National Historical Publications & Records Commission

Archives Leadership Institute

FY 2018 Grant Announcement (Initial):

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


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 a project to continue an Archives Leadership Institute.

Funding Opportunity Number:   LEADERSHIP-201712

Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number:   89.003

  • Draft (optional) Deadline:   October 6, 2017
  • Final Deadline:   December 7, 2017

NHPRC support begins no earlier than July 1, 2018.

The deadline for this opportunity has passed. 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 organizations to continue the Archives Leadership Institute. First funded in 2008, the Archives Leadership Institute seeks to bring to tomorrow's leaders the insights and understanding necessary for increasing public use and appreciation of archives.

The NHPRC envisions a minimum of a one-week program that will tailor contemporary best practices in leadership skills to issues specific to archives professionals. The grantee will be responsible for all project phases, from curriculum design and development through administering the program for the attendees it selects. Topics for the Institute may include issues in technology, economics, public policy, and constituent relations, along with practical questions of administration, strategic planning, leading change, and fund raising. In addition, there should be opportunities for participants to develop solutions to the specific needs of their institutions. To cover these topics and needs, Institute faculty should include experts and educators in leadership development and organizational management as well as experienced archival leaders.

There are models of such institutes in other fields that will be useful for applicants as they develop their proposals. Applicants may benefit from looking at these examples:

Award Information

The Commission expects to make one award for up to three years with the expectation that an institute will take place each year beginning in 2019. Applicants may propose to host two or three institutes, depending on the total time period of their projects. The total award will be up to $250,000.

The Commission requires that grant recipients acknowledge NHPRC grant assistance in all products and publicity 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

Cost Sharing

The Commission may support up to the entire direct costs of the project. 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.

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.

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 (202-357-5022) no later than 3:00 p.m. 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 are encouraged to submit drafts by October 1, 2014, but drafts are not required. The drafts should be sent by email to the person listed under Agency Contact 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. Explain your view on the value for this type of Institute. Refer to existing research on the needs of archival institutions and archivists, including but not limited to the A*Census projects. This discussion should then lead to the following: What topics do you plan to include in the Institute? How many days will the Institute last and how many hours will participants meet each day? What teaching and training methods will you use to make this Institute effective, applicable, and accessible to the participants? What faculty do you plan to recruit to teach these topics? Indicate the number and qualifications of the faculty you seek and name those individuals from whom you have received tentative commitments. In your supplementary materials, include brief resumes from faculty and a draft schedule for the Institute detailing the order of the topics and the amount of time devoted to each issue.
  2. How will you advertise the Institute 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. What, if any, projects will you expect participants to complete before, during, and after the Institute and how will they be evaluated? What technologies will you use to support all of these activities?
  3. How are the project director and other project staff qualified to develop and manage the Institute? Be specific about experiences in executive education and leadership development, as well as archival education. In your supplementary materials, include resumes for all named staff on the application and position announcements for any new positions to be paid for by grant funds.
  4. What is your schedule for developing and then implementing the Institute? Provide a detailed plan of work and timeline that outlines the steps necessary to develop and run the Institute.
  5. Where do you expect to hold the Institute? Where will participants stay and eat during the course of the Institute? 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. Refer to results from relevant studies and comparable institutes in describing the cost-model for the Institute. If available, include descriptions of the facilities and their costs in your supplementary materials.
  6. What evaluation methods will you use to assess the effectiveness of the Institute, including the participants' experiences, faculty, facilities, and curriculum and teaching methodologies? The Commission plans to fund the recipient for at least two Institutes starting in 2019, but expects the successful applicants to revise the structure of the Institute as necessary in response to feedback after each Institute.
  7. List four to six quantifiable performance objectives that will allow you and the Commission to evaluate the project following the submission of the final report.

Supplementary Materials

Please attach the following Supplementary Materials to your Narrative:

  • Résumés or curriculum vitae for all named staff on the application
  • Position announcement for any new positions to be paid for by grant funds
  • Brief bibliography of the relevant scholarship
  • Draft schedule for the Institute
  • Institute faculty's brief résumés (2 pages)
  • Draft application form and an evaluation matrix for application evaluation
  • Descriptions of the proposed facilities and their costs

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

Project Summary

The Project Summary should be no more than 3 double-spaced pages in 12-pt type on 8.5 x 11 inch paper with standard margins, and it should include these sections:

  • Project's Purpose and Significance
  • Methods
  • Plan of Work for the Grant Period
  • Products to be completed during the Grant Period
  • Names, Titles, Institutions, Phone 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


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.

Applicants will be asked to compute the project costs to be charged to grant funds as well as those that will be supported by the applicant through cost sharing, which 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 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 page 13 of 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 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.

Submission Dates and Times

  • Draft (optional) Deadline: October 6, 2017
  • Final Deadline: Applications must be submitted electronically by midnight Eastern Time on December 7, 2017.

NHPRC support begins no earlier than July 1, 2018.

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

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 leadership skills of professionals in the archival field. (35 percent)
  2. Ability of the project to improve best practices in the training of archival professionals, and the transferability of these methods for wider use in the archival community, 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). (25 percent)
  4. Effectiveness of the dissemination plans for the project's results. (15 percent)

Application Review Process

Application 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.

  • Peer Reviewers
    We will ask 5 to 10 external peer reviewers to evaluate the proposal.
  • Commission Staff
    Approximately 3 months after the submission deadline, the Project Director receives blind copies of reviewers' comments and questions from the Commission staff. Applicants have an opportunity to expand on the material provided in the application, clear up any misconceptions, and generally strengthen the proposal before the Commission meeting. Staff makes overall recommendations to the Archivist, who chairs the Commission, based on the appropriateness of the project in meeting the Commission's goals, the proposal's completeness, conformity to application requirements and overall eligibility, and answers to the questions letter.
  • 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 condition, and complete a statement on their Financial Capability and Accounting Systems. Once these are received and reviewed, 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.


Agency Contact

Applicants are encouraged to contact Lucy Barber, Deputy Executive Director, at 202-357-5306, or, who 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 draft at least 2 months before the deadline.

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