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Nebraska State Historical Society
2016 Research Grants
Call for Applications

In May 2016 the Nebraska State Historical Society will award up to three research grants of $1,000 each to support the work of scholars pursuing original research and interpretive writing on some aspect of history or archeology of Nebraska or the Great Plains. Applications must be postmarked or emailed no later than April 1, 2016. Projects must be completed by April 1, 2017.

Applicants from any background, including academic and public historians, graduate students, and independent researchers and writers, are welcome to apply. Preference will be given to applicants proposing to pursue previously neglected topics, or new approaches to and interpretations of previously treated topics. If more than one grant is awarded preference for one will be given to current graduate students, young scholars, or non-academic scholars whose work is not otherwise subsidized.

Grant recipients are expected to spend at least one week during the grant period in residence in Lincoln working with materials from the Nebraska State Historical Society collections. The grants are intended to support research that will lead to submission of a manuscript for possible publication in the NSHS quarterly journal, Nebraska History, or another appropriate venue, by April 1, 2017. Manuscripts should not exceed 7,500 words, and should conform to the Nebraska History Author Guidelines.

Project Criteria

  1. Suitability for meaningful research in the NSHS library, archives, historic preservation files, museum, or archeological collections.
  2. Potential to make a significant contribution to historical scholarship on a Nebraska-related topic.
  3. Potential to produce a manuscript suitable for publication in Nebraska History or a similar publication.
  4. Applicant's academic training, professional experience, publication record, or other experience suggesting that the research and the resulting article will meet the highest professional standards.

Application Guidelines

Recipients of NSHS research grants in 2015 are not eligible to re-apply in the 2016 grant cycle, but will be welcome to apply again in 2017. NSHS employees and current board members are not eligible to apply.

Proposals for the 2016 research grant program must be emailed or postmarked by April 1, 2016. Grant recipients will be notified in May 2016. Applications must include the following:

1. Title page containing the following information

a. Name
b. Address
c. Telephone number and e-mail address
d. Project title or working title

2. Short narrative description of the proposed project (no more than 1,000 words) addressing the following points:

a. The topic to be investigated and questions to be explored.
b. Thesis or argument.
c. Proposed sources to be examined, their availability, and their relevance to the topic.
d. Potential contribution of the research to existing historical literature.

3. If the proposed research is part if a larger project, include a brief description of entire project, the work already completed, and the additional research to be supported by the grant.

4. A current resume or vita.


Mail completed applications to:

NSHS Research Grant Program
Nebraska State Historical Society
P.O. Box 82554, 1500 R Street
Lincoln, NE 68501-2554

Or email to , Applications must be emailed or postmarked by April 1, 2016. If you have questions, call (402) 471-4748 or inquire to the above email address.

Evaluation of Proposals

Proposals will be evaluated according to the project criteria listed above.


Upon selection grant recipients will be paid $500. The balance ($500) will be paid upon submission of a manuscript. Submission of a manuscript does not guarantee publication by the Nebraska State Historical Society.


Grant recipients must acknowledge the NSHS in any publication resulting in whole or part from the grant-supported research.


Copyright in published manuscripts will belong to the Nebraska State Historical Society.

Tips for Effective Grant Proposals

A proposal with a well defined and clearly stated thesis is more likely to be funded than is one simply proposing to explore a broad, vague topic.

A project that will make significant use of Nebraska State Historical Society collections is more likely to be funded than is one for which Historical Society materials are a secondary element, or one that appears to have included research in Historical Society collections primarily to qualify for the grant.

A proposal that demonstrates an applicant's knowledge of relevant Nebraska State Historical Society sources and other scholarship in the topic is more likely to be funded than is one that simply proposes to survey the Historical Society's collections for possible sources.

A proposal that clearly reflects an understanding of our desire for an article-length manuscript is more likely to be funded than is one that proposes a book-length project or some other treatment of the topic that does not lend itself to publication in Nebraska History or a similar journal.

A proposal that focuses primarily on compiling data or collecting and preserving materials and information is unlikely to be successful.

Funding for Nebraska State Historical Society research grants is provided by the Gladys Marie Lux History Education Endowment, established in the memory of Mary Hannah Hansen Lux and Clarence Burton Lux; and the Tom and Marilyn Allan Fund. Both funds are administered by the Nebraska State Historical Society Foundation.

View a list of previously funded grants.

Return to Research Grants homepage


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Last updated 25 November 2015

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