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ACLS Fellowshipsincluding ACLS/SSRC/NEH International and Area Studies Fellowships and ACLS/New York Public Library Fellowships

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Fellowship Details

  • Maximum award:
    $70,000 for full Professor and equivalent
    $45,000 for Associate Professor and equivalent
    $35,000 for Assistant Professor and equivalent
  • Tenure: six to twelve consecutive months devoted to full-time research, to be initiated between July 1, 2015 and February 1, 2016
  • Completed applications must be submitted through the ACLS Online Fellowship Application system (ofa.acls.org) no later than 9 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time, September 24, 2014.
  • Notifications will be sent by late February 2015.


The ACLS Fellowship program invites research applications in all disciplines of the humanities and related social sciences. The ultimate goal of the project should be a major piece of scholarly work by the applicant. ACLS does not fund creative work (e.g., novels or films), textbooks, straightforward translation, or pedagogical projects.

The ACLS Fellowships are intended as salary replacement to help scholars devote six to twelve continuous months to full-time research and writing. ACLS Fellowships are portable and are tenable at the fellow's home institution, abroad, or at another appropriate site for research. (1) An ACLS Fellowship may be held concurrently with other fellowships and grants and any sabbatical pay, up to an amount equal to the candidate's current academic year salary. Tenure of the fellowship may begin no earlier than July 1, 2015 and no later than February 1, 2016.

The fellowship stipend is set at three levels based on academic rank: up to $35,000 for Assistant Professor and career equivalent; up to $45,000 for Associate Professor and career equivalent; and up to $70,000 for full Professor and career equivalent. ACLS will determine the level based on the candidate's rank or career status as of the application deadline date. Approximately 25 fellowships will be available at the Assistant Professor level, approximately 25 at the Associate Professor level, and approximately 20 at the full Professor level.

Institutions and individuals contribute to the ACLS Fellowship Program and its endowment, including The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Council's college and university Associates, and former Fellows and individual friends of the ACLS. ACLS is fortunate to have special funds available to support research in particular areas:  the Oscar Handlin Fund supports archival research in U.S. history; the Frederic Wakeman Fund aids research in modern Chinese history; and the Donald Munro Fund is dedicated to work that exhibits high quality in sinology and in critical analysis of Chinese philosophical traditions and ethical systems. 

Eligibility 

  • U.S. citizenship or permanent resident status as of the application deadline date.
  • a PhD degree conferred at least two years before the application deadline. (An established scholar who can demonstrate the equivalent of the PhD in publications and professional experience may also qualify.)
  • a lapse of at least two years between the last "supported research leave" and September 1, 2015, including any such leave to be taken or initiated during the 2014-15 academic year. Therefore, to be eligible, an individual's most recent supported research leave must have concluded prior to September 1, 2013. (Supported research leave is defined as the equivalent of one semester or more of time free from teaching or other employment to pursue scholarly research or writing supported by sabbatical pay or other institutional funding, fellowships and grants, or a combination of these. This definition applies to independent scholars as well as those with institutional affiliations.)

Application Requirements

Applications must be submitted online and must include:

  • Completed application form
  • Proposal (no more than five pages, double spaced, in Times New Roman 11-point font)
  • Up to two additional pages of images, musical scores, or other similar supporting non-text materials [optional]
  • Bibliography (no more than two pages)
  • Publications list (no more than two pages)
  • Two reference letters

Criteria Evaluation

Peer reviewers in this program are asked to evaluate all eligible proposals on the following four criteria:

  1. The potential of the project to advance the field of study in which it is proposed and make an original and significant contribution to knowledge.
  2. The quality of the proposal with regard to its methodology, scope, theoretical framework, and grounding in the relevant scholarly literature.
  3. The feasibility of the project and the likelihood that the applicant will execute the work within the proposed timeframe.
  4. The scholarly record and career trajectory of the applicant.

ACLS/SSRC/NEH International and Area Studies Fellowships

In order to encourage humanistic research in area studies, special funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities and ACLS has been set aside for ACLS/SSRC/NEH International and Area Studies Fellowships to be designated among the successful applicants to the central ACLS Fellowship competition. Scholars pursuing research and writing on the societies and cultures of Asia, Africa, the Middle East, Latin America and the Caribbean, Eastern Europe, and the former Soviet Union will be eligible for these special fellowships.

Application must be made to the ACLS Fellowship Program and all requirements and provisions of that program must be met, with the addition that an International and Area Studies Fellow must be either a U.S. citizen or a permanent resident who has lived in the United States continuously for at least three years by the application deadline. These fellows also must submit a final report to both NEH and ACLS. Designation of the ACLS/SSRC/NEH International and Area Studies Fellows will be made by ACLS.

ACLS/New York Public Library Fellowships

ACLS may give up to five 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 for Scholars and Writers provides opportunities for up to 15 Fellows to explore the rich, diverse collections in the NYPL's Stephen A. Schwarzman Building (formerly the Humanities and Social Sciences Library). 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 September 8, 2015 through May 27, 2016 and to participate in Center activities. These may include lunches, panel discussions, public conversations, symposia, and interviews. More information about The New York Public Library and its collections is available at http://www.nypl.org/research-collections.

The stipend for the NYPL residential fellowships will be $70,000. Application for an ACLS/NYPL residential fellowship has the same eligibility requirements, application form, and schedule as the ACLS Fellowship Program, with the additional proviso that these residential fellowships will be granted to scholars whose projects will benefit from research in the NYPL's Stephen A. Schwarzman Building.

Please Note: Because this is a joint fellowship, applicants for the ACLS/NYPL residential fellowships must also apply to the Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers at the NYPL. The application for the NYPL competition is available at http://www.nypl.org/csw. The deadline for application and letters of recommendation is 5 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time on September 26, 2014.

An application for an ACLS/NYPL residential fellowship may have any one of the following outcomes:

  1. a fellowship awarded solely by the Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers at the NYPL,
  2. an ACLS Fellowship awarded solely by ACLS,
  3. or an NYPL/ACLS residential fellowship awarded jointly by the two organizations.
 
 
  1. Through a partnership with the Consortium of Humanities Centers and Institutes (CHCI), an international membership organization of interdisciplinary research centers with over 200 members and affiliates in over 24 countries, ACLS fellows have the opportunity to spend all or part of their fellowship terms in residence at selected CHCI member organizations. This is an optional enhancement to the award for ACLS fellows. Back to text.