Note Regarding COVID-19: Historically, NEH Summer Seminars and Institutes are designed and funded as residential projects. However, during the pandemic, the NEH has authorized host institutions, at their discretion, to adopt a virtual format.

NEH Summer Seminars and Institutes allow K-12 educators an opportunity to enrich and revitalize their teaching through the study of humanities topics that bear upon K-12 education. Participants will receive a certificate upon completion of the program, but programs are not intended to duplicate graduate-level courses.

Each seminar provides a focused environment in which 16 participants study a humanities topic under the guidance of one or two established scholars. Seminars have few, if any, visiting faculty. Seminars emphasize close interaction among the participants and directors through discussion of common readings and conversations about scholarship and teaching. Substantial time is made available for reflection, work on independent or collaborative projects, and related advising.

In any given year, an individual may apply to two NEH Seminars or Institutes, but may attend only one.


A selection committee comprised of the project director and two or more colleagues, at least one of whom is a K-12 teacher, evaluates all complete applications to select a group of NEH Summer Scholars and identify alternates.

Past NEH summer programs in cartographic studies for higher education scholars organized by the Newberry Library have been well represented by scholars from a wide variety of institutional contexts, including community colleges, liberal arts colleges, and universities, all with an interest in the history and theory of maps and mapping that is not easily accommodated by their home or local institutions. This seminar is designed to be accessible, relevant, and of interest to scholars and teachers across humanities fields who have not had the opportunity to study the history and theory of mapping in depth, or who may have little opportunity to work in collections rich in historic maps, but who would like to become conversant with the history of cartography as it relates to their respective areas of research and teaching.

Application essays should explain how this program will benefit the participant professionally. They should, therefore, address the following:

  1. your quality and commitment as a teacher, scholar, and interpreter of the humanities;
  2. your intellectual interests as they relate to the topic of the seminar or institute;
  3. your special perspectives, skills, or experiences that would contribute to the program;
  4. evidence that participation will enhance your long-term teaching and scholarship; and
  5. if appropriate, an independent project and its potential contribution to the seminar or

 Three seminar spaces are reserved for teachers who are new to the profession (those who have been teaching for five years or less). Two seminar spaces and three institute spaces may be reserved for advanced graduate students. First consideration is given to those who have not previously attended an NEH Seminar or Institute. When choices must be made between equally qualified candidates, preference is given to those who would enhance the diversity of the program.


Each participant will receive a stipend of $3,450. The stipend is intended to help cover all expenses. Stipends are taxable.

Seminar and institute participants must attend all meetings and engage fully as professionals in the work of the project. During the project, participants may not undertake teaching assignments or professional activities unrelated to their participation in the project. Those who, for any reason, do not complete the full tenure of the project will receive a reduced stipend.

 At the end of the project’s residential period, NEH Summer Scholars are expected to submit an online evaluation of the seminar or institute.


Summer seminars and institutes are designed primarily for full- or part-time K-12 educators who teach in public, charter, independent, and religiously affiliated schools, or as home schooling parents. Recipients may admit a limited number of educators who work outside the K-12 classroom and who can demonstrate that participation will advance project goals and enhance their professional work.

At least three seminar spaces and five institute spaces must be reserved for teachers who are new to the profession (those who have been teaching for five years or less).

Participants 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. U.S. citizens teaching abroad at U.S. chartered institutions are also eligible to participate. Foreign nationals teaching abroad are not eligible to participate.

Individuals may not apply to participate in a Summer Seminar or Institute whose director is a family member, who is affiliated with the same institution, who has served as an academic advisor to the applicant, or who has led a previous NEH summer program attended by the applicant.

Participants may not be delinquent in the repayment of federal debt (e.g., taxes, student loans, child support payments, and delinquent payroll taxes for household or other employees). Individuals may not apply to participate in a Summer Seminar or Institute if they have been debarred or suspended by any federal department or agency.

To be considered for selection, applicants must submit a complete application as indicated on the individual seminar or institute’s website.


Please review the Eligibility Criteria for participation in NEH Summer Seminars and Institutes as an NEH Summer Scholar.

Before you apply, please read the seminar description in this site’s “Seminar Overview” page, and the following Application Information and Instructions:

1. Personal and Institutional Information

Please complete application questions about yourself and your institution.

2.  A Résumé and References

Please include a résumé or curriculum vitae (not to exceed five pages). Include the name, title, phone number, and e-mail address of two professional references.

3.  The Application Essay

The application essay should be no more than four double-spaced pages. It should address your interest in the subject to be studied; qualifications and experiences that equip you to do the work of the seminar or institute and to make a contribution to the learning community; a statement of what you want to accomplish by participating; and, if appropriate, description of an independent project and its relation to your professional responsibilities.


Create a log-in and password for Newberry’s SlideRoom account, where you will upload all of your information and application materials:

Mapping Nature 2021 Application

Applications must be submitted to SlideRoom, not the NEH. The deadline for submission is March 1, 2021. Applicants will be notified of their status on March 26th, 2021 and accepted applicants must confirm they will be attending by April 2nd, 2021.

Note: Once you have accepted an offer to attend any NEH Summer Program (NEH Summer Seminar or Institute), you may not accept an additional offer or withdraw in order to accept a different offer.


Endowment programs do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, disability, or age. For further information, write to the Equal Opportunity Officer, National Endowment for the Humanities, 400 7th Street, SW, Washington, DC 20024. TDD: 202-606-8282 (this is a special telephone device for the Deaf).