I. Internal Procedure for Evaluating Applications
1) The internal St. Olaf deadline for receipt of applications (to the Provost and Dean of the College) is noon on the second Wednesday of April, as stated on the Application Deadlines page. A complete application at this stage consists only of a project narrative (in full accordance with NEH criteria), a project bibliography and a CV, including names of recommenders who would be solicited should the application be chosen for submission to the NEH. No actual letters are required at this stage. The applicant should submit electronically all application materials. The successful applicant will be informed by the end of Spring Term classes, if not earlier, so as to allow him/her to begin revisions of his/her proposal and to solicit their recommendation letters.
II. Summary of NEH Criteria
The Faculty Life Committee will evaluate applications for the NEH Summer Stipend solely according to the NEH’s own criteria. Those criteria can be found at:
A summary of those criteria is as follows: applicants are required to submit a “project narrative” (3 single-spaced pages), a “project bibliography” (one single-spaced page), a resume, and two letters of recommendation. “Ideally, referees should come from different institutions.” They also require an appendix for certain projects.
The project will be evaluated in terms of:
1) the intellectual significance of the proposed project, including its value to humanities scholars, general audiences, or both
2) the quality or promise of quality of the applicant as an interpreter of the humanities
3) the quality of the conception, definition, organization and description of the project and the applicant’s clarity of expression
4) the feasibility of the proposed plan of work, including, when appropriate, the soundness of the dissemination and access plans
5) the likelihood that the applicant will complete the project