NEH Reference materials grant application

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The National Endowment for the Humanities offers a sizable grant, twice a year, for:

  • databases and electronic archives that codify and integrate humanities materials, or provide bibliographical control of a subject or field;
  • print and online encyclopedias about various fields in the humanities or about a particular area or subject;
  • historical, etymological, and bilingual dictionaries that document a language, as well as reference grammars and other linguistic tools;
  • tools for spatial analysis and representation of humanities data, such as atlases and geographical information systems (GIS); and
  • descriptive catalogs that provide detailed information about humanities materials.

The pending deadline is July 15. We started putting together materials on June 28.

Please review the grant at [1] and what part of the application packet you would like to work on.

To-do list[edit]

  • Contact a program officer in the Division of Preservation and Access for advice and samples of successful applications
  • Establish a project goal and budget
  • Define a Advisory Board, if we so desire
  • Complete the application. See below.
  • Get the appropriate copyright waiver from the people involved in the drafting on meta. (Unless the application will be GFDL'd).
  • Logical framework draft /Logframe.

Preparing an Application[edit]

The following text was copied from the link above.

A complete application includes the following:

  1. /Application cover sheet
    • Complete the cover sheet. The project title should be brief, descriptive, and substantive, and the cover sheet must be signed by the official authorized to submit the application on behalf of the institution.
    • All institutions applying to federal grant programs are required to provide a DUNS number, which is issued by Dun & Bradstreet, as part of their application. Project directors should contact their institution’s grant administrator or chief financial officer to obtain their institution’s DUNS number. Federal grant applicants can obtain a DUNS number for free by calling 1-866-705-5711. More information about the new requirement is available. --(Email sent to Trustees on this. Tomos 20:25, 2 Jul 2004 (UTC))
  2. /Statement of significance and impact
    • Provide a one-page abstract written for a non-specialist audience, clearly explaining the project's importance to the humanities, its principal activities, and its expected results.
  3. /Table of contents
    • List all parts of the application and, beginning with the narrative, number all pages consecutively.
  4. /Narrative
    • Limit the narrative to twenty-five single-sided and single-spaced pages. All pages should have one-inch margins and the font size should be no smaller than eleven point. Use appendices to provide supplementary material.
    • Individuals with a variety of professional backgrounds will read these applications and advise NEH on their merits. Project narratives should, therefore, be written so that they can be understood by persons who may not have the same technical awareness as the applicant.
    • Keep the application review criteria (see below) in mind when writing the narrative, which consists of the following sections:
      • Significance
        • Describe the project's importance, justifying its need and priority on the basis of its value for research, education, or public programming in the humanities. Describe the relation of the proposed reference work or research tool to any similar ones that already exist, indicating what new information or approach it will provide. Define the potential audience and estimate the number of probable users, subscribers, or purchasers.
        • Applicants preparing linguistic reference materials must discuss the distinctive importance of the language and how these materials will contribute to humanities studies in addition to supporting scientific research on human language.
      • History, Scope, and Duration
        • Provide a concise history of the project, including information about preliminary research or planning. If a project will take more than two years to complete, describe the scope and duration of the entire project, as well as the specific accomplishments or products intended for this grant period for which funding is requested.
        • For a long-term project requiring multiple grants to be fully developed or a digital project needing continued editorial updating and technical maintenance, present a plan for future technical and financial sustainability. Explain how the project intends to broaden its base of support beyond NEH funding to cover such costs.
        • If the project has been previously supported by NEH, indicate what has been accomplished in the current or past grant period and the degree to which the project has met its established goals. List any publications, in print or electronic form, already produced. When appropriate, indicate print runs, sales, and royalties relating to these publications. In the case of online projects, include the Internet address, and provide statistics of use and other relevant information.
      • Methodology and Standards
        • Discuss how the materials or information will be organized, presented, and disseminated in a manner that reflects accepted professional practices and national standards. If the methodology departs from accepted standards and procedures, explain why the project's goals require this approach and whether the results would be compatible with other resources that follow existing standards.
        • All proposals must contain sample materials (i.e., entries, records, or database results to specific queries) that illustrate the content and presentation of the final product. Applicants should be aware that the quality of the sample materials is a major factor in the evaluation of projects. From these samples, evaluators will draw conclusions about the interest and significance of the proposed work or resource, the accuracy of the information presented, and the care given to editorial work.
        • When relevant, applicants should:
          • define the criteria that will determine the selection of materials, as well as the content, form, and length of entries or citations. For encyclopedias or biographical dictionaries, include in an appendix a preliminary list of entries, organized by subject areas or topics.
          • discuss the lexicographical principles for compiling a language dictionary.
          • describe the editorial procedures for writing entries and for verifying the information, including who will review the information and who will exercise the final editorial control over the completed product. In the case of projects with multiple contributors, include in an appendix the instructions provided to contributors.
          • explain the provisions made for content updating in the case of digital projects, such as encyclopedias and dictionaries.
          • indicate whether the project's staff will examine the materials to be covered in a bibliography or guide and whether the final product will specify the location of copies. Justify the inclusion or omission of abstracts, annotations, or essays.
        • Projects using digital technology should describe in detail the reasons for selecting the hardware and software for preparing, processing, or disseminating materials. Justify the storage media and digital formats selected. Refer to standards and best practices that will be followed. (If a project requires participation in a standards development effort such as TEI, EAD, and METS, the costs related to this work are allowable.) Discuss aspects of the project that will ensure interoperability with related activities. Provide specific information about the following:
          • Preparation and processing of material
            • Describe how the material will be prepared for processing and how it will be processed, e.g. digital capture, keyboarding, optical character recognition, or conversion from another electronic format. Discuss the methods for formatting the material and ensuring quality control. Where appropriate, indicate the levels of resolution, compression, image enhancement, and accuracy of textual conversion or transcription required to achieve the project's goals. For text with markup, justify the choice of tagging scheme and the level of the markup.
          • Organization of and access to material
            • Explain the organization of the digitized material or database, including file structure, system capabilities, user access, and documentation. When appropriate, indicate the metadata scheme(s) that will be used to describe the materials (e.g., MARC, Dublin Core, EAD), and explain the rationale for the choice(s). Provide information about metadata creation, controlled vocabularies (if applicable), and use an appendix to display sample data entry sheets, records, and screen displays. When appropriate, discuss the compatibility of the proposed technical framework with the environments and activities of the user community.
          • Storage, maintenance, and protection of data
            • Describe the institution's plans for storing, maintaining, and protecting the data, and, where applicable, for the preservation or other disposition of the original source material. Indicate the methods used to ensure that accidental or unauthorized changes or replacements do not occur in the electronic files. Discuss both the technical and the administrative provisions for ensuring long-term access to the information. Explain how the data will be archived (independent of the delivery or presentation software) to migrate them to future media and formats, and report on the institution's capability and commitment to provide long-term access to the materials.
      • /Work Plan
        • Describe the work plan in detail, including a schedule indicating what will be accomplished during each stage of the project.
      • /Staff
        • Identify the project's staff, including consultants and other staff hired for the project. Describe their duties and their qualifications for those duties. Indicate the amount of time that the principal members of the project's staff will devote to the project. All people directly involved in the conduct of the project, whether paid for by NEH or cost-sharing, must be named in the budget along with their anticipated time commitments. If the project has an advisory board, list their names and affiliations, and explain the board's function. Provide two page résumés for major project staff and all consultants in the appendices.
      • Dissemination
        • Explain how the results of the project will be disseminated in print and electronic forms. Discuss any intellectual property issues that might affect the availability of the materials. Describe the format of the project's final product and discuss its appropriateness to the subject matter and the intended audience. If relevant, discuss publishing arrangements and provide an estimated price for the final product.
        • Institutions receiving grants to develop software are expected to publish or provide on request technical documentation concerning its development and implementation and indicate plans for its continuing maintenance and updating.
  5. /Budget
    • Using the instructions, complete the budget form. While all items should be justified by the narrative, further explanation may be included in brief budget notes.
    • For any outsourced work, third-party contractor costs should be included in the budget category "Services." Attach a complete itemization of these costs to the budget form. If there is more than one contractor, each one must be listed on the budget form and the costs itemized separately.
    • To the maximum extent practical, all procurement contracts must be made through an open and free competition. They are to be awarded to the bidder/offeror whose bid/offer is most advantageous, considering price, quality and other factors. Applicants must justify procurement contracts in excess of $100,000 that are not awarded by competitive bids or offers.
    • Permanent equipment may be purchased for a project if an analysis demonstrates that it is the most economical and practical alternative to leasing. Permanent equipment is defined as nonexpendable personal property costing $5000 or more and having a useful life of more than one year.
    • Consistent with the Buy American Act (41 U.S.C. 10a-c and Public Law 105-277), grantees and subrecipients who purchase equipment and products with grant funds should purchase only American-made equipment and products.
  6. /Appendices
    • Use appendices to provide:
      • representative samples of the final or anticipated form of the work, prefaced with explanatory notes (if applicable);
      • brief résumés (no longer than two pages) for staff with major responsibilities for the project's implementation;
      • job descriptions for any additional staff who will be hired specifically to work on the project;
      • letters of commitment from outside participants and cooperating institutions; and
      • letters of support (if desired). Such letters will be more useful if they address the criteria for funding established for this category (see below).
  7. /History of Grants
    • If the project has received previous support from any federal or nonfederal sources, including NEH, list on one page the sources, dates, and amounts of these funds. If the project has a long history of support, the sources and contributions may be grouped and summarized.
  8. /Consultants and advisory board members
    • List consultants to the project, members of the project's advisory board (if there is one), and authors of letters of support (if provided).
  9. /List of suggested evaluators
    • Provide the names, addresses, telephone numbers, and e-mail addresses of up to eight potential evaluators, briefly indicating why each one would be appropriate. These individuals should be experts in the project's subject area, the proposed methodology or the technical plan, or they should be scholars whose broad knowledge and experience will lend weight to the advice they would provide NEH about the project. Previous grantees should include several persons not named in an earlier application. Do not discuss the proposal with suggested evaluators. Provide three copies of this list in a separate folder; do not include it in the application copies.
    • Do not list persons who would be excluded as reviewers because of federal rules governing conflict of interest. These exclusions apply to immediate relatives of the project's staff, employees of the applicant institution, and anyone who would benefit financially from the project (e.g. publishers or contractors), has been or will be involved in the project as a consultant or participant, or has written a letter of support included in the application.

Post drafting procedures[edit]

  • Get the Wikimedia Foundation's review.
  • Combine everything into one document.
    • At this point we may be able to create table of contents with page numbers, etc.
  • Print.
  • Send.

Deadline for Submission[edit]

Applications must be received by July 15, 2004 for projects beginning no earlier than April 2005. (Time is needed for combining, formatting, printing and sending, so all text must be ready by a few days before the deadline. --Ed.)

Application Checklist[edit]

Include the original and 8 collated copies assembled in the following order:

  • signed application cover sheet
  • statement of significance and impact
  • table of contents
  • narrative description
  • budget forms
  • appendices
  • history of grants
  • list of project consultants and advisory board members

and include in a separate folder 3 copies of each of the following:

  • application cover sheet
  • list of project consultants and advisory board members
  • list of suggested evaluators

One cover sheet should include the original signature of the official authorized to submit the application on behalf of the institution. Please do not use any kind of binder.

Send applications to:

Reference Materials Grants
Division of Preservation and Access
Room 411
National Endowment for the Humanities
1100 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, D.C. 20506
202-606-8570

The receipt of a proposal will be acknowledged by postcard within six weeks of the application deadline. Applicants who do not receive such a confirmation should contact NEH as soon as possible.

NEH continues to experience lengthy delays in the delivery of mail by the U. S. Postal Service. To ensure that your application arrives by the receipt deadline, please consider using a commercial delivery service. Although formal applications cannot be accepted by email or fax, we do recommend the use of such alternatives for other kinds of correspondence, including inquiries, preliminary drafts, recommendations, or reports.

To ensure that your application is processed in a timely fashion, the envelope or package used to send your application materials should prominently display your return address and should not be over-wrapped with tape.