Road Scholars Program FAQs

Who may apply for a Road Scholar Program?

Any non-profit, adult organization planning a public program is eligible to apply. All applications are subject to approval and availability of funds. Please note: Incomplete applications will not be reviewed. 

When should I apply?

Applications to host a Road Scholar speaker must be received by the North Carolina Humanities Council at least 60 days prior to the requested date. 

Please note: The application you submit to the Council is a funding request ONLY. You must connect with your selected scholar prior to applying to select a date and time for the intended event. Scholar contact information is listed in the catalog.

How do I apply for a Road Scholars speaker?

A complete list of all Road Scholar speakers and topics can be found in our online catalog. Once you have located a speaker you would be interested in hosting please contact the speaker to check their availability using the information listed in the catalog.

Once you have selected a speaker and available date, please complete and submit the online application at least 60 days prior to your intended event date. 

Incomplete applications will not be reviewed. Submission of an application does not guarantee approval.

The Online Application is new to me, where can I find resources?

The Council is excited to offer a new online application and has prepared many resources to make the new process simple and easy.

  • You can review common FAQs here.
  • We have also prepared a full set of instructions to walk you through the application process and we also have a video tutorial of our new system.

Still have questions? Please reach out to Caitlin Patton at or call her at (704) 687-1521

What does my organization contribute?

The North Carolina Humanities Council provides a $350.00 honorarium for scholars which includes travel up to 175 miles. The North Carolina Humanities Council requires a 1:1 match of all funds awarded. This means that the hosting organization must match the $350.00 honorarium of Council funds through cash or in-kind support for the program. 

  • Example of an in-kind match: An organization makes an in-kind match when providing facility space, materials or equipment, and administrative or volunteer time planning the program.
  • Example of a cash match: An organization makes a cash match when paying for publicity, printing, refreshments, and any scholar travel, meals or lodging. 

**The Council strongly recommends that host sites confirm any additional travel costs with the scholar prior to applying for funding from the Council. If a scholar requires additional travel assistance it will be noted in the catalog.**

How many speakers may I apply for each year?

You may apply for three speakers in one fiscal year. The North Carolina Humanities Council’s fiscal year is November 1 through October 31. You may want to consider developing a thematic series of three presentations for your group. If you would like assistance in your planning, please call at (704) 687-1521.

When should I expect to learn the decision on my application?

Applications typically take two weeks to review and process. 

How much time should I allow for a presentation?

You should allow 45 minutes to 1 hour for each presentation and 15-30 minutes for a question-and-answer period and open discussion.

What should be my estimated attendance for the program?

The North Carolina Humanities Council expects applicants to recruit an audience of no fewer than 25 people. We recommend partnering with other community organizations to co-host a Road Scholar presentation in order to attract the greatest local participation.


Program Sponsor Responsibilities and Restrictions

  • Submit an application at least 60 days in advance of your desired date.
  • Provide scholar travel assistance if requested.
  • Provide a 1:1 match of Council funds.
  • Complete and return all required forms.
  • Offer Road Scholar programs as free of charge, non-discriminatory, and open and accessible to the public.
  • Present programs to an adult audience.
  • Ensure that any donations made at the program are sent directly to the North Carolina Humanities Council.

What are my responsibilities after the program has been approved?

Once an application has been approved, hosting organizations will receive a packet containing: an Award Letter; a Scholar’s Confirmation Form; a PR requirments sheet and Project Director's Concluding Reports. 

  • The Award Letter must be signed and returned to the North Carolina Humanities Council within one week of your receiving it.
  • The Scholar’s Confirmation Form is to be completed by the sponsor and sent immediately to the Scholar. Note: A program is not confirmed until the sponsor returns the signed Award Letter to the Humanities Council and sends the Scholar’s Confirmation Form to the speaker. This form should confirm all travel arrangements and expenses.
  • The Project Director's Concluding Reports and Audience Survey will be provided for the Project Director. These forms must be completed and returned to the North Carolina Humanities Council within one week of the completed program.
  • Generate widespread publicity that welcomes the public to attend the program and assures you of an audience of at least 25 people. Please credit the North Carolina Humanities Council in all publicity, using the following language: "This presentation is made possible through funding from the North Carolina Humanities Council. The North Carolina Humanities Council is a nonprofit foundation and a state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities."
  • Send copies of all publicity materials generated for the program (flyers, newspaper articles, etc.) to the North Carolina Humanities Council along with the other required forms.
  • Contact the scholar again shortly before the program will take place to reconfirm plans.
  • Provide the necessary equipment required by the speaker, making certain that it is set up and tested before the speaker arrives.
  • Notify the North Carolina Humanities Council as soon as possible if there are any changes in the scheduled program such as a date change or cancellation.

Please note, the Cost Share/In-Kind section of the Concluding Reports is extremely important to complete correctly as we are recipients of federal funding. This form estimates the value of time (paid or volunteer), services, space and materials your organization provides in order to host a presentation. If you have questions regarding the completion of this form please contact Caitlin Patton at