A project begun in 2015, the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) invites applications for the 2021-22 round of the Public Scholars program, which supports the creation of well-researched nonfiction books in the humanities written for the broad public. The program welcomes projects in all areas of the humanities, regardless of geographic or chronological focus. The resulting books might present a narrative history, tell the stories of important individuals, analyze significant texts, provide a synthesis of ideas, revive interest in a neglected subject, or examine the latest thinking on a topic. Books supported by this program must be written in a readily accessible style, must clearly explain specialized terms and concepts, and must frame their topics to have wide appeal. They should also be carefully researched and authoritative, making appropriate use of primary and/or secondary sources and showing appropriate familiarity with relevant existing publications or scholarship. Applications to write books directed primarily to professional scholars are not suitable.
The Public Scholars program is open to independent writers as well as applicants with an institutional affiliation. It offers a stipend of $5,000 per month for a period of six to twelve months. The maximum stipend is $60,000 for a twelve-month period. Applicants must have U.S. citizenship or residency in the U.S. for the three years prior to the application deadline. In addition, they must have previously published a book with a university or commercial press or at least three articles or essays in general-interest publications reaching a large audience.
More information (including a full statement of the eligibility requirements) is available on the NEH’s website. The application deadline for this cycle is December 15, 2021. Recipients may begin the term of the grant as early as September 1, 2022 or as late as September 1, 2023.
An informational video, a list of previously funded projects, and nine examples of successful applications are also available on the webpage linked above. Questions may be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.