Higher Education

Higher Education

Responsive Grants

The Higher Education Program welcomes excellent, innovative proposals from colleges and universities and the organizations that support them. The program encourages inquiries from institutions that are less well-resourced and/or that serve disadvantaged or marginalized communities.

Higher education program grants have several characteristics:

  • They support projects in the humanities and qualitative social sciences. (There is one exception: projects that seek to support women or to increase the number of women in certain STEM fields are also eligible.)
  • They support projects aimed at faculty and doctoral students; in general, projects aimed primarily at undergraduates will not be supported.
  • They support team-based projects or institutional initiatives rather than purely individual research projects; such projects or initiatives will seek to have broader impact—on a field or on the sector.
  • The projects they support will not only produce new knowledge but will also model new approaches to the production, dissemination and application of knowledge.

Grants awarded to colleges and universities through the Higher Education Program should focus on at least one of the particular strategies described below:

  • Encouraging new approaches to the dissemination of research outside of the academy—including to the general public or to particular communities of interest, like policymakers or practitioners
  • Facilitating collaboration, dialogue, or another kind of exchange or partnership between scholars and practitioners or policymakers
  • Facilitating and nurturing trans-disciplinary and trans-national research and training, especially across institutional boundaries and barriers of various kinds
  • Supporting innovation in doctoral education, especially in ways that empower graduate students and equip them to thrive personally and professionally in the more challenging contemporary context
  • Supporting women in the professoriate and administration, especially in the physical sciences, engineering, and mathematics
  • Supporting dialogue and collaboration between US and non-US institutions about higher education goals and strategies


The Program does not make grants in support of:

  • Capital projects
  • Endowments
  • General operating support
  • Faculty lines (though a grant may pay a portion of faculty salary attributable to a project)
  • Undergraduate financial aid
  • Undergraduate curricular development
  • Professional education or training

Letters of inquiry can be submitted at any time through our online portal. Should you have questions in advance of completing the Letter of Inquiry, you may e-mail them to Mr. Sean Buffington, Program Director for Higher Education at buffington@hluce.org.

Start the Application Process

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