The program description below is for information purposes only. An updated description for the 2015-16 competition, including information on the new opportunities reserved for liberal arts college faculty, will be posted in July. The Online Fellowship Application (OFA) system will also open at that time.
- Amount: $75,000
- Tenure: one academic year, plus institutional support for an additional period
- Completed applications must be submitted through the ACLS Online Fellowship Application system (ofa.acls.org) no later than 9 pm Eastern Daylight Time, September 24, 2014.
- Notifications will be sent in mid-February 2015.
ACLS invites applications for the Frederick Burkhardt Residential Fellowships for Recently Tenured Scholars, owing to the generous assistance of The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The fellowships are named for the late Frederick Burkhardt, president emeritus of ACLS, whose decades of work on The Correspondence of Charles Darwin constitute a signal example of dedication to a demanding and ambitious scholarly enterprise. These fellowships support long-term, unusually ambitious projects in 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.
Burkhardt Fellowships are intended to support an academic year (nine months) of residence at any one of the 13 national residential research centers participating in the program. Such an environment, beyond providing free time, encourages exchanges across disciplinary lines that can be especially helpful to deepening and expanding the significance of projects in the humanities and related social sciences. This year's successful applicants may take up the fellowship in 2015-16 or in either of the succeeding two academic years, but candidates must commit themselves firmly to their preferred year and residential center on their completed applications. Candidates must also commit themselves to relocating as needed in order to be in residence for the entire nine-month tenure of the fellowship.
ACLS will award up to nine Burkhardt Fellowships, depending on the availability of funds, in this competition year. Each fellowship carries a stipend of $75,000.
Scholars are free to apply both for Burkhardt fellowships and for standard forms of support offered directly by all of the participating centers, as well as those offered by ACLS. Successful applicants who accept a Burkhardt fellowship will be withdrawn from any other ACLS competitions.
The Burkhardt Fellowship Program is open to recently tenured humanists—scholars who will have begun their first tenured contracts by the application deadline but began their first tenured contracts no earlier than the fall 2010 semester or quarter. An applicant must be employed in a tenured position at a degree-granting academic institution in the United States, remaining so for the duration of the fellowship. U.S. citizenship or permanent residency is not required, and previous supported research leaves do not affect eligibility for the Burkhardt Fellowship. This is a residential fellowship; scholars who are unable to commit to a nine-month residence at one of 13 participating centers should not apply.
- To encourage more adventurous, more wide-ranging, and longer-term patterns of research than are current in these disciplines;
- To link a small number of outstanding scholars and their projects to one of a limited number of residential study centers with an established record of advancing multi-disciplinary scholarship;
- To sustain the scholarly momentum of the emerging intellectual leaders in fields of the humanities and related social sciences.
Applications are invited that extend the frame within which research is planned in ways that will encourage conceptualizing and bringing to completion projects of wide scope and high significance. Such work might compare historical or literary trends across two or more cultures; might require command of two or more scholarly disciplines to advance analysis; might explore topics that require the combining of insights from two or more fields of the humanities; or might attempt a new interpretation of the work of a significant writer, artist, composer, or thinker. Long-term institutional histories and critical analyses of major cultural traditions are also examples.
Proposals should show evidence of significant preliminary work already completed, and a plan of work, typically in the five-year range, to be carried out. Assurance will be required from the administrative leadership of the scholar's home institution (dean, provost, president, or other appropriate person) that the applicant is an especially promising member of its humanities faculty, and that the institution is prepared to make its own contributions—beyond providing normal fringe benefits during the fellowship year—to assist the scholar in bringing the project to completion. (See below.)
The overall structure of support would thus include:
- An academic year's leave funded by ACLS under the Burkhardt Fellowship Program, with a stipend of $75,000 and residence (not including relocation or lodging costs) at one of the participating residential centers. To accommodate Fellows' personal schedules, these centers and libraries have agreed to permit successful applicants to specify one of the succeeding three years for residency and to hold a place for them; applicants will be required to adhere to that schedule.
- A summer's support (usually estimated at 2/9 salary) and/or equivalent reduction of teaching and administrative duties at some point in the post-fellowship stage, funded by the home institution.
- Since projects are expected to be long term, and since these fellowships provide full-salary support for a full academic year, work plans should be designed to take maximum advantage of existing leave and/or sabbatical policies at home institutions; that is, these fellowships should be viewed as incremental to institutionally approved leave policies. Such institutionally granted research support could be used for the final effort necessary to bring the project to completion.
Participating Residential Research Centers
The participating centers are:
American Academy in Rome (Rome, Italy)
American Antiquarian Society (Worcester, MA)
Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences (Stanford, CA)
Folger Shakespeare Library (Washington, D.C.)
Huntington Library (San Marino, CA)
Institute for Advanced Study, Central European University (Budapest, Hungary)
Institute for Advanced Study, Schools of Historical Studies and Social Science (Princeton, NJ)
John W. Kluge Center at the Library of Congress (Washington, D.C.)
National Humanities Center (Research Triangle Park, NC)
Newberry Library (Chicago, IL)
Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study (Cambridge, MA)
Swedish Collegium for Advanced Study (Uppsala, Sweden)
Villa I Tatti (Florence, Italy)
Applicants should specify the center or research library where they hope to go into residence, and give reasons why. Scholars should seek to join the center or library best suited to advance the project. (Applicants are asked to name one alternate should their first choice be unable to accommodate them.) Villa I Tatti will accept applications only for residency in 2015-16 and candidates must also apply separately to Villa I Tatti.
Applications must be submitted online and must include:
- Completed application form
- Proposal (no more than 10 pages, double spaced, in Times New Roman 11-point font)
- Bibliography (no more than three pages)
- Publications list (no more than two pages)
- Three reference letters
- Institutional statement
Peer reviewers in this program are asked to evaluate all eligible proposals according to the following criteria:
- 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.
- The ambition and scope of the proposed project.
- The quality of the proposal with regard to its methodology, scope, theoretical framework, and grounding in the relevant scholarly literature.
- The feasibility of the project and the likelihood that the applicant will execute the work within the proposed timeframe.
- The scholarly record and career trajectory of the applicant.
- The likelihood that residence at the specified center will increase significantly the applicant's ability to carry the project forward.
- Commitment by the scholar's institution to assist in advancing the project.