The Research Office

Wilson Hall
371 Wilson Boulevard
Rochester, Michigan 48309-4486
(location map)
(248) 370-2762
(248) 370-4111

National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Summer Stipend Program

OU Program for NEH Summer Stipends Grant Submission

Program details:
The Oakland University Research Office is committed to working with the faculty in the Humanities to enliven their research trajectories. To that end, the National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Stipends are a particularly attractive option.

The NEH Summer Stipends program supports research and dissemination in the humanities by:

  • Providing small awards to individuals pursuing advanced research that is of value to humanities scholars and/or general audiences;
  • Supporting both early-stage research and late-stage writing where small awards can be the most effective;
  • Encouraging applications from a diverse population; and,
  • Supporting continuous full-time work on a humanities project for a period of two consecutive months.

The NEH Summer Stipend program allows Oakland University to nominate no more than two tenure-track faculty members to submit proposals to NEH for consideration. The Research Office previously announced a multi-stage process for identifying OU’s two nominees, involving several rounds of feedback from an ad hoc faculty committee and also staff from our office. We have reluctantly decided to defer until next year the implementation of the full process announced earlier, and will instead use a simplified selection process for this year’s competition. We came to that decision out of a desire to not impose additional burdens on faculty and staff who are already confronting new challenges, requirements, and restrictions in carrying out the university’s teaching, research, and service missions.

The simplified process for 2020 is as follows:

  1. Interested researchers and scholars from the humanities and the humanistic social sciences (see definitions below) should submit drafts of their three-page research narratives through InfoReady Review. The due date for these drafts remains April 15.
  2. The Research Office will review all the applications received by the deadline and determine:
    1. Whether a competition is necessary (if we receive two or fewer submissions, there would be no need to implement the selection process); and
    2. The appropriate expertise needed to review the applications received, and then recruit faculty members, who do not have conflicts of interest with any of the potential applicants, to serve on the ad hoc review committee.
  3. The ad hoc faculty committee and also staff members from the Research Office will review all the submitted drafts and select the two most promising applications to move forward by May 1. All applicants will receive feedback on their drafts, regardless of whether or not they are selected to go forward.
  4. The selected applicants will then refine and revise their proposals, with support from the Research Office, over the summer.
  5. Applications are due to NEH (via on September 23, 2020 (unless NEH extends the deadline).

The Summer Stipend program provides support for two months of continuous, full-time work on a humanities research project. Projects at any stage of development are eligible for consideration by NEH, but it prioritizes both early stage research and late-stage writing projects, as these are where small amounts of funding can make the most difference.

Investigators who are not tenure-track faculty, even if they are employed full-time at a college or university, are eligible to apply as individuals – and those applications do not count against the nomination cap of two projects per year. Non-tenure-track faculty or OU staff, while not eligible to participate in the nomination process described above, are strongly encouraged to work with the responsible research development officer (Michael Spires,, for the humanities; Andrea Buford,, for the humanistic social sciences) on their proposals. Contact us to set up an appointment.

The Summer Stipend program aims to stimulate new research in the humanities, and its publication (or dissemination through similar means). Work in any of the relevant fields (including, but not necessarily limited to, language, both modern and classical; linguistics; literature; history; jurisprudence; philosophy; archaeology; comparative religion; ethics; and the history, criticism, and theory of the arts. NEH also funds projects in what it terms the humanistic social sciences: those aspects of the social sciences which have humanistic content and employ humanistic methods, and the study and application of the humanities to the human environment with particular attention to reflecting our diverse heritage, traditions, and history, and to the relevance of the humanities to the current conditions of national life.

The creation or performance of art; creative writing, autobiographies, memoirs, and creative nonfiction; and empirically based social science research or policy studies are not eligible for support from the Summer Stipend program.

If you have questions about the Summer Stipend program, the OU review and selection process, or InfoReady Review, you can email Michael Spires (, Andrea Buford (, or Dave Stone (

The current year’s guidelines can be found here:

From the NEH Summer Stipends website, dates for 2020 competition:

Grant Snapshot
Maximum award amount: $6,000
Open to: Individuals
Expected output: Book; Article; Digital Material and Publication; Archaeological Report; Translation; Edition; Other Scholarly Resource
Period of performance: 2 months
Application available: May 5, 2020
Application due: September 23, 2020
Expected notification date: April 1, 2021
Project start date: May 1, 2021