Application Procedure and Deadline: For instructions, go to:
Application instructions and selection criteria are also listed below. Your completed application should be postmarked no later than March 1, 2012, and should be addressed as follows:
John Purdy, Director
Department of English
Western Washington University
Bellingham, WA 98225-9055
Once you have completed the application following the instructions below, send the original plus two copies, collated and stapled, for a total of three packets (one for each of our selection committee). Be certain to send these directly to me, not the N.E.H.
Perhaps the most important part of the application is the essay that must be submitted as part of the complete application. This essay should include any personal and academic information that is relevant:
- reasons for applying to the particular project;
- your interest, both intellectual and personal, in the topic;
- qualifications to do the work of the project and make a contribution to it;
- what you hope to accomplish by participation;
- and the relation of the study to your teaching.
Applicants must complete the NEH application cover sheet and provide all the information requested below to be considered eligible. Individuals may not apply to study with a director of an NEH Summer Seminar who is a current colleague or a family member. Individuals must not apply to seminars directed by scholars with whom they have previously studied.
Please note: An individual may apply for up to two projects in any one year (NEH Summer Seminars, Institutes or Landmarks Workshops), but may participate in only one. Also please note that eligibility criteria differ between the Seminars and Institutes and the Landmarks Workshops programs.
A complete application consists of three copies of the following collated items:
- the completed application cover sheet,
- a résumé or brief biography, and
- an application essay as outlined below.
In addition, it must include two letters of recommendation as described below.
The Application Cover Sheet
The NEH application cover sheet must be filled out online at this address:
Please fill it out online as directed by the prompts. When you are finished, be sure to click the “submit” button. Print out the cover sheet and add it to your application package. 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 and select another project and then print out the cover sheet for that project as well. 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.
Please include a résumé or brief biography detailing your educational qualifications and professional experience.
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 two referees may be from inside or outside the applicant’s home institution. They should be familiar with the applicant's professional accomplishments or promise, teaching and/or research interests, and ability to contribute to and benefit from participation in the seminar or institute. Referees should be provided with the director's description of the seminar or institute and the applicant's essay. Applicants who are current graduate students should secure a letter from a professor or advisor. Please ask your referees to sign across the seal on the back of the envelope containing the letter. Enclose the letters with your application.
Submission of Applications and Notification Procedure
Completed applications should be submitted to the project director and should be postmarked no later than March 1, 2012.
Successful applicants will be notified of their selection on Monday, April 2, 2012, and they will have until Friday, April 6 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.
A selection committee reads and evaluates 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 all drawn from the institute faculty and staff members. Recent participants are eligible to apply, but project selection committees are directed to give first consideration to applicants who have not participated in an NEH-supported Seminar, Institute or Landmarks Workshop in the last three years (2009, 2010, 2011).
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;
- the likelihood that the experience will enhance the applicant's teaching.
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.
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)