Humanities Access Grants

Funding Agency:
National Endowment for the Humanities

Humanities Access grants help support capacity building for humanities programs that benefit one or more of the following groups: youth, communities of color, and economically disadvantaged populations.

Humanities Access grants establish or augment term endowments(that is, endowments whose funds are entirely expended over the course of a set time period) to provide funding for existing programs at institutions such as public libraries, local and regional museums, historical societies, community colleges, HBCUs and tribal colleges, Hispanic-serving institutions, archival repositories, and other cultural organizations. Humanities Access grants are intended to seed longer-term endowment-building efforts.

Programs supported by Humanities Access grants might include, for example

  • a summer project for teens at a local historical society;
  • internships for Native American students at a tribal museum; or
  • a Clemente course at a homeless shelter organized by a community college.

Humanities Access Grants offer two years of match-based funding to be expended through a term endowment over the final three years of the five-year grant period. Humanities Access grant funds should not be used to replace existing program funds. Instead, the grant should expand or enhance an existing exemplary humanities program.

Institutions that have never received an NEH grant and small to mid-sized institutions are especially encouraged to apply.

Institutions may apply for only one Humanities Access grant in a calendar year. Current (active) Challenge Grant recipients are not eligible to apply. 

  • Duke Internal Deadline April 10, 2017
  • Sponsor Deadline: May 3, 2017

Agency Website

Eligibility Requirements

Any U.S. nonprofit institution (public agency, private nonprofit organization, federally recognized Indian tribal government) working wholly or in part with the humanities may apply for a Humanities Access grant. Institutions that are part of a larger institution (for example, a university museum) should consult with NEH staff on questions of separate eligibility.

Institutions may apply for only one Humanities Access grant in a calendar year. Current (active) Challenge Grant recipients are not eligible to apply. 



Amount Description

NEH will offer successful applicants a one-to-one matching grant of either $50,000 or $100,000 divided evenly over two years. The grant amount that applicants request should be appropriate to the humanities needs and the fundraising capacity of the institution. 

Funding Type





Arts & Humanities
Community Outreach and Engagement
Curriculum Development

Internal Nomination

Owing to the sponsor's restriction on the number of applications that may be submitted from Duke, anyone wishing to pursue nomination should submit the following materials as one PDF.

* A letter of support from dean/chair - 1 to 1.5 pages that includes confirmation of the source of funds for the 1 to 1 matching requirement.
* Project summary - 2 to 4 pages
* CV of project leader

The Office of Research Support has transitioned to a new software system for institutionally limited funding opportunities.  Applicants will need to apply through My Research Proposal.

Instructions for setting up your account and uploading internal applications can be found here: Instructions_FINAL.pdf

Internal Deadline

April 10, 2017

External Deadline

May 3, 2017