;   Georgia;   Hawaii;   Idaho;   Illinois;   Indiana;   Iowa;   Kansas;   Kentucky;   Louisiana;   Maine;   Maryland;   Massachusetts;   Michigan;   Minnesota;   Mississippi;   Missouri;   Montana;   Nebraska;   Nevada;   New Hampshire;   New Jersey;   New Mexico;   New York City;   New York;   North Carolina;   North Dakota;   Ohio;   Oklahoma;   Oregon;   Pennsylvania;   Rhode Island;   South Carolina;   South Dakota;   Tennessee;   Texas;   Utah;   Vermont;   Virginia;   Washington, DC;   Washington;   West Virginia;   Wisconsin;   Wyoming