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Archaeological and Ethnographic Field Research

Grants to USA Nonprofits, IHEs, Agencies, and Tribal
Agencies for Field Research in the Humanities

Agency Type:


Funding Source:

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National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) - Division of Research Programs

Conf. Date:


Deadline Date:

09/29/21 11:59 PM Eastern Time


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Grants to USA nonprofit organizations, IHEs, government agencies, and tribal governments for field research in the humanities. Applicants are advised that required registrations must be completed prior to applying. Funding is intended to support research projects that utilize archaeological and/or ethnographic methods to answer significant humanities research questions.

The purpose of this program is to provide funding to conduct empirical research in the United States or abroad in order to answer questions of importance to the humanities. While the ultimate expectation of such awards is the dissemination of results through publications and other media, the program supports field costs such as travel, accommodation, field staff, field equipment, and salary replacement for the project director and collaborating scholars.

Archaeological methods may include field survey and field-based remote sensing, documentation or visualization, and excavations in support of answering research questions in ancient studies, history, anthropology, classical studies, art history, regional studies, epigraphy, and other related disciplines. Ethnographic methods may include participant observation, surveys and interviews, and documentation or recording in pursuit of research questions in anthropology, ethnolinguistics, oral history, ethnomusicology, performance studies, folklore studies, sociology, and related disciplines. Competitive submissions will embody exceptional research design, deploy rigorous field methodologies, and clearly articulate a project’s value to humanities scholars, general audiences, or both.

Allowable costs may include:

  • Travel, lodging, and subsistence
  • Permits, fees, and visas for the project personnel
  • Field equipment and supplies
  • Labor, specialists, translators, and other local vendors
  • Salary or salary replacement costs for the project director and compensation for collaborating scholars, including support for foreign individuals who are named as collaborating scholars

NEH Field Research grants also allow for up to $5,000 per 12-month period to be used for conservation or preservation efforts, such as site and artifact conservation and/or community outreach efforts. NEH strongly encourages applicants to work closely with local collaborators and/or local communities in the co-creation of knowledge, and the preservation of culture, whenever possible.

For information about NEH Areas of Interest, see

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 191388

Estimated Total Program Funding:


Number of Grants:

Approximately 6 grants

Estimated Size of Grant:

For projects with a period of performance between four and twelve months, you may request up to $75,000. For projects with a period of performance lasting more than twelve months, you may request up to $75,000 per year, not to exceed $150,000.

Term of Contract:

Period of Performance: 4 to 36 months, starting as early as June 1, 2022, and as late as May 1, 2023.


  • City or township governments
  • County governments
  • Native American tribal governments (Federally recognized)
  • Nonprofits having a 501(c)(3) status with the IRS, other than institutions of higher education
  • Private institutions of higher education
  • Public and State controlled institutions of higher education
  • See RFP and/or Grant Guidelines for full eligibility
  • Special district governments
  • State governments

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Eligible applicants include U.S. nonprofit organizations with 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status, public and 501(c)(3) accredited institutions of higher education, state and local governmental agencies, and federally recognized Native American tribal governments.

NEH invites applications from institutions in which the project director is a scholar who holds a Ph.D. or the equivalent in any discipline of the humanities or related subfields of the social sciences. Junior faculty are particularly encouraged to apply. While a project may include collaborating scholars, co-project directors are not permitted in this program.

Individuals, foreign, and for-profit entities are not eligible to apply.

NEH does not make awards to other federal entities or to applicants whose projects are so closely intertwined with a federal entity that the project takes on characteristics of the federal entity’s own authorized activities.

Projects whose main focus is research on collections, archives, or legacy data, or whose methods are predominantly laboratory-based, will not be considered in this competition. Similarly, while the ultimate expectation of these awards is public dissemination through peer-reviewed publications and other media, publication costs and manuscript preparation are not permitted in this program.

While post-fieldwork analyses or data processing are allowable secondary activities, the primary purpose of the program is to support work in the field.

Field school costs are not permitted.

Funding Restrictions:

Pre-Application Information:

The deadline for applications under this notice is September 29, 2021, at 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time.

- Application available: June 2, 2021
- Optional Draft due: August 12, 2021
- Application due: September 29, 2021
- Expected notification date: April 30, 2022
- Project start date: June 1, 2022 - May 1, 2023

Program officers will review drafts submitted by August 12, 2021 at 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time. Drafts submitted after this date will not be reviewed. This optional preliminary review is not part of the formal selection process and has no bearing on the final funding decision. However, previous applicants have found it helpful in strengthening their applications.

Applicants may request up to $50,000 in federal matching funds. Matching funds require a one-to-one third-party cost share. For institutions of higher education, if the project director is a tenured faculty member, the applicant must request at least $20,000 in Federal Matching funds.

Eligible applicants may submit multiple applications for separate and distinct projects under this notice. An individual may serve as a project director on only one application submitted under this notice.

Before submitting an application, your organization must have a current and active D-U-N-S® number, System for Award Management (SAM) registration, and registration. Learn more about this multistep process:

Ensure your and registrations and passwords are current. NEH will not grant deadline extensions for lack of registration. Registration in all systems, including and, may take up to 1 month to complete.

View this opportunity on

For a list of relevant application documents, go to the Package tab (press Preview) on the link above.

The webinar can be viewed here:

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

If you choose to submit a draft proposal, send it as an attachment to

Division of Research Programs
National Endowment for the Humanities
400 Seventh Street, SW
Washington, DC 20506

TTY: 800-877-8399

CFDA Number:


Funding or Pin Number:


URL for Full Text (RFP):

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