National Historical Publications & Records Commission

Institutes for Historical Editing

FY 2016 Grant Announcement (Initial):

Institutes for Historical Editing

The National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) of the National Archives supports projects that promote access to America’s historical records to encourage understanding of our democracy, history, and culture.

The following grant application information is for a grant to develop and administer basic and advanced Institutes for Historical Editing.

Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number:   89.003

Funding Opportunity Number:   EDITING-201602

  • Draft (optional) Deadline:   no later than January 29, 2016
  • Final Deadline:   February 11, 2016

NHPRC support begins no earlier than July 1, 2016.

Grant Program Description

The National Historical Publications and Records Commission seeks proposals to improve the training and education of historical documentary editors. The goal of the program is to both provide technical training in necessary skills and inspire documentary editors to think about how they can contribute to the advancement of the field in the 21st century. The Institutes for Historical Editing should consist of both basic and advanced Institutes.

For a comprehensive list of Commission's limitations on funding, please see What We Do and Do Not Fund. Applications that consist entirely of ineligible activities will not be considered.

Award Information

A grant is for one to three years and up to $265,000. The Commission expects to make one grant in this category, for a total of up to $265,000. The grant will begin no earlier than July 1, 2016.

The Commission requires that grant recipients acknowledge NHPRC grant assistance in all publicity, publications and other products that result from its support.


Eligible applicants:

  • U.S. nonprofit organizations or institutions
  • U.S. colleges, universities, and other academic institutions
  • State or local government agencies
  • Federally-acknowledged or state-recognized Native American tribes or groups

This program does not support requests from individuals for their own training, education, or professional advancement. Such requests will be ineligible.

Cost Sharing

The Commission may support up to the entire direct costs of the project, not including program revenue. Cost sharing may include the program revenue, grantee's indirect costs, as well as any additional direct costs borne by the applicant. NHPRC grant recipients are not permitted to use grant funds for indirect costs (as indicated in 2 CFR 2600.101).

Other Requirements

Applicant organizations must be registered in System for Award Management (SAM) prior to submitting an application, maintain SAM registration throughout the application and award process, and include a valid DUNS number in their application. Details on SAM registration and requesting a DUNS number can be found at the System for Award Management website at Please refer to the User Guides section and the Grants Registrations PDF.

A complete application includes the Application for Federal Assistance (Standard Form 424), Assurances -- Non-Construction Programs (Standard Form 424B), a Project Narrative, Summary, Supplementary Materials, and Budget. Applications lacking these items will not be considered.

Ineligible applications will not be reviewed.

Application and Submission Information

All information necessary to apply is included in this announcement. If you need the information supplied in an alternative format, please call the NHPRC at 202-357-5010.

Applicants should follow the instructions on how to fill out the online forms and apply electronically using the Application Instructions section on the NHPRC website.

The NHPRC requires that grant applications be submitted via In the event that is experiencing technical difficulties that prevent submission, applicants must first attempt to resolve the issue with the Contact Center (800-518-4726). If cannot solve the problem, applicants may request an alternative. To make use of the NHPRC backup system, applicants must contact Jeff de la Concepcion or at (202-357-5022) no later than 3:00 Eastern Time on the day of the deadline with their valid Contact Center trouble-ticket number.

In order to ensure eligibility, applicants should first review the rules and regulations governing NHPRC grants under the Administering an NHPRC Grant section.

Applicants should submit drafts no later than January 29, 2016, but drafts are not required. The drafts should be sent by email to the Director for Publishing, Darrell Meadows ( and should include a draft narrative and budget.

Project Narrative

The Project Narrative is a description of the proposal. It should be no more than 20 double-spaced pages in 12-pt type on 8.5 x 11 inch paper with standard margins.

Please organize your narrative in sections:

  1. Overview, Purpose, and Goals: Describe your project's overall purpose and long-term goals. Be sure to identify explicitly the audiences for the Institutes for Historical Editing and explain the need for this type of professional development, including, if applicable, in the federal workforce. Discuss how changes in publishing and access to research materials are affecting the field of documentary editing. Indicate how other fields are adjusting to these changes in terms of professional training and how these developments will shape plans for the Institutes. Explain how the project builds on your organization's professional knowledge, training, and experiences. This discussion must lead to the following details in your narrative:

  • Describe what topics you plan to include in the basic Institute, how you arrived at this needs assessment, and how the proposed curricula will advance the field of documentary editing
  • Explain how many hours participants will meet over how many days, and discuss how you arrived at this time period
  • Detail what teaching and training methods you will use to make the different types of Institutes effective, applicable, and accessible to the participants
  • Detail how you will address technical training as well as discussions about the documentary editing profession, including its current challenges and its future
  • Describe the faculty you plan to recruit, indicating their number and their qualifications, and name those individuals from whom you have received tentative commitments

  • Promotion and Selection of Participants: How will you advertise the basic Institutes to potential participants; how will they apply; and how will they be selected? What is your target number for participants? Include a draft application form and an evaluation matrix in your supplementary materials.

  • Basic Institute Curriculum: What assignments will you expect participants to complete before, during, and after the basic Institute? What are their intended learning objectives and how will they be evaluated? What technologies will you use to support all of these activities?

  • Advanced Seminars and/or Workshops: What will be the topics of the advanced seminars and/or workshops? With what association(s) or institution(s) will you be collaborating, or co-hosting? Why were these selected? How will the proposed activity advance the field and prepare participants to understand better how to meet key challenges? How will the proposed activity help to define, share, and/or promote emerging best practices? How will you advertise the advanced workshops? What is your target number of participants? How will you evaluate them? Where will you offer them?

  • Director Search and Preferred Qualifications: Explain your plans for conducting a national search and selection of a project director qualified to develop and manage the Institutes. Qualifications should include a record of professional collaboration across the fields of history, documentary editing, and the digital humanities; familiarity with emerging trends in editing, publishing and related digital technologies; and a well-articulated vision for the future of documentary editing in the digital age. The project director selected must also possess the skills necessary for organizing the Institutes, for effective community building and collaboration.

  • Qualifications of Staff: How are each of the project staff qualified to develop and manage the Institutes? Be specific about experiences in training, as well as historical editing. In your supplementary materials, include brief resumes for all named staff on the application and position announcements for any new positions to be paid for by grant funds.

  • Plan of Work: What is your schedule for developing and then implementing the Institutes, including advanced seminars and/or workshops? Provide a detailed plan of work and timeline that outlines the steps necessary to develop, advertise and run the Institutes. Include how the organization applying for the grant will oversee the project director.

  • Venues and Logistics: Where do you expect to hold the Institutes? Where will participants stay and eat during the course of the Institutes? What fees do you expect to charge? How many and what form of scholarships will you offer? Explain how the selected location(s) will increase the effectiveness of the experience for participants. If available, include descriptions of the facilities and their costs in your supplementary materials

  • Evaluation and Impact: What evaluation methods will you use to assess the effectiveness of the Institutes and related activities, including the participants' experience, faculty, facilities, and curriculum and teaching methodologies? The Commission plans to fund the grantee for at least two basic Institutes starting in 2017, but expects the successful applicant to revise the structure of the Institute as necessary in response to participant feedback after each Institute. How will you track the longer-term impact of participants on the field of documentary editing?

  • Dissemination of Results: How will you share the results of the Institutes with the broader documentary editing and historical communities? What is your plan for sharing some or all of the instruction modules, and for enabling those not at the basic Institute to take part in the discussions, before, during, and after the Institute? Can some of the exercises be posted online or can workshops be offered virtually?

  • Performance Objectives: List six to eight quantifiable performance objectives that will allow you and the Commission to evaluate the project following the submission of the final report.

  • Project Summary

    The Project Summary should be no more than 3 double-spaced pages in 12-pt type with standard margins, and it should include these sections:

    • Purposes and Goals of the Project
    • Plan of Work for the Grant Period
    • Products and Publications to be completed during the Grant Period
    • Names, Phone and Fax Numbers, and E-Mail Addresses of the Project Director and Key Personnel
      Please ensure that the project director listed on this summary is the same person listed in Section 8 (f), of the SF 424. If your institution requires a different contact person on the SF 424, please explain in one sentence.
    • Performance Objectives

    Supplementary Materials

    Submit the following Supplementary Materials to your Narrative:

    • Brief résumés or curriculum vitae of named staff members and Institute faculty (please use institutional addresses and phone numbers and limit to two pages per staff member)
    • Position descriptions for staff to be hired with grant funds
    • Detailed work plan charts that supplement the Narrative
    • Draft schedule and curriculum for the Institutes, detailing the order of topics and amount of time devoted to each
    • Draft application form and an evaluation matrix for application evaluation and selection
    • Descriptions of the proposed facilities and their costs (if applicable)
    • Statements of commitment to the project by partners (if applicable)

    If these materials are available on a web site, please provide the URL(s). Reviewers appreciate applications with fewer supplemental pages.

    Project Budget

    You must submit a budget on the NHPRC Budget Form available on the Application Instructions page. Note that the form itself contains additional instructions. You may include with your application a narrative budget supplement for categories that require additional detail. Provide specific budget figures, rounding to the nearest dollar.

    Applicants will be asked to compute the project costs to be charged to NHPRC Federal grant funds as well as those that will be supported by the applicant. The applicant’s cost sharing includes both direct and indirect expenses, in-kind contributions, non-Federal third-party contributions, and any income earned directly by the project. All of the items listed, whether supported by grant funds or your cost-sharing contributions, must be reasonable and necessary to accomplish project objectives, allowable in terms of the applicable federal cost principles, auditable, and incurred during the grant period. Applicants should review the appropriate Office of Management and Budget circulars on cost principles.

    If the project expects program income, it should be allocated among specific budget categories on the cost-sharing column of the project budget. The total amount of expected program income should be reported on the NHPRC budget form under "Project Funding for Entire Grant Period." The same amount should appear on the Application for Federal Assistance, SF424, item 18f. Please use the narrative budget supplement to explain the calculation of the expected income and its allocation.

    Charges to the project for items such as salaries, fringe benefits, travel, and contractual services must conform to the written policies and established practices of the applicant organization. In addition, successful applicants will be required to certify that they have adequate accounting and timekeeping procedures to meet the Federal requirements.

    Budget Categories

    In preparing the budget, please follow the suggestions below in each of the categories:

    Salaries:   List each staff position and compensation that will be charged to the project and show the percentage of time each staff member will devote to the project. Indicate which positions are to be filled for the proposed project and which personnel are already on the staff of the applicant institution. Grant funds may be used to pay the salaries of only those individuals actually working on the project. You may count the time provided to the project by advisory board members.

    Fringe Benefits:   Include employee benefits using your organization's standard rates. No separate benefits should be included for positions that are computed at a daily rate or using honoraria.

    Consultant Fees:   Include payments for consultant services and honoraria. Provide justification for large or unusual consultant fees. List consultant travel expenses in the "Travel" category.

    Travel:   Include transportation, lodging, and per diem expenses. The NHPRC does not fund staff travel to professional meetings unless the travel is essential to accomplish the goals of the project.

    Supplies and Materials:   Include routine office supplies and supplies ordinarily used in professional practices. Justify the cost of specialized materials and supplies in a supplemental budget narrative.

    Services:   Include the cost of duplication and printing, long-distance telephone, equipment leasing, postage, contracts with third parties, and other services that you are not including under other budget categories or as indirect-cost expenses. The costs of project activities to be undertaken by each third-party contractor should be included in this category as a single line item charge. Include a complete itemization of the costs in a supplemental budget narrative.

    Other Costs:   Include costs for necessary equipment above $5,000, stipends for participants in projects, and other items not included in previous grant categories. The NHPRC does not provide grant funds for the acquisition of routine equipment such as office furnishings, shelving, and file cabinets, but we may provide grant support for the purchase of technical equipment, such as software, computers and peripherals, essential for a project.

    Indirect costs:  As indicated in 2 CFR 2600.101, NHPRC grant recipients are not permitted to use grant funds for indirect costs; however, a grant recipient may use indirect costs for cost sharing.

    Submission Dates and Times

    • Draft (optional) Deadline: January 29, 2016
    • Final Deadline: February 11, 2016

    Applications must be submitted electronically by midnight Eastern Time on February 11, 2016.

    NHPRC support begins no earlier than July 1, 2016.

    Deadline Policy: Given that technical or administrative difficulties with may periodically delay the timely submission or receipt of applications, the Commission staff will make provisions for the receipt of such applications past the established deadline. Under these circumstances, applicants with technical or administrative issues related to must contact Jeff de la Concepcion or at (202-357-5022) as soon as possible, but no later than by 3:00 PM Eastern Time on the published application deadline. Applications that fail to meet deadlines for reasons other than those noted will not be considered for funding.

    Application Review Information

    The NHPRC staff will acknowledge receipt of the application soon after we receive it. The following evaluation criteria and weights will be used by NHPRC staff and other reviewers to form recommendations:

    1. Ability of the project to develop the skills of historical editing professionals and advance the field of documentary editing. (35 percent)
    2. Ability of the project to improve best practices in the training of historical editing professionals, and the transferability of these methods for wider use in the documentary editing community, including those who work in the federal government. (25 percent)
    3. Ability to complete the project's proposed objectives, judged by the qualifications of the staff and the reasonableness of the work plan and budget (including cost share). (20 percent)
    4. Effectiveness of the dissemination plans for the project's results. (20 percent)

    Application Review Process

    Application Review Process

    After submitting a proposal, do not discuss the pending application to the NHPRC with any Commission member. Commission members must ensure fair and equitable treatment of all applications and do not discuss proposals with individual applicants.

    • Peer Reviewers
      We will ask 5 to 10 external peer reviewers to evaluate the proposal.
    • Commission Staff
      Approximately 6 weeks after the submission deadline, we will send to the Project Director anonymous copies of reviewers' comments along with specific questions from the Commission staff. Applicants have an opportunity to answer these questions and comments.
    • The Commission
      After reviewing proposals, the comments of peer reviewers, the applicants' responses to the reviews, and evaluations by the Commission staff, Commission members deliberate on proposals and make funding recommendations to the Archivist of the United States who, as Commission Chairman, has final statutory authority and selects award recipients. Throughout this process, all members of the Commission and its staff follow conflict-of-interest rules to assure fair and equal treatment of every application.

    Award Administration Information


    Grants are contingent upon available appropriated funds. In some cases, the Commission will adjust grant amounts depending upon the number of recommended proposals and total budget. The Commission may recommend that the Archivist approve the proposal and extend an offer of a grant with applicable terms and conditions, or it may recommend rejection of the proposal.

    Grant applicants will be notified within 2 weeks after the Archivist’s decision.

    Successful applicants will receive an informal offer of award and be required to verify their acceptance of general terms and conditions, and complete a statement on their Financial Capability and Accounting Systems.

    For awards that meet or exceed the Federal government’s simplified acquisition threshold (currently $150,000), NHPRC staff will first review and consider any information about the applicant that appears in the designated integrity and performance system. This information is accessible through SAM (currently FAPIIS) (see 41 U.S.C. 2313). After this review, NHPRC staff will follow the procedures in 2 CFR 200, subpart F, Appendix I, part e.3.

    Once these are received, reviewed and acceptable, the NHPRC will issue an official award notice.

    Administrative Requirements

    In order to ensure that you can manage a grant, applicants should review the Federal grant administration rules and regulations governing grants from the NHPRC listed under the Administering an NHPRC Grant section.


    In most cases, award recipients will report on their performance in narrative reports every six months and submit financial reports once a year.

    Agency Contact

    Applicants are encouraged to contact Darrell Meadows, Director for Publishing, at 202-357-5321, or He may:

    • Advise the applicant about the review process;
    • Answer questions about what activities are eligible for support;
    • Supply samples of successful applications;
    • Read and comment on a preliminary draft. Applicants should submit a preliminary draft.

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