Comparative Perspectives on Chinese Culture and Society

The ACLS Comparative Perspectives on Chinese Culture and Society program will no longer be offered. The description below is for informational purposes only. 

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 6, 2019 for events to be held between June 2020 and December 2021.

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

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 dynamic populations of China. Proposals should be empirically grounded, theoretically informed, and methodologically explicit.

The program supports collaborative work of three types:

  • Planning Meetings: Grants up to $6,000 for one-day meetings to develop topics selected by participants. These brainstorming sessions may lead to workshops or conferences, but that is not required by the terms of this grant.
  • Workshops: Grants of $10,000 to $15,000 for workshops 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 for formal conferences for presentation of significant new research to be published in a conference volume.

The program promotes interchange among scholars who might not otherwise have the opportunity to work together. Accordingly, there will be no support for activities that include scholars from only one institution, that fall within an institution’s normal range of colloquia, symposia, or seminar series, or that consist of regularly scheduled meetings, conventions, or parts thereof. Activities proposed must include at least one scholar from Taiwan.


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

Application Guidelines

  • Completed applications must be submitted through the ACLS Online Fellowship Application system no later than 9 pm Eastern Standard Time, November 6, 2019
  • 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 encourages collective efforts by groups of scholars who propose 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 collection of essays only tangentially related.
  • Funds awarded in these competitions cannot be used for:
    • Direct research expenses, such as those of field work, research materials, or data analysis;
    • 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 for discussion and analysis of 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 annual competitions for conference grants. The foundation’s grants do not require cross-cultural or comparative perspectives as does the ACLS/CCK program in Comparative Perspectives on Chinese Culture and Society. 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:

  • A completed application form
  • An application essay (no more than 5 double-spaced pages in Times New Roman 11-point font) with a narrative description of the project and its objectives.
  • 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).
  • A two-page CV and a list of publications of the principal organizer.
  • A roster of invited participants with their CVs (two pages maximum per CV). This list should clearly indicate which participants have confirmed participation and should specify paper presenters, chairs, and discussants. Participation of scholars from outside the China field is strongly encouraged.
  • Participation of scholars from Taiwan is expected.
  • For conferences only: an appendix containing abstracts of approximately 150-200 words for each paper to be presented.

Submitting Applications

All applications must be submitted through the ACLS Online Application System no later than 9 pm Eastern Standard Time, November 6, 2019.

Questions concerning the application process should be directed to the