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ACLS News

ACLS Offers New Fellowship Opportunity for Liberal Arts College Faculty

5/20/2015

PaulineYu_2015AnnualMeeting

President Pauline Yu

 

Starting this fall, ACLS will expand its Frederick Burkhardt Residential Fellowship Program for Recently Tenured Scholars to offer fellowships designated specifically for liberal arts college faculty, and will provide a higher level of support across all awards program-wide. ACLS President Pauline Yu announced the new set of fellowships, which are made possible by the support of The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, at the Council's annual meeting on May 8.

"The expansion of the Burkhardt program creates a new avenue for ambitious research by post-tenure liberal arts college faculty," Yu said. She added that the expansion of the Burkhardt program would "broaden the institutional and disciplinary bonds" that help scholars maintain the momentum of their research.

Since the program's first competition in 1999-2000, ACLS has offered Burkhardt fellowships to recently tenured faculty across the humanities, and from any degree-granting academic institution in the United States, so that they may spend an academic year in residence at one of a select set of national and international research centers and libraries. The fellowships support long-term, ambitious projects that will benefit from the intellectual environment and multi-disciplinary conversations at such host institutions.

Beginning in 2015-16, ACLS will offer 10 additional Burkhardt awards designated specifically for recently tenured faculty at liberal arts colleges. Though college faculty always have been—and will continue to be—eligible for the "traditional" Burkhardt fellowships at independent research centers, the new set of awards will offer greater flexibility, allowing recently tenured liberal arts college professors to take up year-long residencies at university academic departments and campus humanities centers. Thus in addition to supporting advanced research in the humanities, the awards will promote collaboration and exchange between liberal arts colleges and research university communities.

With this extension of the program, ACLS now will award a total of 20 Burkhardt fellowships in 2015-16 and provide new funds for every fellow: in addition to a stipend of $75,000, up to $5,000 to support their research in a variety of forms, such as on-campus programming, equipment and software, travel, or specialized assistance; and up to $2,000 in relocation expenses.

More information on the new opportunities offered through the Burkhardt program, as well as on all other ACLS fellowship programs, will be posted to the website in late July with the opening of the 2015-16 competition season.

Another ACLS program, the Charles A. Ryskamp Research Fellowships, made awards for a final time in 2014-15. In 14 years, the Ryskamp fellowships have advanced the careers of 180 promising assistant professors and untenured associate professors in the humanities and humanistic social sciences. The program was designed as a "prize" fellowship, especially valuable for its sizable stipend, extra summer support, flexible tenure, and the prestige resulting from the vigorous competition for the awards. In addition, the Ryskamp program addressed a particular hazard for scholars at the targeted career stage, helping to propel their research agendas at a time of rising tenure guidelines.

The achievements of the Ryskamp program have been substantial and can be measured in terms of both the diverse array of humanistic research supported by the program and its impact on the careers of junior scholars. As of 2014, nearly all fellows have completed a successful tenure review, and more than 50 fellows so far have earned promotion to full professor. The Ryskamp fellowship also came to be recognized for its early identification of the next generation of leading scholars in the humanities, with several fellows going on to win other prestigious awards for their ACLS-funded research, including the MacArthur Fellowship and the Pulitzer Prize.

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