How to Apply

How to Apply


Your completed application, postmarked no later than March 1, 2016, should be addressed as follows:

                Susanna Fein
                NEH Summer Seminar
                Department of English
                Kent State University
                P.O Box 5190
                Kent, OH 44240

We will inform you of the committee’s decision on March 30.


A completed application consists of three collated copies of the following items:

  • the completed application cover sheet
  • a resume with contact information for two professional references
  • an application essay

Application Cover Sheet
The application cover sheet must be filled out online at this address:


Please follow the prompts. Before you click the “submit” button, print out the cover sheet and add it to your application package. Then click “submit.” Note that filling out a cover sheet is not the same as formally applying to participate, so there is no penalty for changing your mind or for filling out cover sheets for multiple projects. A full application consists of the items listed above, as sent to the project director. An individual is permitted to apply to up to two projects in any one year, but may participate in only one.

Consult the NEH Application Information and Instructions (see side panel) for additional information.

Please include a resume detailing your educational qualifications and professional experience.

Application Essay
The application essay should be no more than four double-spaced pages. Your essay should address your reasons for applying; the qualifications and experiences that equip you to do the work of the seminar and to make a contribution to a learning community; a statement of what you want to accomplish by participating including discussion of your independent research project; and the relation of the project to your professional responsibilities. The essay is the most important part of your application.

Include the names and e-mail addresses for two professional references. The people you choose should be familiar with your professional accomplishments or promise, interests, and ability to contribute to and benefit from participation in a community of intellectual inquiry. References from colleagues who know your teaching and from those outside your institution who know your habits of mind can be particularly useful. 


In selecting participants, we follow the NEH eligibility guidelines with no special criteria other than the desire to include highly motivated scholar-teachers from a variety of backgrounds. Close knowledge of the Canterbury Tales and of Middle English is welcome but not required. A willingness to quickly learn Chaucer’s Middle English is essential, as our text is in that language.

NEH Eligibility Guidelines
NEH projects are designed primarily for teachers of American undergraduate students. Qualified independent scholars and those employed by museums, libraries, historical societies, and other organizations may be eligible to compete provided they can effectively advance the research and teaching goals of the seminar or institute. Applicants must be United States citizens, residents of U.S. jurisdictions, or foreign nationals who have been residing in the United States or its territories for at least the three years immediately preceding the application deadline. Foreign nationals teaching abroad at non-U.S. chartered institutions are not eligible to apply.

An applicant need not have an advanced degree in order to qualify. Adjunct and part-time lecturers are eligible to apply. Individuals may not apply to study with a director of an NEH Summer Seminar or Institute who is a current colleague or a family member. Individuals must not apply to seminars directed by scholars with whom they have studied.

Applicants must complete the NEH application cover sheet and provide all the information requested on the individual seminar or institute website to be considered eligible.

Graduate Students: Up to two seminar spaces are reserved for current full-time graduate students in the humanities.

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).