Office of Grant Writing & Publications.

NEH Challenge Grants in United States History and Culture

Office of Grant Writing & Publications

202 Jesse Hall
University of Missouri
Columbia, MO 65211

573 882-9500 phone
573 884-8371 fax

Limited Submission Announcement

The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) invites applications for Challenge Grants in United States History and Culture. This program is designed to help institutions and organizations strengthen their ability to explore significant themes and events in American history, so as to advance our understanding of how - since the nation's founding - these events have shaped and been shaped by American identity and culture. NEH seeks to support a range of approaches to the American experience: for example, approaches might explore significant events in America's history, its democratic institutions, the political principles on which the nation is founded, or the complicated mix of peoples and cultures that have formed America. Also welcome are proposals that seek support for the study of the history and culture of the United States in international contexts rather than in isolation - proposals that explore relationships with other nations and cultures that have profoundly affected the course of United States history. NEH also welcomes proposals for programming at America's historic places (e.g., historic sites, neighborhoods, communities, or larger geographical regions).

NEH challenge grants are capacity-building grants, intended to help institutions and organizations secure long-term improvements in and support for their humanities programs and resources. Grants may be used to establish or enhance endowments or spend-down funds (that is, funds that are invested, with both the income and the principal being expended over a defined period of years) that generate expendable earnings to support ongoing program activities. Funds may also be used for one-time capital expenditures (such as construction and renovation, purchase of equipment, and acquisitions) that bring long-term benefits to the institution and to the humanities more broadly.

Because of the matching requirement, these NEH grants also strengthen the humanities by encouraging non-federal sources of support.

Challenge grant funds (both federal and non-federal together) must provide long-term benefits to the humanities. Challenge grant funds should not replace funds already being expended on the humanities, but instead should reflect careful strategic planning to strengthen the institution's activities in and commitment to the advancement of knowledge and understanding of the humanities.

The Challenge Grants in United States History and Culture program replaces the We the People Challenge Grants in United States History, Institutions, and Culture program.

Because MU is limited to one application for this program, letters of intent must be submitted to the Office of Research,, no later than 4:00 p.m. on Friday, January 8, 2010. Letters of intent should be limited to three pages and should include 1) a summary of the activities to be supported; 2) significance and intellectual quality of the humanities activities, programs, and holdings relevant to the understanding of US history, institutions, and culture; 3) long-range plans for advancing and/or disseminating humanistic knowledge; 4) how the project will strengthen and improve the understanding of US history, institutions, and culture; and 5) plans for raising the required matching funds.


The maximum federal portion of an NEH Challenge Grant is $1,000,000. Successful applicants will be offered a matching grant. Recipients must raise three times the amount of federal funds offered, and the schedule for meeting the required match is five years.

MU Deadline:

4:00 p.m., Friday, January 8, 2010

Sponsor Deadlines:

February 3, 2010


URL for more information:

All limited submission announcements can be tracked by deadline via the Calendar at or by announcement date via the Limited Submissions listing at