Application Information

Before applying for the NEH Institute, please ensure that you have read all of the information about the program.

The application deadline is 11:59 p.m. PT on Friday, March 3, 2023. This date is the same across all NEH Institutes.

The Gilder Lehrman Institute will accept only thirty-six participants. Those who are accepted will be notified on April 3, 2023. Those who are waitlisted or declined will also be notified on April 3, 2023. Applicants who are accepted will have until April 14, 2023, to accept or decline their spot. Once an applicant has accepted an offer to attend any NEH Summer Program (Institute or Landmarks), they may not accept an additional offer or withdraw in order to accept a different offer.

Eligibility Criteria

NEH Institutes are designed for a national audience of full- or part-time K–12 educators who teach in public, charter, independent, and religiously affiliated schools, or as home-schooling educators. Project directors may admit a limited number of educators who work outside the K–12 classroom and who can demonstrate that their participation will advance project goals and enhance their professional work.

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

Participants must be United States citizens, residents of US 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. US citizens teaching abroad at US chartered institutions are also eligible to participate. Foreign nationals teaching abroad are not eligible to participate. 

A participant need not have an advanced degree in order to take part in an institute.

Individuals may not apply to participate in an 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-funded Seminar, Institute, or Landmarks program attended by the applicant. In any given year an individual may apply to a maximum of two projects but may attend only one.

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 an 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 institute’s website.

Selection Criteria

While all current K–12 educators are eligible for this program, the content is curated for elementary (K–5) and middle school (6–8) educators. Educators who have not previously participated in an NEH Professional Development Program are highly encouraged to apply. 

The selection committee will consist of the Project Director, a K–12 teacher, the Gilder Lehrman Director of Curriculum Development and Instructional Design, and a Gilder Lehrman Project Consultant. 

The selection committee will consider the following factors when evaluating applications:

  • the applicant’s effectiveness and commitment as a teacher/educator;
  • the applicant’s intellectual interests as they relate to the topic of the institute;
  • the applicant’s special perspectives, skills, or experiences that would contribute to the program;
  • evidence that participation will have a long-term impact on the applicant’s teaching; and
  • special qualifications, such as foreign language proficiency, that may pertain to the topic.


Those interested in applying will need to explain in 500 words or less what they hope to gain from this program and how it could affect their classroom practice.

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