Grant Details

Media Projects: Development and Production Grants

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    Funder Type

    Federal Government

    IT Classification

    B - Readily funds technology as part of an award


    National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH)


    The Media Projects program supports the development, production, and distribution of radio programs, podcasts, and stand-alone documentary films that engage general audiences with humanities ideas in creative and appealing ways. Projects must be grounded in humanities scholarship and demonstrate an approach that is thoughtful, balanced, and analytical; proposals must demonstrate the potential to attract a broad general audience. All projects must be grounded in humanities scholarship.

    Media Projects awards are made at two levels: Development and Production.

    1. Development Level: Proposals under this level should enable media producers to collaborate with scholars to develop humanities content along with other program elements. Awards should result in a script (for documentary films and television programs) or detailed treatment(s) (for radio programs and podcasts). Awards may also be used to plan for outreach and public engagement in collaboration with a partner organization or organizations. Development awards may support activities such as:
      1. meetings with scholars
      2. research and preliminary interviews (including scholarly research and development of humanities themes)
      3. preparation of program treatments and/or scripts
      4. production of a work-in-progress or trailer
      5. creation of partnerships for outreach activities and public engagement
    2. Production Level: Proposals under this level should result in the production and distribution of radio, podcast, television, and long-form documentary film projects. Production awards may support activities such as:
      1. archival research and rights clearances
      2. meetings with scholars
      3. script refinement
      4. production and distribution of films, television programs, radio programs, and podcasts
      5. development of resources related to the proposed media project, such as websites, that explore the humanities content and themes central to the project
      6. outreach and public engagement

    Within the Production level, NEH occasionally offers one Chairman's Special Award. This award is intended for projects of exceptional significance, audience reach, and complexity. A Chairman's Special Award project should examine important humanities ideas in new ways and demonstrate the potential to reach especially large audiences.


    History of Funding

    Previously funded Development awards can be viewed at:

    Previously funded Production awards can be viewed at:

    Additional Information

    All Media Projects proposals must:

    • build on sound humanities scholarship
    • deepen public understanding of significant humanities questions
    • approach a subject analytically, presenting a variety of perspectives
    • involve humanities scholars in all phases of development and production
    • involve appropriate media professionals
    • employ appealing and accessible program formats that will actively engage the general public in learning

    NEH is especially interested in supporting projects that advance humanities-related work in the area of NEH's "A More Perfect Union: Exploring America's Story and Commemorating its 250th Anniversary" initiative.

    NEH's A More Perfect Union initiative encourages:

    • projects that explore, reflect on, and tell the stories of our quest for a more just, inclusive, and sustainable society throughout American history.
    • projects that bring the perspective of the humanities to questions of racial justice, gender equality, the evolution of the American landscape, as well as America's place in the world.
    • projects that strengthen Americans' knowledge of the principles of constitutional governance and democracy are strongly encouraged
    • projects that address the experiences of Native Americans and other under-represented communities.

    NOTE: applicants proposing short documentaries (under 30 minutes) must respond to this initiative)

    Funding may not be used for the following activities:

    • fictional films and audio projects, including dramatic adaptations of literary works and projects with characters or scenes that do not have a foundation in historical documentation or other relevant humanities scholarship
    • projects that will satisfy requirements for educational degrees or formal professional training
    • projects intended primarily for students in a formal learning environment (though projects may include components that can be used in classrooms)
    • general operations, renovation, restoration, rehabilitation, or construction of station or production facilities
    • preservation or cataloging of materials and collections
    • obscene, libelous, indecent, or defamatory content (including hate speech, personal attacks, or material constituting harassment)
    • fiscal agent and fiscal sponsor fees
    • promotion of a particular political, religious, or ideological point of view
    • advocacy of a particular program of social or political action
    • support of specific public policies or legislation
    • lobbying
    • projects that fall outside of the humanities and the humanistic social sciences (including the creation or performance of art; creative writing, autobiographies, memoirs, and creative nonfiction; and quantitative social science research or policy studies).


    Division of Public Programs Staff

    Division of Public Programs Staff
    400 Seventh Street, SW
    Washington, DC 20506
    (202) 606-8269

  • Eligibility Details

    Eligible applicants include:

    • U.S. nonprofit organizations with 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status,
    • Public and 501(c)(3) accredited institutions of higher education,
    • State and local governmental agencies, and
    • Federally recognized Native American tribal governments.

    Eligible organizations are encouraged to partner with independent producers and other skilled professionals to carry out programmatic activities. Eligible applicants may submit multiple applications for separate and distinct projects under this notice. Note: Individuals, foreign and for-profit entities are not eligible to apply

    Deadline Details

    Applications are to be submitted by 11:59 EST on January 12, 2022.

    Award Details

    Approximately $3,500,000 is available in total funding for 12-15 awards.

    • The maximum award for Development grants is $75,000 with a project period of 6-12 months.
    • The maximum award for Production grants in $700,000 with a project period of 1-3 years.
    • In rare circumstances, up to $1,000,000 will be available for Chairman's Special Awards.

    The earliest period of performance start date is October 1, 2022 and the latest is April 1, 2023. Cost sharing is not required.

    Related Webcasts Use the links below to view the recorded playback of these webcasts

    • Funding Classroom Technology to Empower Students and Teachers - Sponsored by Panasonic - Playback Available
    • Maximizing Technology-friendly Workforce Development Grants - Sponsored by Panasonic - Playback Available
    • Funding Data-driven Workforce Development Projects - Sponsored by NetApp - Playback Available


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