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Arts, Humanities, and Humanistic Social Sciences
Upcoming Funding Opportunities, February 2015


Match your project to a grant program:

I am looking for research support for my project.

I want to combine digital technology with the humanities or preserve a collection and/or make it easier for people to access.

I want to develop or put on an exhibition or cultural program.

I am an artist or creative writer looking for project support.

I want to complete and/or publish a scholarly book.

Unless otherwise noted, all full proposals to external sponsors must be submitted to the Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP) for review five business days in advance of the sponsor deadline. For questions regarding any of the opportunities listed below, please contact Caitlin McDermott-Murphy, Research Development Specialist, at cmcdermottmurphy@fas.harvard.edu or 617-496-2618


elson_artsElson Family Arts Initiative
Deadline: April 3, 2015
Award Amount: up to $5,000

The Elson Family Arts Initiative fund supports undergraduate education in the arts and humanities and the integration of the arts into the curriculum within the Faculty of Arts and Sciences. Course proposals may (but need not) involve collaborations across departments and divisions of the FAS. The updated application guidelines are below. The Committee will only consider proposals that have a curricular connection and that show the prudent use of funds. As a general rule, priority will be given to proposals for art-making in courses where art-making has not traditionally been inserted.

For more information, see here.

Deadline: March 13, 2015
Award Amount: up to $7,500

This fund is intended to support creative, innovative initiatives in the arts and humanities, for projects within the Faculty of Arts and Sciences and/or other schools. Proposals might include (but are by no means limited to) performances, master classes, conferences, workshops, seminars and visits by outsiders (although not simply lectures). They may (but need not) involve collaborations across departments and divisions of the FAS and the University as well as with colleagues beyond the University. In the same spirit, they may (but need not) be interdisciplinary or cross-cultural in character. Although a direct tie-in with the curriculum is not an absolute requirement, proposals that have a clear connection to the curriculum -- to existing courses, planned courses, or pedagogical activities more broadly construed -- will be favored.

For more information, see here.


Deadline: April 30, 2015
Award Amount: up to $4,200/month for 6 to 12 months


Fellowships support individuals pursuing advanced research that is of value to humanities scholars, general audiences, or both. Recipients usually produce articles, monographs, books, digital materials, archaeological site reports, translations, editions, or other scholarly resources in the humanities. Projects may be at any stage of development.


Fellowship recipients may begin their fellowship tenure as early as January 2016 or as late as September 2016.

For more information, see here.


clirCouncil on Library and Information Resources

Digitizing Hidden Special Collections and Archives  
Deadline for Initial Proposals: April 30, 2015
Award Amount: $50,000 to $250,000 over 12 to 24 months for single-institution projects; $50,000 to $500,000 over 12 to 36 months for collaborative projects


The goal of this program is to digitize and provide access to collections of rare or unique content in cultural heritage institutions. Competitive applications will: encourage approaches to digitization that make possible new kinds of scholarship in the digital research environment; support the digitization of entire collections; promote strategic partnerships; promote best practices for ensuring the long-term availability and discoverability of digital content; and ensure that digitized content is made available to the public as easily and completely as possible.

For more information, see here.


John Templeton Foundationtempleton
Core Funding Areas
Online Funding Inquiry Deadline: April 1, 2015 (OSP review is not required for initial funding inquiry)
Award Amount: varies - grants have ranged from $5,000 - $10,500,000

The John Templeton Foundation is currently accepting Online Funding Inquiries for its Core Funding Areas:
  • Science and the Big Questions:
    • Mathematical & Physical Sciences: Projects that focus on foundational questions in mathematics or that seek a deeper understanding of the nature of reality within the realm of physics, cosmology, astronomy, chemistry, or other physical sciences.  
    • Life Sciences: Projects investigating the evolution and fundamental nature of life, human life, and mind, especially as they relate to issues of meaning and purpose.
    • Human Sciences: Projects that apply the tools of anthropology, sociology, political science, and psychology to the various moral and spiritual concepts identified by Sir John Templeton. These include altruism, creativity, free will, generosity, gratitude, intellect, love, prayer, and purpose.
    • Philosophy & Theology: Projects that attempt to develop new philosophical and theological insights, especially (but not only) in relation to advances in scientific understanding.
    • Science in Dialogue: Projects that bring one or more scientific disciplines into a mutually enriching discussion with theology and/or philosophy, whether for a scholarly audience or the public at large.
  • Character Development: Programs, publications, and studies focused on the universal truths of character development, from childhood through young adulthood and beyond.  
  • Freedom and Free Enterprise: Programs intended to liberate the initiative of individuals and nations and to establish the necessary conditions for the success of profitmaking enterprise.
  • Exceptional Talent and Genius: The Foundation supports accelerated learning for students capable of working well beyond their grade level and national studies of the issue. 
For more information, see here.


Kress Foundation

History of Art, Conservation, and Digital Resources

Deadline: April 1, 2015
Award Amount: varies - most awards are under $100,000
Eligible Disciplines: History of Art and Architecture, Digital Humanities, Art Conservation


Through its Grant Programs, the Kress Foundation supports scholarly projects that promote the appreciation, interpretation, preservation, study and teaching of European art from antiquity to the early 19th century. 


The History of Art Program supports scholarly projects that will enhance the appreciation and understanding of European art and architecture.


The Conservation Program supports the professional practice of art conservation.


The Digital Resources Program supports efforts to integrate new technologies into the practice of art history, including classroom applications and online publishing. This program further supports the creation of important online resources in art history, including both textual and visual resources. Key interests include digitization of core art history photographic archives and primary textual sources.

For more information, see here.



luceHenry Luce Foundation

Luce Fund in American Art

Letter of Inquiry Deadline: April 1, 2015 (OSP review is not required for initial inquiry)
Award Amount: varies - recent grants have ranged from $15,000 - $500,00


This award supports scholarly special exhibitions and their related publications that contribute significantly to the study of American Art.  All periods and genres of American art history are included.  Each proposed project must result in a tangible product that can be added to the body of scholarship in the field of American Art.  Intellectual merit and potential contribution to scholarship are the most important criteria for evaluating proposals.  Applicants must be the originator of the exhibition project, not a subsequent venue.  The program is aesthetically and object-based and does not include projects that are primarily historical, documentary, social, technological, or that concern private collections.

For more information, see here.



Harpo Foundationharpo

Grants for Visual Artists

Deadline: April 1, 2015 (OSP review is not required)
Award Amount: up to $10,000

Eligible Disciplines: Visual arts


The Harpo Foundation supports artists who are under-recognized by the field. The foundation seeks to stimulate creative inquiry to encourage new modes of thinking about art. Applications are evaluated on the basis of the quality of the artist's work, the potential to expand aesthetic inquiry, and its relationship to the foundation's priority to provide support to visual artists who are under recognized by the field. Grants are made directly to artists to support their development and therefore proposals do not require review by the Office of Sponsored Programs.  

For more information, see here.


mass_humanitiesMass Humanities
Project Grants
Letter of Inquiry Deadline: March 20, 2015 (OSP review is not required for LOI)
Full Proposal Deadline: April 10, 2015
Award Amount: up to $5,000, though some thematic and media grants can be as high as $10,000. Requires 1:1 matching funds.

Mass Humanities' standard grant supports public programming in the humanities in Massachusetts, including but not limited to film, lecture, reading, and discussion series; exhibits; media pre-production and distribution; and professional development programming. In general, Mass Humanities prioritizes funding projects that engage those whose contact with humanities programming is limited (see Engaging New Audiences for the Humanities), and programming that responds to the current theme, Negotiating the Social Contract.

For more information, see here.

Institutional Grants
Deadline: March 15, 2015
Award Amount: up to $25,000
Target Disciplines: Modern Art, Arts Education, Conservation

The Dedalus Foundation educates the public by fostering public understanding of modern art and modernism through its support of research, education, publications, and exhibitions in this field.  The Dedalus Foundation Institutional Grants support educational programs, exhibitions, and publications by museums, universities, art schools, and other educational institutions. In addition to providing funds for short term projects, the Foundation provides seed money to facilitate long term projects that are in their initial or planning stage. 


For more information, see  here.  

neaNational Endowment for the Arts
Creative Writing Fellowships
Deadline: March 11, 2015
Award Amount: $25,000

The NEA Literature Fellowships program offers grants in prose (fiction and creative nonfiction) to published creative writers that enable recipients to set aside time for writing, research, travel, and general career advancement. Applications are reviewed through an anonymous process in which the only criteria for review are artistic excellence and artistic merit. Candidates must be citizens or permanent residents of the United States and between January 1, 2008, and March 11, 2015, must have had published:

  • At least five different short stories, works of short fiction,  excerpts from novels or memoirs, or creative essays (or any combination thereof) in two or more literary journals, anthologies, or publications that regularly include fiction and/or creative nonfiction as a portion of their format; or
  • A volume of short fiction or a collection of short stories; or
  • A novel or novella; or
  • A volume of creative nonfiction.

For more information, see here


neh_scholarNew Program!
National Endowment for the Humanities
Public Scholar Program
Deadline: March 3, 2015
Award Amount: $4,200/month for 6-12 months

The Public Scholar program supports well-researched books in the humanities intended to reach a broad readership. Such scholarship might present a narrative history, tell the stories of important individuals, analyze significant texts, provide a synthesis of ideas, revive interest in a neglected subject, or examine the latest thinking on a topic. Books supported by this program must be grounded in humanities research and scholarship. They must address significant humanities themes likely to be of broad interest and must be written in a readily accessible style. Making use of primary and/or secondary sources, they should open up important and appealing subjects for wider audiences. The challenge is to make sense of a significant topic in a way that will appeal to general readers.

NEH especially welcomes applicants who are in the writing stages of their projects or who already have a commitment from a publisher. However, the Public Scholar program also supports projects in the early stages of development.

For more information, see here.

Elizabeth Firestone Graham Foundationelizabeth_firestone
Letter of Inquiry Deadline: March 1, 2015
Full Proposal Deadline: April 15, 2015
Award Amount: $5,000 - $15,000
Eligible Disciplines: Visual arts

The Elizabeth Firestone Graham Foundation is dedicated to fostering awareness and appreciation of contemporary visual art, primarily through the support of catalogues and other publications that document exhibitions of work by emerging or under-recognized artists. Of particular interest are projects that attempt to bring together artists and the community, support artists from marginalized populations, and provide exposure to contemporary art where it may not otherwise be seen. Funding is currently available to support direct costs for catalogues and other publications accompanying contemporary art exhibitions and projects, especially those supporting emerging and under-recognized artists, and produced by organizations outside the nation's cultural centers. Limited funds are also available for publications related to the grantee organization and its programs or collections.


For more information, see here.

J.M. Kaplan Fundfurthermore
Furthermore Grants in Publishing
Deadline: March 1, 2015
Award Amount: $1,500 - $15,000
Eligible Disciplines: Art, architecture, and design; cultural history, the city and related public issues; and conservation and preservation

Furthermore grants support the publication of nonfiction books that appeals to an informed general audience; give evidence of high standards in editing, design, and production; and promise a reasonable shelf life. Funds apply to such specific publication components as writing, research, editing, indexing, design, illustration, photography, and printing and binding.

For more information, see here.