Applied History Course Development Program

The Stanton Foundation has created a program to provide grants of up to $50,000 for tenured and tenure-track faculty to develop new Applied History courses for undergraduates or first-year graduate students. The Foundation hopes to fund development of at least 10 courses to be taught in the 2020 - 2021 academic year.

In line with its mission to ‘develop a more informed citizenry’, the Foundation’s focus in Applied History is narrower than the typical “big tent” definition of Applied History as the examination of recent or current-day issues through an analysis of historical precedents or parallel. The Foundation’s focus is on the development of undergraduate courses which prepare students for their role as citizens. The Foundation wishes to promote Applied History courses that examine U.S. public policy issues that students will confront throughout their lifetimes. It believes that a familiarity with the historical record on such major issues will help prepare students for their role as citizen and lead them to be more informed consumers of news and more responsible decision makers.


To be eligible for a grant, a proposed course must meet two tests:

  • The issues to be examined by the course must be current U.S. policy issues or issues which relate to U.S. vital interests. These issues must be likely to endure through students' lifetimes, whether they be international or domestic.
  • In the initial rounds of grants, the course must examine numerous periods in U.S. history (for more details, please refer to FAQs). Thus a course on immigration, which explored U.S. policies toward immigration since 1776 would be eligible. A course on World War I, in which the final week of the syllabus was entitled “Lessons for the Present,” would not be.

Additional requirements

Applicants must be tenured or tenure-track faculty members. They must have received excellent ratings as a teacher in reasonably large courses (40 students minimum). The purpose of this initiative is to create a more broadly informed public, so preference is given to faculty at large institutions or those who anticipate substantial enrollments. A proposal to create a small graduate seminar, for example, cannot receive support under this program.


Grants will provide up to $50,000 in total to cover released faculty time, research assistance, materials, and other typical course preparation costs. Overhead costs charges by all levels (university division, department) may not exceed 10%.


This program is now accepting applications for courses that will be taught during the 2020-21 academic year.