How to Apply
Please review the eligibility criteria for participation in Summer Seminars and Institutes at
Summer Seminars and Institutes for School Teachers are offered by the National Endowment for the Humanities to provide teachers an opportunity for substantive study of significant humanities ideas and texts. These study opportunities are especially designed for this program and are not intended to duplicate courses normally offered by graduate programs. On completion of an NEH Summer Seminar or Institute, NEH Summer Scholars will receive a certificate indicating their participation.
Prior to completing an application to the Existentialism Seminar, please review the information on this website and consider carefully what is expected in terms of residence and attendance, reading and writing requirements, and general participation in the work of the project.
A seminar for school teachers enables 16 NEH Summer Scholars to explore a topic or set of readings with a scholar having special interest and expertise in the field. The core material of the seminar need not relate directly to the school curriculum; the principal goal of the seminar is to engage teachers in the scholarly enterprise and to expand and deepen their understanding of the humanities through reading, discussion, writing, and reflection.
An institute for school teachers, typically led by a team of core faculty and visiting scholars, is designed to present the best available scholarship on important humanities issues and works taught in the nation's schools. The 25 to 30 NEH Summer Scholars compare and synthesize the various perspectives offered by the faculty, make connections between the institute content and classroom applications, and often develop improved teaching materials for their classrooms.
The use of the words “seminar” or “institute” in this document is precise and is intended to convey differences between the two project types.
Please note: An individual may apply to up to two projects (NEH Summer Seminars, Institutes or Landmarks Workshops), but may participate in only one.
A selection committee will read and evaluate all properly completed applications in order to select the most promising applicants and to identify a number of alternates. Seminar selection committees typically consist of the seminar director, a school teacher who is usually a participant in a previous NEH seminar, and a colleague of the director. Institute selection committees typically consist of three to five members, usually drawn from the institute faculty and staff members.
The most important consideration in the selection of participants is the likelihood that an applicant will benefit professionally and personally. Committee members consider several factors, each of which should be addressed in the application essay. These factors include:
- effectiveness and commitment as a teacher/educator;
- intellectual interests, in general and as they relate to the work of the project;
- special perspectives, skills, or experiences that would contribute to the seminar or institute;
- commitment to participate fully in the formal and informal collegial life of the project; and
- the likelihood that the experience will enhance the applicant's teaching.
Recent participants are eligible to apply, but project selection committees are charged to give first consideration to applicants who have not participated in an NEH-supported Seminar, Institute or Landmarks Workshop in the last three years (2013, 2014, 2015). When choices must be made among equally qualified candidates, several additional factors are considered. Preference is given to applicants who have not previously participated in an NEH Summer Seminar, Institute, or Landmarks Workshop, or who significantly contribute to the diversity of the seminar or institute.
STIPEND, TENURE, AND CONDITIONS OF AWARD
Teachers selected to participate as NEH Summer Scholars in this three-week project will receive $2,700. Stipends are intended to help cover travel expenses to and from the project location, books and other research expenses, and ordinary living expenses. Stipends are taxable. Applicants to all projects should note that supplements will not be given in cases where the stipend is insufficient to cover all expenses.
Seminar and institute participants are required to attend all meetings and to engage fully as professionals in the work of the project. During the project's tenure, they may not undertake teaching assignments or any other professional activities unrelated to their participation in the project. Participants who, for any reason, do not complete the full tenure of the project must refund a pro-rata portion of the stipend.
At the end of the project's residential period, NEH Summer Scholars will be asked to submit online evaluations in which they review their work during the summer and assess its value to their personal and professional development. These evaluations will become part of the project's grant file.
Before you attempt to complete an application, please study the project website, which contains detailed information about the topic under study, project requirements and expectations of the participants, the academic and institutional setting, and specific provisions for lodging and subsistence. All application materials must be sent electronically to Thomas Wartenberg, the seminar director, c/o the administrative assistant, Sue Rusiecki, at the email address listed below. Application materials sent to the Endowment will not be reviewed.
A complete application consists of the following items:
- the completed application cover sheet,
- a résumé or brief biography with contact information for two professional references, and
- an application essay as outlined below.
Submit the above as attachments via email in pdf format.
The Application Cover Sheet
The application cover sheet must be filled out online at this address:
Please follow the prompts. Before you click the “submit” button, print out the cover sheet and add it to your application package. Then click “submit.” At this point you will be asked if you want to fill out a cover sheet for another project. If you do, follow the prompts to select the other project and repeat the process.
Note that filling out a cover sheet is not the same as applying, so there is no penalty for changing your mind and filling out a cover sheet for several projects. A full application consists of the items listed above, as sent to the project director.
You must submit a separate cover sheet online for each project to which you are applying in order to generate a unique tracking number for each application. Do not copy and paste a new cover sheet.
Résumé and References
Please include a résumé or brief biography detailing your educational qualifications and professional experience. Be sure the résumé provides the name, title, phone number, and e-mail address of two professional references.
The Application Essay
The application essay should be no more than four double-spaced pages. It should address reasons for applying; the applicant's interest, both academic and personal, in the subject to be studied; qualifications and experiences that equip the applicant to do the work of the seminar or institute and to make a contribution to a learning community; a statement of what the applicant wants to accomplish by participating; and the relation of the project to the applicant's professional responsibilities. The essay plays a central role in the selection committee’s deliberations.
SUBMISSION OF APPLICATIONS AND NOTIFICATION PROCEDURE
Completed applications must be submitted electronically as attachments in PDF format to:
Sue Rusiecki at email@example.com, and must be received by 11:59 p.m. on March 1, 2017
Successful applicants will be notified of their selection on Thursday, March 31, 2017, and they will have until Thursday, April 7 to accept or decline the offer.
Once you have accepted an offer to attend any NEH Summer Program (NEH Summer Seminar, Institute or Landmarks Workshop), you may not accept an additional offer or withdraw in order to accept a different offer.
If you have any questions, please contact the administrative assistant, Sue Rusiecki, at firstname.lastname@example.org, or the director, Thomas Wartenberg, at email@example.com.
EQUAL OPPORTUNITY STATEMENT: Endowment programs do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability, or age. For further information, write to NEH Equal Opportunity Officer, 1100 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W., Washington, D.C. 20506. TDD: 202/606-8282 (this is a special telephone device for the Deaf).