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Getty-ACLS Postdoctoral Fellowships in the History of Art FAQ

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Updated July, 13, 2017

Eligibility

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

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

Q: If I am currently in a PhD program or will have finished my PhD by the time I would start the fellowship period, am I eligible for this fellowship?

Q: If my PhD was conferred over the summer of 2012, am I eligible for this fellowship?

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

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

Q: May I combine this with another fellowship or grant?

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

Q: Can the fellowship be deferred to the following year? Can it be postponed if I find out I have to teach in the fall semester? What if I find out I have to teach in the spring semester?

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 application deadline for Getty/ACLS Postdoctoral Fellowships in the History of Art?

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 administration (OFA) portal? How 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 experts in my subfield and others from across the full breadth of the field, 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 this program? 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 $60,000 stipend exceeds my normal academic-year salary, will the amount be reduced?

Q: Does the fellowship cover benefits, such as healthcare?

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

Q: What is included with the one-week residency at the Getty Research Institute?


Eligibility


Q: What kind of projects does this program fund? Are there some types of projects this fellowship program does not fund?
A: Getty/ACLS Postdoctoral Fellowships in the History of Art support academic research that draws substantially on the materials, methods, and/or findings of art history. Applications are welcome from scholars who earned their PhDs in art history or in other humanistic fields, such as cultural history, anthropology, and archaeology. The program encourages applications especially from scholars proposing new approaches to art historical scholarship. To be considered, applicants must demonstrate a distinguished record of past achievement and a work plan for the fellowship period that offers the promise that their work will make a substantial and original contribution to the understanding of art and its history.

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: 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 and grant programs as are suitable. However, not more than one ACLS or ACLS-joint award may normally be accepted in any one competition year.

Q: If I am currently in a PhD program or will have finished my PhD by the time I would start the fellowship period, am I eligible for this fellowship?
A: No, your PhD degree must have been conferred by December 31, 2016 to apply for this fellowship in the current competition. If you are a doctoral student, you may be eligible for one of the ACLS dissertation fellowships.

Q: If my PhD was conferred over the summer of 2012, am I eligible for this fellowship?
A: No, your PhD may not have been conferred prior to September 1, 2012. It must have been conferred no later than December 31, 2016.

Q: May I apply if I have the equivalent of a PhD?
A: No, applicants to this program must have completed the PhD degree in art history or a related field.

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Q: Do I have to be a US citizen or permanent resident to be eligible?
A: No, this program encourages applications from scholars of any nationality or place of residence, without restrictions on employment.

Q: May I combine this with another fellowship or grant?
A: No, Getty/ACLS Postdoctoral Fellowships may not be combined with any other fellowships or grants. Fellows are expected to withdraw their applications from any other fellowship or grant competitions that could provide overlapping support. With prior ACLS approval, fellows may arrange to be hosted by an institution or institutions within the period of the award if such arrangements, for example, allow access to materials necessary for the project. Such arrangements must not include compensation or research/travel funds, nor may they include teaching or other responsibilities that take the fellow away from fulltime research and/or writing.

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.

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Q: Can the fellowship be deferred to the following year? Can it be postponed if I find out I have to teach in the fall semester? What if I find out I have to teach in the spring semester?
A: Getty/ACLS Postdoctoral Fellowships cannot be deferred. Fellowship tenure is for the 2018-19 academic year.


Online Fellowship and Grant Application (OFA) 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 application deadline for Getty/ACLS Postdoctoral Fellowships in the History of Art?
A. The deadline to submit completed applications for this fellowship is 9 pm, Eastern Daylight Time, October 25, 2017.

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. Please note that if you accept a Getty/ACLS Postdoctoral Fellowship you may not accept any other fellowships or grants with overlapping award periods.

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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 administration (OFA) portal? How 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 and can comment in detail on the proposed project. It is understood that applicants to this program likely will rely more on dissertation advisors as advocates than colleagues farther on in their careers. However, reviewers 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. Reviewers sometimes have concerns about letters from colleagues in the same department. Think carefully about who can write the best letters and weigh that against personal connections. In any case, you will want your referees to be tenured scholars.

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 will be reviewed in two stages. At the first stage, three established scholars will judge your proposal. These reviewers may or may not specialize in the particular subfield(s) covered in your proposal. The first stage of review determines which applications will go on to the final stage. At that point, applications are reviewed by a panel of scholars whose collective expertise covers a wide range of art historical scholarship.

Q: Since my application will be read by experts in my subfield and others from across the full breadth of the field, how should I pitch my proposal?
A: You must balance the need to make clear the question(s) or problem(s) that the proposed project addresses, and its significance, in ways legible and persuasive to scholars from across the field, while also convincing scholars with closely matched expertise. Be sure to explain any terms that might not be familiar to those outside your subfield.

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.

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Q: What kinds of projects are usually successful in this program? Do you have examples of successful proposals?
A: There is no one model to follow for a successful application and we do not provide examples of proposals that receive funding. You may benefit from reviewing Writing Proposals for ACLS Fellowship Competitions by Christina M. Gillis.

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.

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Q: If the $60,000 stipend exceeds my normal academic-year salary, will the 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.

Q: Does the fellowship cover benefits, such as healthcare?
A: No, the fellowship includes a $60,000 stipend to be used as salary-replacement. ACLS expects that a fellow’s institution will continue to provide the same level of benefits during the award period that she or he would receive normally. Fellows without institutional affiliations may use the stipend on whatever expenses they deem warranted.

Q: On what types of expenses may the funds for research and travel be used?
A: These funds may be used to cover a wide range of expenses related to the 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. Please note that the fellowship includes a one-week residency at the Getty Research Institute, and that travel to the Institute should be paid for out of these research/travel funds.

Q: What is included with the one-week residency at the Getty Research Institute?
A: Details about the residency, including the dates for it, will be discussed with fellows after awards have been made. Fellows are responsible for booking and paying for travel to the Institute—and the awards’ research/travel funds may be used for this purpose—while the Foundation will cover accommodations.

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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).