EMDA2015 Application Guidelines

Early Modern Digital Agendas: Advanced Topics has been funded under the NEH’s Office of Digital Humanities’ Institutes for Advanced Topics in Digital Humanities program. These institutes are offered by the NEH to support training programs for college faculty, graduate students, and university staff to broaden and extend their knowledge of digital humanities. Through these programs, NEH seeks to increase the number of humanities scholars using digital technology in their research and to broadly disseminate knowledge about advanced technology, tools, and methodologies relevant to the humanities.

Before you attempt to complete an application, please read the Dear Colleague letter (in pdf). The letter contains detailed information about the topic, participation requirements and expectations, and the academic and institutional setting.

Application Information

The Dear Colleague letter (in pdf) is written for all prospective applicants. It contains detailed information about the topic, participation requirements and expectations, and the academic and institutional setting.

All applicants must apply through the Folger Institute's online application system. The application guidelines will undoubtedly answer many questions that applicants may have. Before submitting an application, they should review the curriculum to ensure that they can address the ways their work will benefit from and contribute to the institute's goals. The application deadline is 2 March 2015.


This institute is designed primarily for college faculty and staff at U.S. institutions who study the texts, writing, and literature of early modern England. Qualified graduate students, independent scholars, and those employed by museums, libraries, historical societies, and other organizations are eligible provided they can effectively advance the teaching and research goals of the institute. Priority in admission will go to applicants who are 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 eligible to apply; those who have collaborated or who plan to collaborate with U.S. partners in digital initiatives will be more competitive applicants.

An applicant need not have an advanced degree in order to qualify; adjunct and part-time lecturers are eligible to apply, as are staff in digital humanities centers, librarians, and others who are interested in participating in a scholarly assessment of the most effective tools by which data sets are gathered, curated, and analyzed. Individuals may not apply to study with a director who is a current colleague or a family member. Institute selection committees are advised that only under the most compelling and exceptional circumstances may an individual participate in an institute with a director or a lead faculty member who has guided that individual’s research.

Selection Criteria

A selection committee reads and evaluates all properly completed applications in order to select the most promising applicants and to identify alternates.

The most important selection considerations are the likelihood that an applicant will contribute productively and benefit professionally. This is determined by committee members from the conjunction of several factors, each of which should be addressed in the application essay. These factors include:

1. your qualifications to make a contribution to the institute, especially your ongoing research interests and digital projects;

2. an outline of what you hope to accomplish; and

3. an indication of the relation of digital humanities to your teaching, your current research, or your envisioned projects.

Stipend, Tenure, and Conditions of Award

The fifteen individuals selected to participate in this institute will each receive a stipend of $2,250, which is based on the maximum allowed per diem of $125/day for eighteen (18) days in residence. All participants will also receive a per diem when they return to the Folger in the spring of 2016 for a two-day follow-up meeting. Stipends are intended to help cover travel expenses to and from Washington, DC, and living expenses for the duration of the period spent in residence. Stipends may be reported as taxable income. Applicants should note that the stipend may not cover all living expenses. Foreign nationals who are admitted will be required to complete additional paperwork and in some cases may face withholding on their stipends in accordance with U.S. law.

To lodge the participants, the Folger Institute will make group arrangements, and those participants who elect to use this arrangement will have a specified amount deducted from their stipend. For those who would prefer to live elsewhere or stay beyond the three weeks of the institute, we will offer assistance in the search for short-term sublets in the Washington, DC area.

Institute participants are required to attend all meetings and to engage fully as professionals in the work of the project. During the three weeks of the institute, they may not undertake teaching assignments or any other professional activities unrelated to their participation. Participants who, for any reason, do not complete the full course of the institute must refund a prorated portion of the stipend.

At the end of the institute’s residential period, participants will be required to submit online evaluations in which they review their work during the institute and assess its value to their personal and professional development. These evaluations will become part of the project’s grant file and may become part of an application to repeat the institute.

Checklist of Application Materials

A complete application consists of the following items:

  • the completed online application,
  • a curriculum vitae,
  • an application essay, and
  • two letters of recommendation

The Online Application

Applicants must complete the Folger Institute’s online application and append all the documents requested below by the deadline of 2 March 2015 to be considered eligible.

All applications must be submitted through the online portal. Please complete it as directed by the prompts, but follow the specific guidelines on this page as concerns slightly expanded page length. When you are finished, be sure to click on the “Submit Application” button at the bottom. A confirmation message will be sent to your email address automatically.

Curriculum Vitae

Please include a curriculum vitae (not to exceed four pages).

The Application Essay

The application essay should be no more than four double-spaced pages. This essay should include any relevant personal and academic information. It should address your reasons for applying; your interest, both academic and personal, in the topic as it is described in the Project Curriculum; qualifications and experiences that equip you to do the work of the institute and to make a contribution to a learning community; a statement of what you want to accomplish by participating; and the relation of the project to your professional responsibilities. Applicants should also elaborate on the relationship between institute activities and their responsibilities for digital project development and teaching.

Recommendation Letters

The two letters may be from inside or outside the applicant’s home institution. They should be written by scholars, supervisors, or colleagues familiar with the applicant’s professional accomplishments or promise, teaching and/or research interests, and ability to contribute to and benefit from participation in the institute. The letter writers will be provided with access to your application components through the application system itself, but you should feel free to share the institute's curriculum with them.

Recommendation letters should be addressed to:

Dr. Owen Williams
Assistant Director, Scholarly Programs
Folger Institute
Folger Shakespeare Library
Washington, DC 20003-1004

but should be submitted by your referees through the online application portal.

Submission of Applications and Notification Procedure

Completed applications should be submitted via the Folger Institute’s online application site no later than midnight on Monday, 2 March 2015.

Successful applicants will be notified of their selection no later than Friday, 10 April 2015.

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 the Equal Opportunity Officer, National Endowment for the Humanities, 1100 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20506. TDD: 202 606 8282 (this is a special telephone device for the Deaf).