Government grants for individuals can be hard to come by, but they do exist. A variety of government agencies, including the U.S. Department of Education, the National Endowment for the Humanities and the National Endowment for the Arts, offer grants to individuals. The competition for individual grants can be stiff, as many are awarded in the form of fellowships to teachers, researchers or artists who do exceptional work. Grants for education are more widely available.
The National Endowment for the Humanities offers Teaching Fellowship grants. U.S. citizens who teach at accredited American two- or four-year colleges or universities are eligible to apply. Fellowships award up to $4,200 a month for up to five months. Funds must be used to improve undergraduate teaching in the humanities. Grant recipients can use the funds to study humanities texts and resources, improve comprehensive learning in the field or increase language skills. National Endowment for the Humanities Division of Research, Room 318 1100 Pennsylvania Ave. NW Washington, DC 20506 202-606-8200 neh.gov
Federal Pell Grant
The U.S. Department of Education offers grants to individuals through the Federal Pell Grant Program. Grants are awarded to low-income, undergraduate students at over 5,400 institutions of higher learning. Grant awards are determined by students’ financial need. Eligible students must be enrolled or accepted for enrollment in a participating college, university or vocational school. U.S. Department of Education 400 Maryland Ave. SW Washington, DC 20202 800-433-3243 ed.gov
The National Endowment for the Arts offers Literature Fellowships to individuals. To be eligible, grant applicants must be published creative writers or translators. Successful applicants must possess “exceptional talent in the areas of prose and poetry,” according to the grant guidelines. Creative writing fellowship grants offer up to $25,000 in funding. Funds can be used for travel, writing, research and career advancing activities. Translation project grants provide from $12,500 to $25,000. Funds must be used to translate foreign-language works into English. National Endowment for the Arts 1100 Pennsylvania Ave. NW Washington, DC 20506 202-682-5400 nea.gov
Agriculture and Food Research Initiative Fellowship
The United States Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture offers grants to individuals through the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative Fellowship program. Pre- and post-doctoral students studying agricultural sciences are eligible to apply. The goal of the grant is “increasing the number of scientists with new combinations of creative and innovative interdisciplinary training who are actively engaged in agriculture, forestry, and food related research, education, and extension,” according to the grant’s guidelines. Grantee research must focus on specific topics including food safety, ending childhood obesity, renewable biofuels or agricultural climate adaptation. Pre-doctoral grants range up to $75,000 and post-doctoral grants up to $130,000 over a two-year funding period. United States Department of Agriculture National Institute of Food and Agriculture 1400 Independence Avenue SW, Stop 2201 Washington, DC 20250 202-401-5022 nifa.usda.gov