Funding, Grants & Awards

New Humanities Grants Promise Makeover of PhD Programs

While most new holders of doctorates in the humanities end up teaching at colleges or universities, plenty of others go into non-academic careers, including becoming writers or artists, teaching in K-12 or taking management-related positions. To address the broader career aspirations of humanities PhDs, the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) has introduced a cost-sharing grant to help institutions remake their programs with new areas of emphasis. For every dollar provided by the NEH, the recipient school is expected to raise or contribute its own dollar.

The NEH "Next Generation Humanities" program has two kinds of funding.

The first is a planning grant of up to $25,000 that supports team work by faculty, graduate students, administrators and other stakeholders in developing plans to transform scholarly preparation in the humanities at the doctoral level. Areas of focus might include strategies to secure faculty support for PhD reforms or efforts to increase students' exposure to multiple career paths or encourage collaboration with other departments or non-academic institutions. The guidelines for that type of grant are available on the NEH Web site.

The second kind of funding, NEH Next Generation Humanities PhD Implementation grants, covers the expense of putting proposed changes into action. Those may be three-year, $350,000 grants to be used for changes such as alterations to dissertation formats or requirements, graduate student funding for activities other than teaching or the development of systems to track post-doctoral career data for all PhD candidates. Those guidelines are available on the NEH Web site.

"NEH expects to play a leading role in helping humanities doctoral programs prepare students for the challenges and opportunities of the 21st century," said NEH Chairman William Adams in a prepared statement. "The knowledge and skills that students acquire through humanities PhD programs can make an important contribution to society in ways that go beyond the customary career track for doctoral students."

NEH will host a webinar explaining the new grants on December 3 at 2 p.m. Eastern time. Applications are due on February 17, 2016.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal and Campus Technology. She can be reached at dian@dischaffhauser.com or on Twitter @schaffhauser.

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