Arts and Humanities

Fellowships are the most common form of external funding to which scholars in the humanities and arts apply. Fellowships help underwrite one’s salary so he or she may take a full-year sabbatical at full pay.

Fellowship opportunities are listed in the Search for Funding page.

Fellowships are very competitive, with success rates ranging from 4% to 15%, depending on the funding agency. Nonetheless, Notre Dame faculty have been very successful, as these NEH Fellowships and Fellowship Comparison tables show.

National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH)
Number of Fellowships to Leading Research Universities*
Seventeen-Year Comparison: 1999-2016

1 Notre Dame 57
2 Harvard 31
3 Princeton 27
4 University of Chicago 21
5 Washington (St. Louis) 21
6 Dartmouth 17
7 Georgetown 17
8 Pennsylvania 16
9 Columbia 15
10 Brown  15
11 Vanderbilt 15
12 Cornell 14
13 Stanford 14
14 Northwestern 14
15 Emory 11
16 Duke 11
17 Yale 9
18 Rice University 8

Given the competitive nature of fellowships, there are several ways you should prepare prior to writing your proposal:

  1. review the application guidelines thoroughly
  2. review the Proposal Writing Guides for fellowships
  3. review samples of successful proposals (contact Ken Garcia for these)
  4. ask colleagues and ISLA staff to review and critique a draft of your proposal

It is also important to select your referees with care. In general, senior scholars are best, but equally important are referees who will write a detailed—as opposed to perfunctory and general—letter addressing both your qualifications and the significance of your particular project to the relevant discipline(s). 

There are many other grant opportunities available in the arts and humanities as well, such as from the National Endowment for the Humanities  and numerous private foundations.  Please visit the Search for Funding  page on this website or contact Ken Garcia for assistance with identifying other potential funding agencies.