National Historical Publications & Records Commission

Historical Editing Fellowships

FY 2011 Grant Announcement (Initial):

Historical Editing Fellowships

The National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC), a part of the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), supports projects that promote the preservation and use of America's documentary heritage essential to understanding our democracy, history, and culture.

The following grant application information is for Historical Editing Fellowships.

Funding Opportunity Number: FELLOWSHIP-201010

Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number: 89.003

NHPRC support begins no earlier than January 1, 2011.

  • Deadline:   October 7, 2010

The deadline for this opportunity has passed. New guidelines may be available in June 2011. These guidelines may be used for reference, but should NOT be used to prepare an application.

Grant Program Description

The National Historical Publications and Records Commission seeks proposals from active NHPRC-supported publications projects to serve as a host institution for a Historical Documentary Editing Fellowship.

Applicants should demonstrate their ability to provide strong post-graduate training in documentary editing, including document collection, accessioning, and control; selection; transcription; annotation; proofreading; indexing; preparation of digital editions; and project management.

Staff at the host institution will solicit applicants, select the best candidate, and arrange for their institution to hire the fellow. The Commission provides this funding to ensure that recent History Ph.D.s or advanced graduate students have exposure to historical editing techniques and careers. The host institution may use a limited amount of funds to cover costs of recruiting a fellow and giving the fellow travel and educational opportunities.

Award Information

Awards are for one year grants of $60,000 each. Depending on the quality of proposals and the availability of funding, the Commission expects to fund one to two fellowship projects, each with a single fellow.

The Commission urges applicants to describe their institution's hiring and payment/benefits procedures fully in the application, so that, once funded, the fellowship can begin as soon as possible and without avoidable complications. Applicants should try to resolve in advance questions bearing on the fellow's compensation. For example, will the fellow be paid as a contractor or be placed on the payroll? Will taxes be withheld? Is it possible to assist the fellow with housing? Benefits arrangements should be decided prior to the soliciting of fellowship applicants. Like all NHPRC grant recipients, the host institution will be required to submit periodic financial and narrative reports on the project.

The basic stipend may be up to $45,000. A 25 percent allowance for fringe benefits supplements the stipend. In addition, up to $3,750 may be used by the institution to cover the costs of interviewing individual applicants and/or sending fellows to professional conferences or training institutes.


Proposals may be submitted only by active NHPRC-supported historical documentary editing projects that are affiliated with:

  • United States nonprofit organizations and institutions
  • Colleges, universities, and other academic institutions
  • State or local government agencies
  • Federally-acknowledged or state-recognized Native American tribes or groups

Projects in the first year of operation are less likely to be competitive.

Applicant organizations must be registered in Central Contractor Registration (CCR) prior to submitting an application, maintain CCR registration throughout the application and award process, and include a valid DUNS number in their application. Details on CCR registration and requesting a DUNS number can be found at the Central Contractor Registration website.

Ineligible applications will not be reviewed.

Cost Sharing

Cost sharing is not required, but may make a proposal more competitive. It is the financial contribution the applicant pledges to the cost of a project. Cost sharing can include both direct and indirect expenses, in-kind contributions, non-Federal third-party contributions, and any income earned directly by the project.

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 National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) generally 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 the Grants Program Specialist at (202) 357-5010 no later than 3:00 Eastern Time on the day of the deadline with their valid Contact Center trouble-ticket number.

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 are ineligible and will not be reviewed. In order to ensure eligibility, applicants should first review the rules and regulations governing NHPRC grants under the Administering an NHPRC Grant section.

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 formatted for 8.5 x 11 inch paper with standard margins. Please organize your narrative in these sections:

  1. The host documentary editing project
    Include a description of the project, the qualifications of project staff members who would be working with the fellow, the current status of the project's progress, including a record of recent work, and the specific tasks to be undertaken during the fellowship period.

  2. The proposed fellowship advertising and hiring criteria
    We encourage applicants to give preference to fellowship candidates who hold a Ph.D. in U.S. History or who have completed all the degree requirements except the dissertation. If you plan to seek candidates with different educational backgrounds, please explain your reasons for doing so. In your supplemental materials, please include a sample of your call for applicants.

  3. The Training Plan
    The Commission prefers that fellows receive training in all aspects of documentary editing including: document collection, accessioning, and control; selection; transcription; annotation; proofreading; indexing; preparation of digital editions; and project management. In particular, the Commission will look favorably on plans that provide training in developing or maintaining digital editions. You should describe in detail the types of training you plan to provide, and the approximate amount of time allotted for each type; if any aspects cannot be covered, please explain the omission. In addition, include any courses, classes, workshops, or other educational opportunities relative to the fellowship that the institution might be able to provide.

  4. Performance Objectives and Project Evaluation
    List four to six quantifiable objectives in the proposal by which you and the Commission can evaluate the project following the submission of the final report. The performance objectives should be as specific and quantifiable as possible. For example, you may want to measure the number of pages transcribed or proofread or the number of footnotes or head notes completed. In addition, discuss the methods your institution will use to evaluate the fellow's performance and your project's effectiveness in the training process. Indicate what methods, if any, you plan to use to monitor the fellow's continuing contribution to the field of documentary editing.

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

  • Purposes and Goals of the Project
  • Plan of Work for the Grant Period
  • Names, Phone Numbers, and E-Mail Address 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
You may attach up to 20 pages of Supplementary Materials to your Narrative, such as:

  • Résumés of named staff members who will contribute to the overall fellowship experience (please use only institutional addresses and phone numbers) (required)
  • An example of your proposed call for applicants (required)
  • Endorsements from institutional officials and scholars
  • Samples of work, including facsimiles of originals, annotations, and other materials

If these materials are available on a web site, please provide a URL.

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 budget categories that require further detail. Provide specific budget figures, rounding to the nearest dollar.

The budget should include only those costs that are related to the fellowship.

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. All of the items listed, whether supported by grant funds or 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. In addition, successful applicants will be required to certify that they have adequate accounting and timekeeping procedures to meet Federal requirements.

Budget Categories

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

Stipend:   Indicate the amount of the stipend that you plan to provide to the fellow.

Fringe Benefits:   Include the fellow's benefits, which should be based on your organization's standard rates.

Travel:   Include costs related to interviewing applicants and/or enhancing the fellow's training and/or professional development.

Submission Dates and Times

  • Final Deadline: October 7, 2010

Applications must be submitted electronically by 11:59 pm Eastern Time on October 7, 2010.

The Commission considers the application in November 2010. NHPRC support begins no earlier than January 1, 2011.

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 NHPRC staff 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 to form recommendations.

Criteria for Editing Fellowships Projects

  1. Professional qualifications of the project staff members who would mentor the fellow. (30 percent)
  2. Ability of the project to provide the fellow with training and experience in such essential aspects of documentary editing as document accessioning and control, selection, transcription, proofreading, annotation, indexing, publication in both book and electronic formats, and project management. (30 percent)
  3. Effectiveness of the proposed work plan and evaluation process in meeting the educational objectives of the fellowship program. (25 percent)
  4. Ability of the project to provide related educational experiences for the fellow that will strengthen the field of historical editing. (15 percent)

Review Process

After submitting a proposal, do not discuss the pending application to the NHPRC with any Member of the Commission. 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:

  • The Commission Staff
    Commission staff will read proposals and make overall recommendations to the Archivist, who chairs the Commission, based on their review, the proposal's eligibility, completeness, and conformance with application requirements, as well as the effectiveness of the proposed work plan in meeting the Commission's goals.
  • The Commission
    After considering the proposals, and the 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.

Agency Contact

Before beginning the process, applicants are encouraged to contact Timothy Connelly, Director for Publications, (202) 357-5301, or, at the NHPRC who may:

  • Advise the applicant about the review process;
  • Answer questions about what activities are eligible for support;
  • Supply samples of successful applications

Grant Administration

For more information on how to comply with Federal regulations, see our Administering a Grant section.

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