Selection Criteria and Application Essay
A selection committee reads and evaluates all properly completed applications in order to select the most promising applicants and to identify a number of alternates. Institute selection committees typically consist of the the institute director and guest faculty members. They will read and evaluate all completed applications. The most important consideration in the selection of participants is the likelihood that an applicant will benefit professionally and personally. Committee members consider several factors, each of which should be addressed in he application essay. We see a variety of backgrounds, knowledge, and experiences as an asset for the program. The selection committee will weigh:

  1. Effectiveness and commitment as a teacher/educator.
  2. Intellectual interests, in general and as they relate to the work of the project.
  3. Ability to bring institute content into the classroom and the likelihood that the experience will enhance the applicant’s teaching.
  4. Special perspectives, skills, or experiences that would contribute to the collegial mission of the institute.
  5. Commitment to participate fully in the formal and informal collegial life of the project.
  6. Goals for what the applicant hopes to gain from the program, as well as interest and experience in bringing history into other disciplines, or other disciplines into history.

Application Essay

The most important part of the application is the essay of no more than four double-spaced pages. Applicants may wish to consider the selection criteria above when drafting their essay.

This essay should include:

  1. Your reasons for applying to the specific project.
  2. Your relevant personal and academic information.
  3. Your qualifications to do the work of the project and make a contribution to it.
  4. What you hope to accomplish by attending the institute.
  5. The relation of the study to your teaching.

The application essay should also disclose any prior academic training or professional development the applicant has experienced under the leadership of project director, William Watson. Please explain the nature of the program as well as the program’s academic content. The selection committee will prioritize placement of candidates with no or little prior exposure to Duffy's Cut: Investigation Immigration, Industrialization, and Illness in 19th Century America.

Recent participants in NEH Seminars and Institutes are eligible to apply, but project selection committees are directed to give first consideration to applicants who have not participated in an NEH-supported Seminar, Institute, or Landmarks Workshop in the last three years (2013, 2014, or 2015).


NEHImmaculata UniversityDuffy's CutPenn Museum

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

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