Challenge Programs: Infrastructure and Capacity Building Challenge Grants

Period of Performance

5/1/2020 - 4/30/2027

Funding Totals (matching)

$500,000.00 (approved)
$500,000.00 (offered)
$469,843.00 (awarded)

Humanities Commons

FAIN: CHA-268776-20

Michigan State University (East Lansing, MI 48824-3407)
Kathleen Fitzpatrick (Project Director: May 2019 to present)

Implementation of a sustainability plan for the digital network “Humanities Commons” by enhancing the applicant’s technical and administrative capacity to host the network and ensure its continuity. 

Humanities Commons, launched in December 2016, is a trusted, not-for-profit network on which more than 17,000 humanities scholars post professional profiles, discuss their common interests, develop new publications, and share their work with the world. Humanities Commons is implementing a sustainability plan that includes transitioning the network’s hosting and fiscal sponsorship to Michigan State University, offering new institutional memberships to colleges and universities, and expanding its organizational member base. Our application for a Challenge Grant seeks to support that transition by adding (1) a lead developer and (2) a membership manager to the team at MSU, allowing both the platform and its community of support to scale in ways that facilitate the network’s long-term sustainability.

Media Coverage

NEH Grant Supports Humanities Commons (Media Coverage)
Author(s): CAL Marketing and Communications
Publication: College of Arts & Letters News
Date: 1/16/2020
Abstract: An announcement of the NEH Infrastructure and Capacity Building Challenge Grant.

Associated Products

Sustaining the Commons (Web Resource)
Title: Sustaining the Commons
Author: Humanities Commons
Abstract: Sustaining the Commons is designed to make the processes of building and supporting Humanities Commons as transparent as possible. On this site, we detail our governance processes, our financial progress, our technical plans, our community growth, and our operating policies.
Year: 2022
Primary URL:
Primary URL Description: Sustaining the Commons

Building the Commons (Web Resource)
Title: Building the Commons
Author: Michael Thicke
Abstract: Working to improve the Commons of today and build the Commons of tomorrow.
Year: 2022
Primary URL:
Primary URL Description: Building the Commons describes the work being done to design and build out the next-generation Commons as well as to maintain the existing infrastructure. (Web Resource)
Author: Humanities Commons team
Abstract: is a Mastodon instance hosted by the Commons team, designed to provide a community-governed social media space for scholars and practitioners whose interests align with the Commons
Year: 2022
Primary URL:
Primary URL Description: