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How to apply

Applications are no longer being accepted for this seminar and the roster of participants is set. We cannot accept additional participants.

Application instructions

Before you attempt to complete an application, please study this seminar website, which contains detailed information about the topic under study, project requirements and expectations of the participants. All application materials must reach the project director in the method indicated below no later than March 2, 2015. Applications sent to the National Endowment for the Humanities will not be reviewed. Successful applicants will be notified of their selection on Monday, March 30, 2015, and they will have until Friday, April 3, to accept or decline the offer.  

Participant selection

As part of the larger curriculum development, the seminar is designed to support faculty in history and other disciplines in the humanities, social sciences, and private and public international programs. We envisage a total of sixteen participants who are interested in creating courses or expanding existing curricula at colleges and universities on East Asia, the United States in the Asia Pacific, world history, and China. Two of the sixteen places will be held for advanced doctoral students. (In general, advanced students would be ABD. Teaching experience is desirable but not absolutely required.)


The primary mission of this NEH summer seminar is to serve teachers of American undergraduates, so college and university faculty teaching in American institutions will receive first priority. Independent scholars and Americans teaching in other locations are eligible to apply, but will not receive first consideration.

Per NEH rules, applicants must be U.S. citizens, residents of U.S. jurisdictions, or foreign nationals who have been residing in the U.S. or its territories for at least the three years immediately preceding the application deadline.

Current Calvin College faculty are not eligible to attend this seminar. Individuals who have studied under this seminar's directors (Dr. Daniel Bays & Dr. Dong Wang) are also ineligible.

Recent participants in prior NEH seminars or institutes are eligible to apply, but selection committees are charged to give first consideration to applicants who have not participated in an NEH-supported Seminar, Institute, or Landmarks Workshop in the last three years. When choices must be made among equally qualified candidates, several additional factors are considered; preference is given to applicants who have not previously participated in an NEH Summer Seminar, Institute, or Landmarks Workshop, or who significantly contribute to the diversity of the seminar or institute.

For further eligibility, please refer to the NEH eligibility criteria for NEH Summer Seminars and Institutes for College and University Teachers. If you have questions about your eligibility, please email us.

Application checklist

Please read through the NEH Application Information and Instructions carefully before applying.Note that you may apply to up to two projects (NEH Summer Seminars or NEH Summer Institutes) per year, but may participate in only one.

For this seminar, we are using an electronic application facility that will allow you to submit a copy of your application cover sheet, your resume, and other supporting documents directly to us via the web form. Documents are accepted in .PDF (preferred) and MS Word formats. Please be sure you have all of your materials, including the NEH cover sheet, ready for submission before you begin our application form; you CANNOT save and return to the form later.

A complete application consists of the following items, submitted via our web form:

  • the completed application cover sheet (submitted to the NEH via the web form; you will also need to submit an electronic copy to the seminar directors; you can save your NEH cover sheet in electronic form by printing it as a .PDF or scanning a printed version);
  • a detailed resume, curriculum vitae, or brief biography;
  • contact information for two professional references; and
  • an application essay of no more than four double-spaced pages as outlined below.

Note: The application cover sheet can be found on the NEH website can be found at the NEH website. Note that filling out a cover sheet is not the same as applying. Once you have filled out your cover sheet, save it as a .PDF or print out a copy and scan it. You will need to submit an electronic copy of this cover sheet as part of your application to the project director.

If you are unable to submit your application materials via our web form, you may instead fax your application to the Seminars at Calvin Office. Please make sure to direct it to Dr. Daniel H. Bays, NEH Summer Seminar 2015. The fax number is: 616-526-6682.

The application essay

The most important part of the application is the essay of no more than four double-spaced pages. This essay should include any relevant personal and academic information. It should address your reasons for applying to the seminar; your interests, both academic and personal, in the subject to be studied; your qualifications and experiences that equip you to do the work of the seminar and make a contribution to it; what you hope to accomplish by participating; and the relation of the project to your professional responsibilities, e.g. teaching. You shouold be sure to discuss any independent study project that is proposed beyond the common work of the seminar.


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Disclaimer: Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this program do not necessarily reflect those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.