National Historical Publications & Records Commission

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FY 2017 Grant Announcement (Initial):

State Board Programming Grants

The National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) of the National Archives supports projects that promote the preservation and use of America's documentary heritage essential to understanding our democracy, history, and culture.

The following grant application information is for State Board Programming Grants.

Funding Opportunity Number: STATE-201606

Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number: 89.003

  • Draft Deadline (optional):   April 4, 2016
  • Final Deadline:   June 15, 2016

NHPRC support begins no earlier than January 1, 2017.

The deadline for this opportunity has passed. These guidelines may be used for reference, but should NOT be used to prepare an application.

Grant Program Description

The National Historical Publications and Records Commission seeks proposals that strengthen the nation’s archival network through activities undertaken by state historical records advisory boards (SHRABs). The purpose of this grant program is to assist state boards to enhance access to historical records, increase citizen engagement with records, and provide learning and development opportunities for students, citizens, and professional archivists. The Commission will award grants to State Historical Records Advisory Boards to:

  • Provide educational and outreach programs, workshops, and other activities that enhance citizen and student engagement with historical records
  • Operate state-based regrant and scholarship programs that advance access to historical records
  • Collaborate on projects with other organizations to address common problems or shared opportunities within a state or among a consortium of state archives
  • Hold or participate in meetings and public forums on statewide or national archival issues.

For a comprehensive list of Commission limitations on funding, please see "What we do and do not fund". Applications that consist entirely of ineligible activities will not be considered.

Award Information

A grant is for one year and up to $40,000, or for two years and up to $80,000.

The NHPRC expects to award approximately 25 grants in this program. The total amount allocated for this program is up to $650,000. Grants begin no earlier than January 1, 2017.

The Commission requires that grant recipients acknowledge NHPRC grant assistance in all publications and other products that result from its support.


These grants are awarded only to SHRABs in each state, or to the state agency responsible for the SHRAB, ordinarily the state archives. Another state agency, or a non-profit organization, such as a foundation or university, acting on behalf of the designated state agency may apply. "States" also include the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and United States territories.

Cost Sharing

The total costs of a project are shared between the NHPRC and the applicant organization.

The Commission provides no more than 75 per cent of total direct project costs in the State Board Programming Grants category. NHPRC grant recipients are not permitted to use grant funds for indirect costs (as indicated in 2 CFR 2600.101).

Cost sharing is required. The applicant’s financial contribution may include both direct and indirect expenses, in-kind contributions, non-Federal third-party contributions, and any income earned directly by the project. Indirect costs must be listed under the applicant’s cost sharing contribution.

Other Requirements

Applicant organizations must be registered in System for Award Management (SAM) prior to submitting an application, maintain SAM registration throughout the application and award process, and include a valid DUNS number in their application. Details on SAM registration and requesting a DUNS number can be found at the System for Award Management website at Please refer to the User Guides section and the Grants Registrations PDF.

A complete application includes the Application for Federal Assistance (Standard Form 424), Assurances - Non-Construction Programs (Standard Form 424B), a Project Narrative, Summary, Supplementary Materials, and Budget.

Ineligible applications will not be reviewed.

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Application and Submission Information

All information necessary to apply is included in this announcement. If you need the information supplied in an alternative format, please call the NHPRC at 202-357-5010.

Applicants should follow the instructions on how to fill out the online forms and apply electronically using the Application Instructions.

The NHPRC requires that grant applications be submitted via In the event that is experiencing technical difficulties that prevent submission, applicants must first attempt to resolve the issue with the Contact Center (800-518-4726). If cannot solve the problem, applicants may request an alternative. To make use of the NHPRC backup system, applicants must contact Jeff De La Concepcion (202-357-5022) no later than 3:00 Eastern Time on the day of the deadline with their valid Contact Center trouble-ticket number.

In order to ensure eligibility, applicants should first review the rules and regulations governing NHPRC grants under the Administering an NHPRC Grant section.

Applicants are encouraged to submit drafts by April 4, 2016, but drafts are not required. The drafts should be sent by email to Daniel Stokes, Director of the States Program, ( and should include a draft narrative and budget.

Project Narrative

The Project Narrative is a description of the proposal. It should be no more than 20 double-spaced pages in 12-pt type with standard margins.

The Commission will focus its support on state board activities that will result in enhanced online access to records, increased public understanding and use of archives, or collaborative approaches to statewide services or problem solving among multiple repositories or parties. The Commission may fund a variety of board activities that result in these outcomes. Active state boards that submit less-competitive applications may be awarded grants that provide funding for a minimal level of programming so that they may continue to function at a basic level.

The NHPRC suggests the following activities as illustrative of the state board work that it will support:

•  Increase Digital literacy and citizen engagement with archives

Potential activities include:

  1. Working with National History Day or other organizations to provide workshops for teachers and/or students on the use of archival documents in the classroom and for National History Day projects.
  2. Providing programs and resources that allow individuals and families to properly care for their personal digital archives and make appropriate records available online.
  3. Developing training opportunities and online resources to assist those responsible for historical records with efforts to promote digital literacy.
  4. Sponsoring Archives Month programming for citizens and students that help them identify and utilize archival material.

•  Improve Online Access to state and local government records

Potential activities include:

  1. Developing technical assistance programs aimed at helping county and municipal governments preserve and provide online access to their records.
  2. Sponsoring state-wide summits and forums to share best practices and coordinate activities related to digital government.
  3. Providing scholarships and travel stipends so that those responsible for ensuring access to historical records can attend training events that share standards and best practices.

•  Expand online publishing of historical records

Potential activities include:

  1. Sponsoring internships, traveling/student archivists, and similar programs to assist repositories with processing their records, creating online descriptive information, and providing online access to important archival records.
  2. Offering regrants that assist repositories with their efforts to increase online access to descriptive information and digital collections.
  3. Developing state-wide programs for providing online access to the archival records of under-documented topics or communities.

The Commission also encourages state boards to work collaboratively to address a particular records issue. Proposals including collaborative activities must include detailed plans for sharing the results with other state boards. Those proposing collaborative projects are strongly encouraged to contact the NHPRC staff as soon as possible.

Please organize your narrative in these sections:

  1. Overview: Describe the scope of the board’s proposed project, providing sufficient details about each activity to give a clear picture of the project's purposes and goals. Provide a detailed justification for each activity. The Commission will only fund those activities that clearly demonstrate that the activities will enhance online access to historical records, increase citizen engagement with records, and/or provide learning and development opportunities for students, citizens and professional archivists.

    Grant funds may be requested to fund a portion of the administrative expenses necessary for planning and carrying out these activities. These expenses may include board meeting travel or teleconference costs, personnel to administer programming, CoSA dues or travel to a meeting of a national archival organization, and similar expenses. These expenses must not exceed 25% of the total amount requested and must be strongly justified and explained in detail.

    Summarize the activities that have taken place during any current and/or recently completed NHPRC grants and state whether these activities were successfully completed.

  2. Plan of Work: Provide evidence of preliminary planning. Outline each stage of the plan of work and clarify complex work plans with a time chart identifying anticipated activities. Please include in your supplementary materials a summary of the State Board's plan and the progress made on its objectives. Boards should update their plans on a regular basis, based on the records needs of the state and the Commission’s priorities. What are the particular objectives that will be addressed? What board members and others will do the work? How will they proceed?

    If your project includes statewide services, show how you will enhance public access and citizen engagement with records in your state.

    If your project includes regrants, address how you will meet grants management requirements including the mechanics of awarding funding, monitoring progress of subgrantees through oversight and reports, providing assistance during regrants, receiving and evaluating final reports, and assuring necessary audits. If you provide scholarships, describe the purpose and number of awards you intend to make, as well as how the scholarship applications will be evaluated.

    If your project includes collaborative efforts with other organizations, show what problems and opportunities you are trying to address within a state and how your collaboration enhances public access and citizen engagement with records in your state.

  3. Project Publicity and Products: Describe how you will disseminate the results of the activities and the products you plan to produce such as brochures, websites, training materials, etc., or in the case of regrants or scholarships, the number and kind of awards you expect to make.

  4. Qualifications of Staff: Provide a narrative explanation of the skills and qualifications of the staff named in the project budget. Emphasize those factors that will ensure the success of the project. In your supplementary materials, provide resumes of not more than two pages per person for all staff named in the project budget and job descriptions for people to be hired.

  5. Performance Objectives: List six to eight quantifiable objectives that will allow you and the Commission to evaluate the project as you submit interim and final reports. For example, the number of regrants to be awarded, the work that regrant recipients will accomplish, and the audiences to be served through training events.

Project Summary

The Project Summary should be no more than three double-spaced pages in 12-pt type with standard margins, and it must include these sections:

  • Purposes and Goals of theProject
  • Plan of Work for the Grant Period
  • Products and Publications to be completed during the Grant Period
  • Names, Titles, Institutions, Phone Numbers, and E-Mail Addresses of the Project Director and Key Personnel

    Please ensure that the project director listed on this summary is also the contact person listed in Section 8 (f), of the SF 424. If your institution requires a different contact person, please explain in one sentence.

  • Performance Objectives

Supplementary Materials

Submit no more than 20 pages of Supplementary Materials to your Narrative, such as:

  • A summary of the board's plan
  • The board roster
  • Résumés of named staff members (no more than 2 pages each)
  • A project timeline
  • Statements of commitment by any potential partners

Project Budget

You must submit a budget on the NHPRC Budget Form available on the Application Instructions page. Note that the form itself contains additional instructions. You may include with your application a narrative budget supplement for budget categories that require further detail. Provide specific budget figures, rounding to the nearest dollar.

Applicants will be asked to compute the project costs to be charged to NHPRC Federal grant funds as well as those that will be supported by the applicant. The applicant's cost sharing includes both direct and indirect expenses, in-kind contributions, non-Federal third-party contributions, and any income earned directly by the project. All of the items listed, whether supported by grant funds or your cost-sharing contributions, must be reasonable and necessary to accomplish project objectives, allowable in terms of the applicable federal cost principles, auditable, and incurred during the grant period. Applicants should review the appropriate Office of Management and Budget circulars on cost principles.

If the project expects program income, it should be allocated among specific budget categories on the cost-sharing column of the project budget. The total amount of expected program income should be reported on page 13 of the NHPRC budget form under "Project Funding for Entire Grant Period." The same amount should appear on the Application for Federal Assistance, SF424, item 18f. Please use the narrative budget supplement to explain the calculation of the expected income and its allocation.

Charges to the project for items such as salaries, fringe benefits, travel, and contractual services must conform to the written policies and established practices of the applicant organization. In addition, successful applicants will be required to certify that they have adequate accounting and timekeeping procedures to meet the Federal requirements.

Budget Categories

In preparing the budget, please follow the suggestions below in each of the categories. You may also use a supplemental budget narrative to give further details, for example, on the specifications of employee's duties or equipment, the requirements and costs of consultants, or the need for travel funds:

Salaries:   List each staff position and the full salary to be charged to the project and show the percentage of time each staff member will devote to the project. Indicate which positions are to be filled for the proposed project and which personnel are already on the staff of the applicant institution. Grant funds may be used to pay the salaries of only those individuals actually working on the project. You may count the time provided to the project by advisory board members.

Fringe Benefits:   If you use a daily rate or honoraria, no separate benefits should be included.

Consultant Fees:   Include payments for consultant services and honoraria. Include consultant travel expenses in the "Travel" category.

Travel:   Please note that the NHPRC does not fund staff travel to professional meetings unless the travel is essential to accomplish the goals of the project.

Supplies and Materials:   Justify the cost of specialized materials and supplies in a supplemental budget narrative.

Services:   Include the cost of duplication and printing, long-distance telephone, equipment leasing, postage, contracts with third parties, and other services that you are not including under other budget categories or as indirect-cost expenses.

Other Costs:   Include costs for necessary equipment above $5,000, stipends for participants in projects, and other items not included in previous grant categories. The NHPRC does not provide grant funds for the acquisition of routine equipment such as office furnishings and file cabinets, but we may allow for the purchase of archival equipment, such as shelving units, and technical equipment, such as computers and peripherals, essential for a project. Include technical specifications for equipment over $5,000 in a supplemental budget narrative.

Indirect costs:   As indicated in 2 CFR 2600.101, NHPRC grant recipients are not permitted to use grant funds for indirect costs; however, a grant recipient may use indirect costs for cost sharing.

Submission Dates and Times

  • Draft (optional) Deadline: April 4, 2016
  • Final Deadline: June 15, 2016

Applications must be submitted electronically by midnight Eastern Time on June 15, 2016.

NHPRC support begins no earlier than January 1, 2017.

Deadline Policy: Given that technical or administrative difficulties with may periodically delay the timely submission or receipt of applications, the Commission staff will make provisions for the receipt of such applications past the established deadline. Under these circumstances, applicants with technical or administrative issues related to must contact Jeff de la Concepcion (jeff.delaconcepcion@nara.go) or 202-357-5022 as soon as possible, but no later than by 3:00 p.m. Eastern Time on the published application deadline. Applications that fail to meet deadlines for reasons other than those noted will not be considered for funding.

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Application Review Information

The NHPRC staff will acknowledge receipt of the application soon after we receive it. The following evaluation criteria and weights will be used by NHPRC staff and other reviewers to form recommendations:

  1. The ability of the project to assist in meeting the need for archival preservation, training, education, and access in a state or among states. (40 percent)
  2. The likelihood that the project's activities will increase public access to and use of the nation's historical documents held in a state or among states. (30 percent)
  3. The ability to complete the project's objectives based on the qualifications of the staff, the inclusion of appropriate work plans including professional development, and the reasonableness of the budget (including cost share). (15 percent)
  4. Effectiveness of the dissemination plans for the project's results. (15 percent)

Review Process

After submitting a proposal, do not discuss the pending application to the NHPRC with any Member of the Commission. Commission members must ensure fair and equitable treatment of all applications and do not discuss proposals with individual applicants.

Your proposal will be reviewed by:

  1. Peer Reviewers
    We will ask a panel of six subject-area experts to evaluate all of the proposals that we receive.
  2. Commission Staff
    Approximately 3 months after the submission deadline, we will send to the Project Director anonymous copies of reviewers' comments along with specific questions from the Commission staff. Applicants have an opportunity to answer the reviewers and Commission staff’s questions and comments.
  3. The Commission
    After reviewing proposals, reviewers’ comments, the applicant’s response, and evaluations by the Commission staff, the Commission members deliberate and make funding recommendations to the Archivist of the United States, who has final statutory authority and selects award recipients. Throughout this process, all members of the Commission and its staff follow conflict-of-interest rules to assure fair and equal treatment of every application.

Award Administration Information


Grants are contingent upon available appropriated funds. In some cases, the Commission will adjust grant amounts depending upon the number of recommended proposals, priorities, and total budget. The Commission may recommend that the Archivist approve the proposal and extend an offer of a grant with applicable terms and conditions, or it may recommend rejection of the proposal. Grant applicants will be notified within 2 weeks after the Archivist’s decision.

Successful applicants will receive an informal offer of award and be required to verify their acceptance of general terms and condition, and complete a statement on their Financial Capability and Accounting Systems. Once these are received and reviewed, the NHPRC will issue an official award notice.

Administrative Requirements

In order to ensure that you can manage a grant, applicants should review the Federal grant administration rules and regulations governing grants from the NHPRC listed in the Administering an NHPRC Grant section.


In most cases, award recipients will report on their performance in narrative reports every six months and submit financial reports once a year.

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Agency Contact

Before beginning the process, applicants are encouraged to contact Daniel Stokes, Director for the States Program, (202) 357-5487 or, at the NHPRC who may:

  • Advise the applicant about the review process;
  • Answer questions about what activities are eligible for support;
  • Supply samples of successful applications;
  • Read and comment on a preliminary draft. Applicants should submit a draft at least 2 months before the deadline.

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Grant Administration

For more information on how to comply with Federal regulations, see our Administering a Grant section.

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