National Historical Publications & Records Commission

Institutes for Historical Editing

FY 2022 Grant Announcement (Initial):

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-202016

Draft (optional): no later than April 1, 2021

Final Deadline: June 9, 2021

NHPRC support begins no earlier than January 1, 2022.

Grant Program Description

The National Historical Publications and Records Commission seeks proposals for the training and education of historical documentary editors. Through this program, the Commission seeks to increase the number and diversity of historical documentary editors, including especially Black, Indigenous, and People of Color new to historical documentary editing, disseminate knowledge about documentary editing, and build the capacity of attendees as leaders in their own editorial projects and in the related fields of documentary editing, digital history, and digital humanities.

The Institutes for Historical Editing must consist of both basic and advanced Institutes that seek to achieve these program goals. Basic Institutes provide an introductory overview and training in digital documentary editing to students who may be new to editorial practices, current edition-making workflows, and/or digital technologies. Advanced Institutes focus on developing the next generation of leaders in documentary editing, enabling, inspiring, and building the capacity of more experienced documentary editors to conceptualize, develop, manage, and sustain new and innovative historical edition projects that advance the field in the 21st century. Proposals for both basic and advanced institutes must include plans for outreach to, and inclusion of, underrepresented populations, including Black, Indigenous, and People of Color, as both faculty and attendees.

The basic and advanced Institutes may occur together over a defined period of days or could take place separately, with one or both offered multiple times to different audiences. Institutes may take place both in-person and virtually. The Commission is especially interested in proposals that make creative use of meeting times and both face-to-face and virtual instruction to maximize the impact of the proposed basic and advanced Institutes for Historical Editing. The grantee will be responsible for all project phases, from curriculum design and development through administering the program for the attendees it selects.

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 $275,000. The Commission expects to make one grant in this category, for a total of up to $275,000. The grant will begin no earlier than January 1, 2022.

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


  • 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

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

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 the 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.

Agency Contact

Applicants are strongly encouraged to submit drafts, but drafts are not required. Draft materials may be submitted anytime up to (but no later than) the draft deadline specified above. Draft materials should include a project narrative and budget, and may be sent via email to Darrell Meadows, Director for Publishing, 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.

Application Information

You must use to submit your proposal. All information necessary to apply is included in this announcement, the Application Instructions section, and the forms on If you need the information submitted in an alternative format, please call the NHPRC at 202-357-5010.

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 (202-357-5022) no later than 3:00 Eastern Time on the day of the deadline with their valid Contact Center trouble-ticket number.


Preparing Your Application

Using the Application Instructions, fill out:

  • the Standard Form 424,
  • the SF 424B,
  • the NHPRC Budget Form.

You will also prepare a Project Narrative and Supplementary Materials to attach to your Application Package.

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 the overall purpose and long-term goals of your project to implement basic and advanced Institutes for Historical Editing. Be sure to identify explicitly the audiences for the respective Institutes 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 basic and advanced 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:
  • Provide a summary description of how your project’s curriculum and approach aims to meet the program’s goals for basic and advanced institutes.
  • Describe what topics you plan to include in both the basic and advanced Institutes, how you arrived at this needs assessment, especially as it pertains to the needs of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color new to historical documentary editing, and how the proposed curricula will advance the field of documentary editing 
  • For both the basic and advanced Institutes, explain how many hours participants will meet over how many days (whether in-person or online), and discuss how you arrived at this time period
  • Detail what teaching and training methods you will use to make both the basic and advanced Institutes effective, applicable, and accessible to the participants
  • For the basic Institute(s), detail how you will address the relationship between project conceptualization, historical collections, and project scope; for newcomers to documentary editing, how will you address project planning and technical training, as well as introductory discussions about the documentary editing profession, including its current challenges and its future?
  • For the advanced Institute(s), detail how you will address leadership and the field of documentary editing; new project conceptualization; issues related to digital publication and planning for broad public access; the transition from project staff to project management; the role of advisory boards and other potential collaborators; fundraising and grant writing; selection of digital workflows; addressing technical infrastructure needs, including long-term preservation and sustainability; diversity and inclusion in historical documentary editing, staff training and related educational outreach; and other matters essential to the successful launch of new projects.
  • For both the basic and advanced Institutes, describe plans for recruiting a diverse set of faculty (including Black, Indigenous, and People of Color from a variety of relevant professional backgrounds). Describe the qualifications sought for all faculty positions, and name those individuals from whom you have received tentative commitments. 
  1. Promotion and Selection of Participants:  How will you advertise, respectively, the basic and advanced Institutes to potential participants, including especially Black, Indigenous, and People of Color new to historical documentary editing? What promotional outreach activities do you plan to employ? Is there a selection process involved for attending the basic and/or advanced institutes? How will prospective attendees apply and what are the respective criteria for selection? Who will make the final selection of attendees? What is your target number for participants at both the basic and advanced Institutes? Include a draft application form and an evaluation matrix for each in your supplementary materials. 

  2. Basic Institute Curriculum: Describe the overall design and pedagogical goals of the basic institute curriculum. What assignments will you expect participants to complete before, during, and/or 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?

  3. Advanced Institute Curriculum: Describe the overall design and pedagogical goals of the advanced institute curriculum. What assignments will you expect participants to complete before, during, and/or after the advanced Institute? What are their intended learning objectives and how will they be evaluated? What technologies will you use to support all of these activities?

  4. Project Director and Preferred Qualifications: Both the basic and advanced Institutes should be developed and managed under the leadership of a qualified project director. 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 must also possess the skills necessary for organizing the Institutes, for effective promotional outreach, and for community building and collaboration. 

  5. Qualifications of Staff: List the Names, Titles, Institutions, Phone Numbers, and E-Mail Addresses of the Project Director and Key Personnel (Please ensure that the project director listed in the Narrative 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. 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. 

  6. Plan of Work: What is your schedule for developing and then implementing the Institutes? Provide a detailed plan of work and timeline that outlines the steps necessary to develop, advertise, engage in promotional outreach activities, and run the basic and advanced Institutes. Include how the organization applying for the grant will oversee the project director.

  7. Venues and Logistics: Where do you expect to hold the basic and advanced Institutes? Will participants meet in person, online, or both? If meeting in person, where will participants stay and eat during the course of the respective Institutes? What fees do you expect to charge the respective basic and advanced Institute participants? If offering scholarships, how many and what form? 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.

  8. Evaluation and Impact: What evaluation methods will you use to assess the effectiveness of both the basic and advanced Institutes and related activities, including goals for diversity and inclusion, the participants' experience, faculty, facilities, and curriculum and teaching methodologies? For each successive year of the Institutes for Historical Editing program, the Commission expects the successful applicant to revise the structure of the basic and advanced Institutes 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?

  9. Dissemination of Results: How will you share the results of the two types of Institutes with the broader historical and scholarly editing communities? What is your plan for sharing some or all of the instruction modules, and for enabling those unable to attend either of the Institutes to take part in the discussions, before, during, and/or after each Institute?  Can some of the exercises be posted online or can workshops be offered virtually?

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

Supplementary Materials

Submit Supplementary Materials to your Narrative, such as:

  • 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 applicant evaluation and selection
  • Descriptions of the proposed facilities and their costs (if applicable)
  • Descriptions of the proposed technologies 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 application 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 further detail.

Submission Dates and Times

  • Draft (optional): April 1, 2021
  • Final Deadline: June 9, 2021

NHPRC support begins no earlier than January 1, 2022.

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.

Criteria for Institutes for Historical Editing

  1. Ability of the project to develop the skills of a diverse selection of participants, including Black, Indigenous, and People of Color, who are both newcomers to and experienced editors in the field of historical editing, and to do so in a manner that advances the field of documentary editing. (35 percent) 
  2. Ability of the project to improve best practices in the basic and advanced training of historical editing professionals, and the transferability of these methods for wider use in the documentary editing community and the related fields of digital history and digital humanities, including those who work in the federal government. (30 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. (15 percent)

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.

Your proposal will be reviewed by:

  • Peer Reviewers
    We will ask 5 to 7 external peer reviewers to evaluate the proposal.
  • Commission Staff
    Approximately 3-4 months 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, reviewers’ comments, the applicants' responses, and evaluations by the Commission staff, the Commission members deliberate and make funding recommendations to the Archivist of the United States, who 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 two weeks after the Archivist’s decision.

Successful applicants will receive an informal offer of award outlining the steps that must be accomplished to qualify for the award. Those steps include verification of their acceptance of general terms and conditions, completion of a survey on their Financial Capability and Accounting Systems, and finalization of performance objectives for their project. 

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 in 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.


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