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Luce/ACLS Dissertation Fellowships in American Art


Fellowship Details

  • Stipend: $25,000, plus up to $2,000 as a travel allowance
  • Tenure: one year beginning summer 2016
  • Completed applications must be submitted through the ACLS Online Fellowship Application system (ofa.acls.org) no later than 9 pm Eastern Daylight Time, October 21, 2015.
  • Notifications will be sent via email by late March 2016.

ACLS invites applications for the Henry Luce Foundation/ACLS Dissertation Fellowships in American Art designated for graduate students in any stage of PhD dissertation research or writing. Ten fellowships are available for a non-renewable, one-year term beginning between June and September 2016 for the 2016-17 academic year. The fellowships may be carried out in residence at the fellow's home institution, abroad, or at another appropriate site for the research. The fellowships may not be used to defray tuition costs or be held concurrently with any other major fellowship or grant.

This program is made possible by funding from the Henry Luce Foundation.


Applicants must:

  • be a PhD candidate in a department of art history in the United States. A student with an appropriate project whose degree will be granted by another department is eligible only if the principal dissertation advisor is in a department of art history. (Students preparing theses for the Master of Fine Arts degree are not eligible.)
  • have a dissertation focused on a topic in the history of the visual arts of the United States. Although the topic may be historically and/or theoretically grounded, attention to the art object and/or image should be foremost. Projects must be object-oriented and use art-historical or visual studies approaches; proposals whose emphases are predominantly socio-historical will not be considered.
  • have completed all requirements for the PhD except the dissertation before beginning fellowship tenure.
  • have not previously applied for this fellowship more than once.
  • be a US citizen or permanent resident.

Application Requirements

Applications must include:

  • Completed application form
  • Proposal (no more than five pages, double spaced, in Times New Roman 11-point font)
  • Bibliography (no more than two pages)
  • Illustrations (no more than three pages) [optional]
  • Publications list (no more than two pages) [optional]
  • Two reference letters
  • A statement from the applicant’s institution (preferably from the applicant’s department chair or dean). The provided form asks the institutional representative to confirm that the applicant is a doctoral candidate in good standing and that all requirements for the PhD except the dissertation will be completed by the beginning of fellowship tenure. Further, the institutional representative should confirm that 1) the normal academic year tuition payments for the awardee will be waived or will be provided by the awardee's university, and that (2) the university will continue to provide the student with appropriate access to its research resources and facilities.

Note that transcripts are not required.

Evaluation Criteria

Scholars asked to review applications in this program are instructed to use the following three criteria:

  1. The quality of the proposal with regard to its methodology, scope, theoretical framework, and grounding in the relevant scholarly literature.
  2. The potential of the project to advance the field of study in art history, both generally and in the specific field(s) it engages.
  3. The scholarly record and career trajectory of the applicant.