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Frederick Burkhardt Residential Fellowship for Recently Tenured Scholars FAQ

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Updated July 10, 2017

Eligibility

Q: What kind of projects does this program fund? Are there some types of projects this fellowship program does not fund?

Q: Does my institution qualify as a liberal arts college so that I may apply for those Burkhardt Fellowships designated specifically for liberal arts college faculty?

Q: I am a faculty member at a liberal arts college. To which set of awards should I apply? May I apply to both?

Q: May I apply to more than one ACLS fellowship or grant program in the same competition year?

Q: Do I have to be a US citizen or permanent resident to be eligible for a Burkhardt Fellowship?

Q: I have had a supported research leave in the last two years. Does this affect my eligibility for the Burkhardt Fellowship?

Q: Am I eligible for a Burkhardt Fellowship if I will be on sabbatical and earning sabbatical salary during the fellowship period?

Q: Am I eligible to apply for a Burkhardt Fellowship if my first semester as a tenured faculty member was spring 2013? What if I was awarded tenure during spring 2013 but began my first tenured semester in fall 2013?

Q: I expect to receive tenure during the current ACLS competition year. May I apply for a Burkhardt Fellowship?

Q: I received tenure within the time-frame specified, but I am a full professor rather than an associate professor. Am I eligible? 

Residency

Q: For those opportunities designated specifically for liberal arts college faculty, where may I propose to take up residency?

Q: For those opportunities at participating residential research centers, which center should I select?

Q: The residential center I would like to list as my second choice does not appear on the drop-down list. Is this a mistake?

Q: Must an applicant propose to relocate for the fellowship?

Q: If I am awarded a Burkhardt Fellowship to support a year of residence at a national residential research center, is it possible to spend only part of the year in residency, or to remain at my home institution?

Online fellowship application process

Q: May I edit an application submitted in a previous competition and resubmit it for this year?

Q: How long does it take to fill out the application?

Q: Do I have to complete the application all at once?

Q. What is the deadline for the Burkhardt Fellowship?

Q: I may receive sabbatical funding during the year I would be taking the fellowship, but I do not know for certain or exactly how much it will be. What should I fill in on the application form?

Q: After submitting my proposal, I had an article/book accepted for publication. May new information be added to my publications list?

Q: How can I make sure I receive notification about my application or that I receive responses to queries using the “OFA Help” link within the online fellowship and grant application (OFA) portal? I can I make sure that my letter writers receive ACLS’s email?

Reference letters

Q: Whom should I ask to write my letters of recommendation?

Q: Do all my reference letters have to be in the system before I submit my application?

Q: What should I do if one of my referees does not send in the letter s/he agreed to?

Q: Does ACLS accept reference letters from Interfolio or university-based dossier services?

Review process

Q: Who is reading my proposal?

Q: Since my application will be read by both experts in my area and in a range of humanistic fields, how should I pitch my proposal?

Q: How much of the proposal should be devoted to explaining methodology, the project's significance, theoretical framework, work plan, etc.?

Q: What kinds of projects are usually successful in the Burkhardt Fellowship competition? Do you have examples of successful proposals?

Q: Can I receive reviewer comments on my application?

Stipend

Q: If I receive this fellowship from ACLS, can the fellowship monies be paid through my institution instead of my receiving the funds directly?

Q: If the $95,000 Burkhardt award exceeds my normal academic-year salary, will the stipend amount be reduced?

Q: On what types of expenses may the funds for research and related scholarly activities be used?


Eligibility


Q: What kind of projects does this program fund? Are there some types of projects this fellowship program does not fund?
A: ACLS fellowships support academic research in all fields of the humanities and related social sciences. In order for social science applications to be eligible, they must employ predominantly humanistic approaches and qualitative/interpretive methodologies. The ultimate goal of the project should be a major piece of scholarly work by the applicant.

ACLS does not fund creative work or the performing arts (e.g., novels, films, performance, or musical composition), nor does it fund textbooks or pedagogical projects, or work that deals purely with translation.

Q: Does my institution qualify as a liberal arts college so that I may apply for those Burkhardt Fellowships designated specifically for liberal arts college faculty?
A: To be eligible you must be employed in a tenured position at a baccalaureate institution of arts and sciences. More specifically, bachelor’s degrees must represent at least fifty percent of all undergraduate degrees awarded at your institution, and at least half of those bachelor’s degrees must be conferred to students majoring in arts and sciences fields. In addition, your institution should not have substantial master’s or doctoral programs in the humanities and related social sciences. While there is significant variety among liberal arts colleges, they generally emphasize undergraduate study in the liberal arts and sciences in smaller residential settings, with higher faculty-student ratios.

ACLS uses the “basic classification” offered by The Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education as the basis of determining eligibility. You may check if your institution is eligible by clicking on “Institution Lookup” in the top menu, entering your institution’s name in the search field and selecting it from the results, and checking whether it lists “Bac/A&S: Baccalaureate Colleges—Arts & Sciences” at the bottom of the list of classifications, under “Basic.” If you feel that your institution should qualify as a liberal arts college even though it is classified differently, please provide a brief rationale for consideration of your case via email to fellowships@acls.org.

Q: I am a faculty member at a liberal arts college. To which set of awards within the Burkhardt program should I apply? May I apply to both?
A: Liberal arts college faculty may apply for either set of awards, but not to both. In other words, you must select one set of awards to which you apply. It is up to you to determine which type of residency would be the best choice to advance your project.

Q: May I apply to more than one ACLS fellowship or grant program in the same competition year?
A: Yes, an applicant for this fellowship may also apply to as many fellowship programs as are suitable. However, not more than one ACLS or ACLS-joint award may normally be accepted in any one competition year.

Q: Do I have to be a US citizen or permanent resident to be eligible for a Burkhardt Fellowship?
A: No, but you must be employed in a tenured position at a degree-granting academic institution in the United States for the duration of the fellowship.

Q: I have had a supported research leave in the last two years. Does this affect my eligibility for the Burkhardt Fellowship?
A: No. Previous supported research leaves do not affect eligibility for the Burkhardt Fellowship.

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Q: Am I eligible for a Burkhardt Fellowship if I will be on sabbatical and earning sabbatical salary during the fellowship period?
A: ACLS prefers that Burkhardt Fellows take maximum advantage of sabbatical policies at their institutions; that is, these fellowships are best viewed as incremental to institutionally approved leave policies rather than substituting for them. However, if your normal academic-year salary exceeds the Burkhardt award and your institution cannot otherwise top up your salary, the fellowship may be taken in conjunction with sabbatical. The combination of stipend and sabbatical salary cannot exceed the amount of your normal academic-year salary.

Q: Am I eligible to apply for a Burkhardt Fellowship if my first semester as a tenured faculty member was spring 2013? What if I was awarded tenure during spring 2013 but began my first tenured semester in fall 2013?
A: When you were approved for tenure is not salient for the purposes of this program. The determination is made based on the semester or quarter during which you started your first tenured contract. If that semester or quarter was fall 2013 or after, then you are eligible to apply for a Burkhardt Fellowship this year. If it was spring 2013 or before, then you are not eligible to apply.

Q: I expect to receive tenure during the current ACLS competition year. May I apply for a Burkhardt Fellowship?
A: No. You must have tenure by the beginning of fall semester or quarter, 2017.

Q: I received tenure within the time-frame specified, but I am a full professor rather than an associate professor. Am I eligible?
A: Yes, the salient point is time from tenure, not academic rank.


Residency


Q: For those opportunities designated specifically for liberal arts college faculty, where may I propose to take up residency?
A: You may propose residency at any academic department in the humanities or related social sciences, humanities center/institute, or interdisciplinary humanities program located at a university in the United States. You are responsible for securing their interest in hosting you during the fellowship year in advance of the application deadline. If you have a question about the suitability of a residential location that you would like to propose for your fellowship, please email us at fellowships@acls.org.

Q: For those opportunities at participating residential research centers, which center should I select?
A: You should select the center or library from among the 13 participating centers that is most appropriate for your project. The application should explain how residency at the chosen center or library will advance the project.

Q: The residential center I would like to list as my second choice does not appear on the drop-down list. Is this a mistake?
A: No. Due to their own internal review procedures, the Institute for Advanced Study (Schools of Historical Studies and Social Science) and the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study cannot be listed as a second choice.

Q: Must I propose to relocate for the fellowship?
A: Applicants must commit themselves to being in residence at their chosen location for the entire nine-month tenure of the fellowship, and thus to relocating for that period if necessary. However, applicants are free to propose residential locations that do not require relocation; the only requirement is that they propose residencies that are best suited to advance their projects.

Q: If I am awarded a Burkhardt Fellowship to support a year of residence at a participating residential research center, is it possible to spend only part of the year in residency, or to remain at my home institution?
A: No. You must be in residence at your chosen residential research center for the entire nine-month duration of the fellowship. Part-time and temporary residencies are not permitted.

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Online fellowship application process


Q: May I edit an application submitted in a previous competition and resubmit it for this year?
A: No, you will need to start over with a new online application.

Q: How long does it take to fill out the application?
A: This will vary, depending on how much work you have prepared before you begin the application process. Simply filling in the form will probably take an hour if not two, plus you will need to submit your proposal and supporting documents. You will also need to secure referees to write letters in support of your application. We highly recommend that you start the process several weeks before the deadline to get a sense of what is required and start preparing your materials.

Q: Do I have to complete the application all at once?
A: No, you may work on it in multiple sessions, though you will need to save your work after you finish each section of the application. Once you have submitted the application, you cannot work on it again.

Q. What is the deadline for the Burkhardt Fellowship?
A. The deadline to submit completed applications for this fellowship is 9 pm, Eastern Daylight Time, September 27, 2017.

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Q: I may receive sabbatical funding during the year I would be taking the fellowship, but I do not know for certain or exactly how much it will be. What should I fill in on the application form?
A: You may estimate the amount you expect to receive, or fill in nothing. You can enter this amount in the section asking you to list other major funding sources to which you are applying for your present research proposal. Should you be offered a fellowship, you will need to provide a specific amount for any other funding you will receive during the fellowship period.

Q: After submitting my proposal, I had an article/book accepted for publication. May new information be added to my publications list?
A: No, your application will be judged as it is at the time of submission.

Q: How can I make sure I receive notification about my application or that I receive responses to queries using the “OFA Help” link within the online fellowship and grant application (OFA) portal? I can I make sure that my letter writers receive ACLS’s email?
A: Notifications and other correspondence are sent via email from “acls.org” addresses. In order to prevent ACLS emails from being blocked, we suggest that applicants and letter writers:

  1. Add the relevant ACLS email addresses (e.g., ofahelp@acls.org, fellowships@acls.org, mgoldfeder@acls.org, and references@acls.org for letter writers) to their address book or safe senders list.
  2. Check spam or junk mail folder for notifications and correspondence, if you are expecting them.
  3. In the event that you continue not to receive ACLS emails in either your inbox or spam/junk folder, it may be that your institution (“.edu”) or internet service provider (“.com” or “.net” email) is blocking these emails before they reach you. Please contact the appropriate personnel, e.g., your IT department, so that they may resolve the issue.


Reference letters


Q: Whom should I ask to write my letters of recommendation?
A: Your main priority should be to secure letters from referees who can write strong, specific letters on your behalf, preferably those who can comment on the proposed project. Reviewers sometimes have concerns about letters from colleagues in your department or from dissertation advisors, and often prefer "arm's length" letters from scholars who can attest to the significance of your work in the field and have less personal interest vested in your success. It's good to be able to show that you have placed yourself in the field, not merely in the department or institution where you are employed or did your graduate work. Think carefully about who can write the best letters and weigh that against personal connections.

Q: Do all reference letters have to be in the system before I submit the application?
A: No, but note that the deadline for reference letters is the same as the application deadline. The system will continue to accept letters for a few days after the deadline and will add them to your application at the earliest possible time, though we cannot guarantee that they will accompany your application in the first stage of review.

Q: What should I do if one of my referees does not send in the letter s/he agreed to?
A: You should check online to see if your references have been submitted. If one or more of your letters has not been submitted by the deadline, you may wish to contact the letter writers. If one of your designated referees cannot write the letter, you can ask someone else to write for you and submit the appropriate information on your reference form. However, please note that once the required number of letters has been submitted for your application (regardless of which of your referees submits them), no more will be accepted. Think carefully, then, before requesting replacement letters. You would not want to put a referee in the position of writing a letter for you and then not being able to submit it.

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Q: Does ACLS accept reference letters from Interfolio or university-based dossier services?
A: No. ACLS requests that reference letters contain specific elements targeted to this fellowship program. Peer reviewers have expressed strong reservations about letters from dossier services since they are necessarily general and thus less helpful in assessing the merits of the proposed project. This information is particularly crucial for proposals that reach the final round of selection where they are evaluated by multi-disciplinary committees. ACLS understands the demands placed on senior scholars and has sought to moderate that burden by reducing both the required number and the length of reference letters to minimum essential levels.


Review process


Q: Who is reading my proposal?
A: Proposals to the Burkhardt Fellowship program are reviewed in two stages. They are read by established scholars in your discipline, who may or may not specialize in the particular sub-field(s) covered by your proposal. They are also read by scholars from outside your discipline, especially at the second stage for which a panel of scholars is convened whose collective expertise covers a range of disciplines in the humanities and humanities-related social sciences.

Q: Since my application will be read by both experts in my area and in a range of humanistic fields, how should I pitch my proposal?
A: To address experts in your field, explain why this project offers insight into the issues of your discipline, and make clear what question or problem is being addressed. In addition, though, be sure to explain any terms that might not be familiar to those outside your field or subfield, and discuss the significance of your project within your field. In a section of the application separate from the body of the proposal, you are also asked to address the significance of your proposed project for the humanities.

Q: How much of the proposal should be devoted to explaining methodology, the project's significance, theoretical framework, work plan, etc.?
A: The portion of the proposal that should be devoted to its constituent parts varies according to the proposed project. An important part of the application process is gauging the most central elements of your project and presenting those elements to your best advantage within the specified word/page limit.

Q: What kinds of projects are usually successful in the Burkhardt Fellowship competition? Do you have examples of successful proposals?
A: The projects that are ultimately selected vary widely. While there is no one model to follow for a successful application and we do not provide examples of proposals that receive funding, you are encouraged to view previous awardees and brief project descriptions here. You may also benefit from asking an ACLS Fellow that you know to show you her or his proposal and from reviewing Writing Proposals for ACLS Fellowship Competitions by Christina M. Gillis.

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Q: Can I receive reviewer comments on my application?
A: Yes. Comments are released at the discretion of the reviewers. Hence, comments may be available from some, though not necessarily all, of the reviewers who assessed an application. Requests for comments from the 2017-18 competition must be submitted in writing (to fellowships@acls.org) by August 31, 2018.


Stipend


Q: If I receive this fellowship from ACLS, can the fellowship monies be paid through my institution instead of my receiving the funds directly?
A: The fellowship is awarded to an individual scholar. ACLS can arrange payment through the scholar’s institution upon request. However, institutions may not deduct funds for overhead or indirect costs from the individual's fellowship. For more information, review Information for Institutional Administrators.

Q: If the $95,000 Burkhardt award exceeds my normal academic-year salary, will the stipend amount be reduced?
A: No, the portion of the stipend in excess of your salary may be used for any expenses related to advancing your scholarly project or facilitating your relocation and residency. However, please note that if you are combining the Burkhardt award with funding from other sources, such as sabbatical pay, the cumulative total may not exceed your normal salary.

Q: On what types of expenses may the funds for research and related scholarly activities be used?
A: These funds may be used to cover additional expenses related to the fellow’s research project, including but not limited to: travel expenses (for research or for attending relevant scholarly conferences); research assistance; research materials (books, equipment, software/licensing fees, reproductions); archival access/permission; scholarly programming such as workshops or speaker series related to their projects, etc.

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Related Links

For answers to questions not addressed here, please contact us at fellowships@acls.org.

For questions pertaining to technical support, please consult the FAQ in the online fellowship application (OFA).