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Comparative Perspectives on Chinese Culture and Society


The program description below is for the 2015-16 competition for which the application deadline has passed. Information on ACLS’s 2016-17 fellowship programs will be provided on the website in summer 2016.

Grant Details

  • Amount: up to $25,000 for conferences; $10,000 to $15,000 for workshops and seminars; up to $6,000 for planning meetings
  • Completed applications must be received by November 4, 2015 for events to be held between June 2016 and December 2017.

These grants for collaborative work in China studies are funded by the Chiang Ching-kuo Foundation for International Scholarly Exchange.

In this cycle of competitions ACLS invites proposals in the humanities and related social sciences that adopt an explicitly cross-cultural or comparative perspective. Projects may, for example, compare aspects of Chinese history and culture with those of other nations and civilizations, explore the interaction of these nations and civilizations, or engage in cross-cultural research on the relations among the diverse and shifting populations of China. Proposals are expected to be empirically grounded, theoretically informed, and methodologically explicit.

The program supports collaborative work of three types:

  • Planning Meetings: Grants up to $6,000 offer support for one-day meetings focused on topics selected by participants. These brainstorming sessions may lead to plans for workshops or conferences, but that is not required.
  • Workshops: Grants of $10,000 to $15,000 offer support for workshops designed to promote discussion and the exchange of ideas on newly available or inadequately researched data or texts in a collegial, seminar-like setting. Workshops are not mini-conferences for presentation of formal papers describing work already completed.
  • Conferences: Grants up to $25,000 offer support for formal research conferences intended to present significant new research that will be published in a conference volume.

The program aims to promote interchange among scholars who may not otherwise have the opportunity to work together. Accordingly, proposals will not be supported for activities of scholars from one institution or that fall within an institution’s normal range of colloquia, symposia, or seminar series. The program will not support regularly scheduled meetings, conventions, or parts thereof. Proposals must include at least one scholar from Taiwan as a participant.



The principal organizer must be affiliated with a university or research institution and must hold a PhD. There are no restrictions as to citizenship of participants or location of the project.

Application Guidelines

  • Completed applications must be submitted through the ACLS Online Fellowship Application system no later than 9 pm Eastern Standard Time, November 4, 2015
  • Applications must be completed and submitted online by the principal organizer.
  • Applicants should bear in mind that proposals will be read by an interdisciplinary committee of scholars.
  • The program aims to encourage collective efforts by groups of scholars who are prepared to work together on a clearly defined set of issues.
  • Accordingly, efforts should be made at the earliest possible stage to ensure that the eventual set of conference papers is intellectually coherent and not a loose collection of essays on topics only tangentially related.
  • Funds awarded in these competitions cannot be used for:
    • Direct research expenses, such as those of field work, obtaining research materials, or analysis of data;
    • Salaries or released time for organizers or participants;
    • Honoraria or speakers' fees for organizers or participants;
    • Purchase of equipment;
    • Institutional overhead. (Direct administrative costs, such as office expenses and an honorarium for office assistance, are allowed.)
  • Proposals for conferences should be more elaborate than proposals for planning meetings or workshops.
  • Workshops should typically last three or four days and provide an opportunity for participants to discuss and analyze new approaches and/or new sources in a seminar-like setting.
  • Planning meetings should typically last one day.
  • The Chiang Ching-kuo Foundation has its own conference grant program for which it holds annual competitions. The ACLS/CCK program requires a cross-cultural or comparative perspective; the CCK conference grant program does not. Applicants may submit applications to either the ACLS/CCK Comparative Perspectives on Chinese Culture and Society program or the Foundation’s conference grant program, but not to both. Further information on the Foundation’s program may be found here.

All proposals must include:

  • Completed application form
  • Application essay (no more than 5 double-spaced pages in Times New Roman 11-point font): A narrative description of the project and its purposes.
  • A budget for the proposed event, including a statement of any other funds available.
  • A short bibliography of relevant sources (no more than 2 pages, double-spaced between entries).
  • Two-page CV of principal organizer.
  • A participant list of those invited with their CVs (two pages maximum per CV). This list should clearly differentiate between those who have agreed to participate in the event and those whose participation is not confirmed. This list should also specify paper writers and discussants. Participation of scholars from academic institutions in Taiwan is expected. Participation of scholars from outside the China field is strongly encouraged.
  • For conferences only: an appendix containing abstracts (of approximately 150-200 words) for each paper to be presented at the conference.

Submitting Applications

All applications must be submitted through the ACLS Online Application System no later than 9 pm Eastern Standard Time, November 4, 2015.

Questions concerning the application process should be directed to the cck@acls.org.