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Henry Luce Foundation/ACLS Program in China Studies

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The deadline for this competition has passed. The description below is for informational purposes only.

The Henry Luce Foundation/ACLS Program in China Studies seeks to maintain the vitality of China Studies in North America  through fellowships and grants designed primarily for scholars early in their careers. Studies on and in China have developed over the last 30 years in the United States and Canada into a robust field, but current conditions pose daunting problems, especially for scholars just before and just after the dissertation. To address this situation, the program will offer three competitions:

  • Predissertation-Summer Travel Grants, for graduate students  who wish to conduct preliminary preparations in China prior to beginning basic research for the dissertation.  The grants are for graduate students—with a PhD prospectus in hand or developing one—to investigate the research currently underway in Chinese archives and field sites, to establish contact with Chinese scholars, and to secure necessary permissions for their own fieldwork or archival research;
  • Postdoctoral Fellowshipssupporting scholars in preparing their PhD dissertation research for publication or in embarking on new research projects; and
  • Collaborative Reading-Workshop Grants, providing opportunities for scholars of different disciplines to share in-depth investigation of texts that are essential points of entry to Chinese periods, traditions, communities, or events in contemporary or historical times. 

Applications in all disciplines of the humanities and related social sciences are welcome. The program supports the study of Chinese culture and society in all periods. Research in Hong Kong, Tibet and Taiwan is eligible.

This program is made possible by funding from the Henry Luce Foundation, with additional funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities for postdoctoral fellowships.

 

Predissertation-Summer Travel Grants

  • Amount: $5,000
  • Tenure: 3-4 months (in 2015) for a preliminary visit to China necessary to prepare for beginning basic research for the dissertation
  • Eligibility:
    1) An applicant must be enrolled in a PhD program at a university in the United States or Canada. 
    2) The application must contain a letter from the dissertation supervisor stating the need for a summer visit to China prior to dissertation research. This may include work useful to development of the prospectus.
  • Deadline: Completed applications must be submitted through the ACLS Online Fellowship Application system no later than 9 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time, October 1, 2014. 
  • Notifications will be sent in May 2015.
  • Final report required on completion.


Predissertation travel grants provide funding for graduate students to explore venues and make preliminary research arrangements, and to gain advice from potential collaborators regarding subsequent research in China.

Application essays must provide the rationale for the travel agenda with particular attention to the evidence needed to answer research questions on return to China to conduct research The essay should present a rationale for the need for summer travel and should also provide a plan for the time in China, identifying the individuals, institutions, and sites to be visited. Inclusion of correspondence with potential contacts in China is desirable.

A working knowledge of Chinese is required.

Stipends may be used for costs associated with travel to China: air and ground transportation, visas and living expenses.

Selection Criteria

Applications will be evaluated on the basis of:

  • The research design and intellectual organization of the dissertation  project, and its significance to the field of China studies;
  • The suitability of the proposed visit to China to prepare for dissertation research in archives or at field sites;
  • The academic potential of the applicant; and
  • The feasibility of the plan of work for the proposed visit to China prior to the beginning of dissertation research.

For inquiries, please email chinastudies@acls.org

 

Postdoctoral Fellowships

  • Amount: up to $50,000
  • Tenure: two consecutive semesters of time released from teaching; fellowship to begin between June 2015 to September 2016. (Shorter periods—minimum one semester—will have stipends pro-rated.)
  • Eligibility:
    1) An applicant must hold a PhD from an institution in the United States or Canada or be a US or Canadian citizen with a PhD from any institution. The PhD degree must be completed by October 1, 2014 (including defense and revisions) and conferred by May 31, 2015. (If the date of conferral is after the application deadline, the application must include an institutional statement attesting that all requirements for the PhD have been fulfilled. Successful applicants will be asked to submit proof of conferral.)
    2) An applicant who is not a US or Canadian citizen must have an affiliation with a university or college in the United States or Canada.
    3) An applicant must hold a PhD degree conferred no earlier than January 1, 2006.
  • Deadline: Completed applications must be submitted through the ACLS Online Fellowship Application system no later than 9 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time, October 1, 2014. 
  • Notifications will be sent in May 2015.
  • Final report required on completion of the fellowship period.


Postdoctoral fellowships support work based on the applicant’s research in China that aims to produce a scholarly text in English.

A working knowledge of Chinese is required.

Stipends may be used for travel, living expenses, and research costs. Other support may be accepted (sabbatical leave or other grants) but the total received cannot exceed the 125% of the fellow’s academic annual salary. There is no financial support for dependents. 

Selection Criteria

Applications will be evaluated on the basis of:

  • The research design and intellectual organization of the project;
  • The importance of proposed research in the context of existing literature, which must be identified;
  • The ability of the applicant to accomplish the proposed research, based on academic training and success of previous research projects; and
  • The feasibility of the plan of work.

For inquiries, please email chinastudies@acls.org

 

Collaborative Reading-Workshop Grants

  • Amount: up to $15,000
  • Tenure: Workshops must be held between June 1, 2015 and September 2016.
  • Eligibility:
    1) Each member of the organizing team must hold a PhD from a university in the United States or Canada or be a US or Canadian citizen with a PhD from any university.
    2) Workshops must be held at a location in the United States or Canada. 
    3) No formal eligibility requirements for participants other than members of the organizing team. Graduate students are welcome to participate.
  • Deadline: Completed applications must be submitted through the ACLS Online Fellowship Application system no later than 9 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time, October 1, 2014. 
  • Notifications will be sent in May 2015.
  • Final report required on completion of the workshop.

 

These grants provide support for collaborative reading of texts in a workshop format that is interdisciplinary and crosses scholarly generations. A wealth of often complex and challenging texts is a distinctive feature of the Chinese cultural record, making close reading by a group of scholars especially fruitful, because they can bring to bear diversity of research, experience, and expertise. Collaboration refers primarily to the sustained, collective examination of texts. But it may also characterize the conceptualization of the workshop by several scholars. If there is more than one organizer, a principal organizer should be named who will be responsible on behalf of the group for corresponding with ACLS, for signing the grant letter and receiving funds, and for signing the final report. Workshop participants should be drawn from several different institutions.

Formats of workshops may vary, but each should be based on texts that illuminate a period, tradition, culture, location, or event. At the workshop each text may be introduced by one or two participants, with others being asked to read and explicate a portion thereof. Close reading and careful translation are thus the basis for workshop discussion. Sufficient time should be provided for sustained collaborative reading – one day would seem too brief; three days much more productive.

Reading workshops are intended to be less formal than conferences; they should involve interactive reading, interpretation and commentary within a seminar-sized group. (Applications proposing a series of individual presentations, especially to a larger audience, should be directed to the Chiang Ching Kuo/ACLS program in Comparative Perspectives on Chinese Culture and Society.) 

Awards for collaborative reading workshops may be used to support travel and lodging costs of participants, acquisition of materials, communications, and local arrangements. Funds may not be used for salary replacement, honoraria, or institutional indirect costs. Funding will not be provided for events that constitute elements of a series or colloquium, or that otherwise form part of the annual cycle of a university program. Luce/ACLS-funded reading-workshops must bring together scholars who would not otherwise have the opportunity to work together.

The primary objects of study should be written texts, but these may be supplemented by images and objects such as archaeological artifacts.

The principal objective is a new understanding of the texts and the subject matter they illuminate. A publication might result, but it is not a requirement of the reading-workshop grant. No additional financial support for publication is anticipated.

Selection Criteria

  • The significance of the texts chosen for illuminating aspects of the study of the cultures, histories, and societies of China; and  
  • Interdisciplinarity in the study of texts; for example, sociologists and literary scholars might be invited to read historical documents, historians to join the reading of philosophical manuscripts, etc.

Including graduate students, and scholars from Chinese institutions, is encouraged.

Awards will be made based on the rationale for the type of event(s) planned and the prospect for new interpretations of the texts selected for reading.

A final report is required, written in a form that may be published on the ACLS website.

For inquiries, please email chinastudies@acls.org