The American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) invites research applications from scholars in all disciplines of the humanities and interpretive social sciences. Given the disproportionate effect the current economic downturn has had on emerging, independent, and untenured scholars, ACLS will continue in the 2023-24 competition year to offer these fellowships solely to untenured scholars who have earned the PhD within eight years of the application deadline. ACLS welcomes applications from scholars without faculty appointments and scholars off the tenure track.
In 2023-24, the program will award up to 60 fellowships. ACLS invites applications from scholars pursuing research on topics grounded in any time period, world region, or humanistic methodology. ACLS aims to select fellows who are broadly representative of the variety of humanistic scholarship across all fields of study. We also believe that diversity enhances scholarship and seek to recognize academic excellence from all sectors of higher education and beyond. In ACLS’s peer review, funding packages, and engagement with fellows, we aspire to enact our values of equity and inclusion.
The ultimate goal of the project should be a major piece of scholarly work by the applicant, which can take the form of a monograph, articles, digital publication(s), critical edition, or other scholarly resources. This program does not fund works of fiction (e.g., novels or films), textbooks, straightforward translation, or pedagogical projects.
ACLS Fellowships are intended to help scholars devote six to twelve continuous months to full-time research and writing. The awards are portable and are tenable at any appropriate site for research. An ACLS Fellowship may be held concurrently with other fellowships and grants and sabbatical pay. For fellows with tenure-track academic appointments, the total amount of support, including the ACLS Fellowship, may not exceed the candidate’s 2024 academic year salary. Fellows without tenure-track academic contracts may teach up to one course per semester (if desired), or perform the equivalent of one course per semester in administrative work, during the fellowship term. Tenure of the fellowship may begin no earlier than July 1, 2024 and no later than July 1, 2025. The fellowship term must conclude no later than December 31, 2025.
In addition to these awards, the program offers ACLS Project Development Grants that support projects from faculty at teaching-intensive institutions such as HBCUs, regional comprehensives, and community colleges. Applicants from these institutions who are not selected for fellowships but present particularly promising proposals may be awarded a grant of $5,000 to help advance their projects. Project Development Grants do not require a separate application.
- be US citizens, permanent residents, Indigenous individuals residing in the United States through rights associated with the Jay Treaty of 1794, DACA recipients, asylees, refugees, or individuals granted Temporary Protected Status in the United States. In addition, foreign nationals who have been living in the United States or US territories for three or more years before the application deadline are also eligible, provided that they do not establish permanent residence outside the United States during the period of the fellowship.
- have a PhD officially conferred between September 29, 2015 and September 28, 2023.
- not hold a tenured faculty position.
ACLS/New York Public Library Fellowships
ACLS may award residential fellowships per year in conjunction with The New York Public Library’s Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers. The Center provides opportunities for up to 15 fellows to explore the rich, diverse collections in the NYPL’s Stephen A. Schwarzman Building. The Center also serves as a forum for the exchange of ideas among fellows, invited guests, the wider academic and cultural communities, and the interested public. It provides individual office space and common areas in the Library building. Fellows are required to be in residence from the beginning of September 2023 through the end of May 2024 and to participate in Center activities. These may include lunches, panel discussions, public conversations, symposia, and interviews.
Because this is a joint fellowship, applicants for ACLS/NYPL residential fellowships must also apply to the Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers at the NYPL. The deadline for application is September 29, 2023.