• AM2017_Fellows

    ACLS Fellows Candacy Taylor, Ellen Muehlberger, and Lina Verchery presented their research at the 2017 ACLS Annual Meeting.

  • AHPMeritKagugo

    African Humanities Program Fellow Merit Kabugo studies the discourse of rural farmers. 

  • Buddha

    The Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation Program in Buddhist Studies is a global competition. 

ACLS Collaborative Research Fellowships FAQ

Loading...

Updated July, 10, 2017

Eligibility

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

Q: What counts as collaboration for this fellowship?

Q: May I apply for more than one ACLS fellowship in the same competition year?

Q: May I apply as a member of more than one collaborative team in the same competition year?

Q: If I am currently in a PhD program, am I eligible for this fellowship?

Q: May I apply if I have the equivalent of a PhD?

Q: Do all collaborators have to be US citizens or permanent residents to be eligible?

Q: How does ACLS define "appointment at an institution of higher education"?

Q: Does the site of the collaborative work need to be the institution administering project funds?

Q: Must all participants in the fellowship be on leave at the same time?

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

Q: Can an ACLS Collaborative Research Fellowship be deferred?

Online Fellowship and Grant Application (OFA) process

Q: May we 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 we have to complete the application all at once?

Q: Must all collaborators’ sections of the application be submitted before the Project Coordinator submits his/her section?

Q. What is the application deadline for the ACLS Collaborative Research Fellowship program?

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 we ask to write our letters of recommendation?

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

Q: What should we do if one of the 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 reads the proposal?

Q: Since the application will be read by both experts in the proposal’s discipline(s) and in a range of humanistic fields, how should the proposal be pitched?

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

Q: How much information on the final product of the collaboration should be included in the proposal? Is a prior book contract a requirement?

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

Q: Can we receive reviewer comments on our application?

Stipend & project budget

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: What is the maximum budget for an ACLS Collaborative Research Fellowship?

Q: If our team will not need the full $180,000 for stipends, can the unused portion be allocated to other project costs?

Q: What is the purpose of the project funds?

Q: Can the budgets for the stipend and project funds include benefits, indirect costs, or overhead?


Eligibility


Q: What kind of projects does this program fund? Are there some types of project this fellowship program does not fund?
A: ACLS Collaborative Research Fellowships support academic research in all fields within 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. Eligible projects consist of small teams of scholars collaborating on a single, tangible research project whose ultimate goal is a jointly authored major piece of scholarly work, whether print or web publication.

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. This program also does not fund: large research clusters that do not produce jointly authored publications; anthologies or edited volumes of secondary scholarship; or projects whose primary aim is either transforming existing research into digital formats or the organization of events.

Q: What counts as collaboration for this fellowship?
A: ACLS is open to various forms of collaboration. To view some of this diversity, please review abstracts of previously supported projects here. However, to be eligible for this program, projects must consist of at least two scholars seeking salary-replacement stipends for six to twelve continuous months of supported research leave to pursue full-time collaborative research and writing during the fellowship tenure.

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

Q: May I apply as a member of more than one collaborative team in the same competition year?
A: No. You may apply as a member of only one collaborative team during the same competition year.

Q: If I am currently in a PhD program, am I eligible for this fellowship?
A: No. If you are a doctoral student, you may be eligible for one of the ACLS dissertation fellowship programs.

[Back to top]

Q: May I apply if I have the equivalent of a PhD?
A: If you have published scholarly work on a par with the academic work required by the PhD degree, you may apply. You need to have completed a substantial academic project that required a sustained period of research, similar to a dissertation, in the humanities or humanities-related social sciences.

Please note that we do not consider a JD in itself to satisfy the PhD equivalency unless it was accompanied by a) a record of substantial scholarly publications that are humanistic in nature (as opposed to case studies or technical legal issues), and b) a substantial academic project that required a sustained period of research (such as a dissertation or book).

Q: Do all collaborators have to be US citizens or permanent residents to be eligible?
A: No, you do not have to be a US citizen or a US permanent resident. However, the project coordinator must have an appointment at a US-based institution of higher education.

Q: How does ACLS define "appointment at an institution of higher education"?
A: For purposes of this fellowship program, appointments may be at any professorial rank at a degree-granting institution. 

Q: Does the site of the collaborative work need to be the institution administering costs of collaboration?
A: No. The site of collaborative work can be wherever the project participants feel is appropriate.

Q: Must all participants in the fellowship be on leave at the same time?
A: No. Scheduling of leaves should be determined based on the needs of the project and the schedules of the individual participants. However, supported research leave periods must be at least six continuous months for each participant.

Q: Am I eligible if I will be on sabbatical and earning sabbatical salary during the fellowship period?
A: Yes, the fellowship may be taken in conjunction with your sabbatical. The fellowship stipend level may be reduced so that the combination of stipend and sabbatical salary does not exceed the amount of your full academic-year salary.

[Back to top]

Q: Can an ACLS Collaborative Research Fellowship be deferred?
A: No. The fellowship is for a total period of up to 24 months, with each participant taking six to twelve continuous months of leave during that period. The award may be initiated as early as July 1, 2018 and as late as September 1, 2020.


Online Fellowship and Grant Application (OFA) process


Q: May we 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. Each collaborator will probably need an hour if not two to simply fill in the form, plus the overall application requires the submission of a proposal, bibliography, research plan, and budget statement, plus a publications list for each collaborator. The application also requires two referees to write letters in support of the 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 we have to complete the application all at once?
A: No, project coordinators and other collaborators 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 your portion of the application, you cannot work on that portion again.

Q: Must all collaborators’ sections of the application be submitted before the Project Coordinator submits his/her section?
A: No. Each collaborator may submit his/her section once it is complete, but all project collaborators (Project Coordinator and additional collaborators) must submit their parts of the application by the application deadline.

Q: What is the application deadline for the ACLS Collaborative Research Fellowship program?
A. The deadline to submit completed applications for this fellowship is 9 pm, Eastern Daylight Time, September 27, 2017.

[Back to top]

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 awarded 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 we ask to write our letters of recommendation?
A: Your main priority should be to secure letters from referees who can write strong, specific letters about the proposed project on your and your fellow collaborators' behalves. Not more than one referee should be affiliated with either your or your collaborators' home institution(s). Reviewers sometimes have concerns about letters from colleagues in the same department or from dissertation advisors, and often prefer "arm's length" letters from scholars who can attest to the significance of the work in the field and have less personal interest vested in your or your colleagues’ successes. 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. Applicants at early career stages will rely more on dissertation advisors as advocates. In any case, you will want referees to be tenured scholars.

Q: Do all reference letters have to be in the system before we 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.

[Back to top]

Q: What should we do if one of the 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.

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 reads the proposal?
A. Proposals to the ACLS Collaborative Research Fellowship program are reviewed by humanities and social science scholars from a variety of fields who have experience with collaborative research.

Q: Since the application will be read by both experts in the proposal’s discipline(s) and in a range of humanistic fields, how should the proposal be pitched?
A: To address experts in your field(s), explain why this project offers insight into the issues of your discipline(s), 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 the project within your field(s). In a section of the application separate from the body of the proposal, you are also asked to address the significance of the proposed project for the humanities more broadly.

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.

[Back to top]

Q: How much information on the final product of the collaboration should be included in the proposal? Is a prior book contract a requirement?
A: In order to be competitive, proposals should provide as much detail as possible on the anticipated outcome(s). This could entail a chapter outline in the case of a monograph or content synopses and publication venues for a series of articles. Applicants do not need to have secured a book contract by the time of application.

Q: What kinds of projects are usually successful in the ACLS Collaborative Research Fellowship competition? Do you have examples of successful applications?
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.

Q: Can we receive reviewer comments on our 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 & project budget


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 individual scholars. ACLS can arrange payment of salary-replacement stipends through the scholars’ institutions upon request. However, institutions may not deduct funds for overhead or indirect costs from the individuals’ fellowships. Note that the Project Coordinator’s institution is expected to administer the non-stipend project funds. For more information, review Information for Institutional Administrators.

Q: What is the maximum budget for an ACLS Collaborative Research Fellowship?
A: The maximum amount of funding a collaborative project may receive if awarded an ACLS Collaborative Research Fellowship is $201,000. That amount is divided into two categories: up to $180,000 may be requested for salary-replacement stipends (and each individual team member may request up to $60,000); and up to an additional $21,000 can be requested for project expenses. (These categories are discrete, i.e., none of the up to $180,000 can be used for project expenses and none of the $21,000 can be used for stipends.). Although larger groups may apply, the maximum available for stipends remains $180,000.

Q: If our team will not need the full $180,000 for stipends, can the unused portion be allocated to other project costs?
A: No. The two budget lines for the ACLS Collaborative Research Fellowship are discrete. Funds intended for the collaborators’ salary-replacement stipends cannot be used for other project costs. Likewise, funds intended for project costs cannot be used for collaborators’ stipends, though they can be used for consultant or research assistance expenses.

Q: What is the purpose of the project funds?
A: The majority of the fellowship award will cover salary-replacement stipends for the collaborators. Additionally, up to $21,000 is available in project funds to facilitate the successful completion of the collaborative research project. Such funds may be used for such purposes as travel, acquisition of materials, or research assistance. The budget should provide detailed information and justification for the requested project funds. See sample budget.

Q: Can the budgets for the stipend and project funds include benefits, indirect costs, or overhead?
A: No. Please also review Information for Institutional Administrators.

[Back to top]

 

Loading...

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).