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Luce/ACLS Program in Religion, Journalism & International Affairs Fellowships for Scholars


The deadline for this program has passed. The description below is for informational purposes only. Awardees in the 2016-17 competition will be announced in the spring.   Information on the 2017-18 competition will be provided on the website in fall/winter 2017.

Fellowship Details

  • Stipend: $55,000, plus up to $3,000 for research costs and related scholarly activities
  • Fellowships may be held at the awardee’s home institution, one of three partnering universities, or any location suitable for the proposed research.
  • Awardees electing to take up residence at partnering universities are eligible to receive an additional $10,000 to defray the cost of relocation and residency
  • Tenure: one academic year
  • Completed applications must be submitted through the ACLS Online Fellowship Application system (ofa.acls.org) no later than 9 pm Eastern Daylight Time, October 26, 2016
  • Notifications will be sent via email by late March 2017

ACLS invites applications for fellowships offered by the Luce/ACLS Program in Religion, Journalism & International Affairs (RJIA), made possible by the generous support of the Henry Luce Foundation. The Luce/ACLS Program in RJIA is a two-part initiative designed to foster new connections between scholars and journalists covering international affairs. The program offers an interrelated set of awards: programming grants for universities and fellowships for scholars in the humanities and social sciences who study religion in international contexts. More information is available in the program overview.

Luce/ACLS RJIA Fellowships support scholars in the humanities and related social sciences pursuing research on any aspect of religion in international contexts with a desire to connect their specialist knowledge with journalists and media practitioners. The ultimate goal of the research should be a significant piece of scholarly work by the applicant and concrete steps to engage journalistic and media audiences. ACLS does not fund creative work (e.g., novels or films), textbooks, straightforward translation, or pedagogical projects.

In 2017-18 three universities are partnering with ACLS to establish links between their schools of arts and sciences and schools or programs of media and journalism. Fellows may choose to take up residence at one of this year’s three partnering institutions or they may take up the fellowship at any location suitable for pursuing their projects. In addition to providing the fellow with time, space, and resources necessary for conducting research, the partner universities have committed to fostering an environment that encourages connections between scholarship and journalism. Please see below for a list of the participating partner institutions. All fellows will participate in two program-sponsored symposia during the academic year.

ACLS will award up to six fellowships for the 2017-18 academic year with tenure beginning between July and September 2017. The award carries a stipend of $55,000, plus funds for research costs and related scholarly activities of up to $3,000. Awardees who will relocate to take up residency during the fellowship year at one of ACLS’s three university partners are eligible to receive an additional $10,000 to defray the costs associated with the relocation, for a total maximum possible award of $68,000.

Scholars may apply both for a Luce/ACLS RJIA Fellowship and for other forms of support, including other ACLS fellowship programs. Please note that an applicant may accept only one ACLS award in a given competition year.


Applicants must:

  • be a US citizen or permanent resident as of the application deadline date
  • have a PhD degree that was conferred by the application deadline. (An established scholar who can demonstrate the equivalent of the PhD in publications and professional experience may also qualify.)
  • be able to attend and participate in two program-sponsored events, a workshop in Fall 2017 (date and location TBD) and a symposium in Spring 2018 (date and location TBD)


  1. To encourage connections between scholarship on religion and the training and practice of journalism;
  2. To provide scholars studying the role of religion in international contexts (from any humanities or social science discipline) the opportunity both to advance their scholarship and to connect their specialist knowledge with journalism and media audiences;
  3. To promote greater public understanding of the role of religion in international affairs.

Participating Universities

    The universities participating in the Luce/ACLS RJIA program in 2017-18 are:

  • Columbia University, Institute for Religion, Culture, and Public Life
  • Indiana University, School of Media
  • Northeastern University
  • Additional information about their programming is available here.

Application Requirements

Applications must be submitted online and must include:

  • Completed application form
  • Proposal (no more than eight pages, double spaced, in Times New Roman 11-point font)
  • Up to two additional pages of images or other similar supporting non-text materials [optional]
  • Statement of interest in connecting scholarly research to journalistic audiences (no more than two pages, double spaced, in Times New Roman 11-point font)
  • Bibliography of relevant scholarly and journalistic sources (no more than two pages)
  • Publications list (no more than two pages)
  • Two reference letters

Evaluation Criteria

Peer reviewers in this program are asked to evaluate all eligible proposals on the following six 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 applicant’s demonstrated commitment to connecting her/his scholarly research with journalistic and media audiences.
  4. The rationale for the proposed site of the fellowship and likelihood that the scholars and resources available there will increase significantly the applicant's ability to carry the project forward.
  5. The feasibility of the project and the likelihood that the applicant will execute the work within the proposed timeframe.
  6. The scholarly experience—and potential for scholarly achievement—of the applicant.

Please note: Fellows may not teach or undertake other significant administrative responsibilities during the fellowship tenure. Luce/Acls RJIA partner institutions agree to provide fellows in residence with the appropriate resources for them to advance their projects and be active members of the community, including but not limited to: office space, internet and library access, collegiality, and opportunities to join speaker series and other departmental/center activities as are available.