Frederick Burkhardt Residential Fellowships for Recently Tenured Scholars Fellowships at a participating research center

2019-20 was the final competition year for the Frederick Burkhardt Residential Fellowship program. The description below is for informational purposes only.

Fellowship Details

  • Amount: $95,000, plus funds for research costs and related scholarly activities of up to $7,500 and for relocation up to $3,000
  • Tenure: one academic year
  • Completed applications must be submitted through the ACLS online fellowship and grant administration system ( no later than 9 pm Eastern Daylight Time, September 25, 2019.
  • Notifications will be sent via email by late February 2020.
  • For information on how to request reviewer feedback, see FAQ.

The information below is a summary of the program, and details the eligibility, objectives, schedule, participating residential research centers, application requirements, and evaluation criteria for the program. Please read carefully through the material and accompanying FAQ.


These Burkhardt Fellowships are intended to support an academic year (nine months) of residence at any one of the 12 residential research centers participating in the program. Such an environment, beyond providing free time, encourages exchanges across disciplinary lines that can help deepen and expand the significance of projects in the humanities and related social sciences. This year's successful applicants may take up the fellowship in 2020-21 or in either of the succeeding two academic years, but candidates must commit themselves firmly to their preferred year and residential center on their completed applications. Candidates must also commit themselves to relocating as needed in order to be in residence for the entire nine-month tenure of the fellowship.

ACLS will award up to 10 Burkhardt Fellowships for residency at these centers in the 2019-20 competition year. Each fellowship carries a stipend of $95,000, plus funds for research costs and related scholarly activities of up to $7,500 and for relocation up to $3,000.

Scholars are welcome to apply both for a Burkhardt Fellowship and for forms of support offered directly by any of the participating centers, as well as for other ACLS fellowships for which they are eligible. Liberal arts college faculty are eligible for either set of opportunities within the Burkhardt Fellowship program, but may submit one application only and should select the type of residence that best serves their project. Successful applicants who accept a Burkhardt Fellowship will be withdrawn from other ACLS competitions.


These Burkhardt Fellowships are open to recently tenured humanists—scholars who will have begun their first tenured contracts by the application deadline but no earlier than the fall 2015 semester or quarter. An applicant must be employed in a tenured position at a degree-granting academic institution in the United States, remaining so for the duration of the fellowship. US citizenship or permanent residency is not required, and previous supported research leaves do not affect eligibility for the Burkhardt Fellowship. This is a residential fellowship; scholars who are unable to commit to a nine-month residence at one of the 12 participating centers should not apply.


  1. To encourage more adventurous, more wide-ranging, and longer-term patterns of research than are current in the humanities and related social sciences;
  2. To link a small number of outstanding scholars and their projects to one of a limited number of residential study centers with an established record of advancing multidisciplinary scholarship;
  3. To sustain the scholarly momentum of the emerging intellectual leaders in fields of the humanities and related social sciences.

ACLS invites applications that extend the frame within which research is planned in ways that will encourage conceptualizing and bringing to completion projects of wide scope and high significance. There are many ways in which scholarship may take on such scope and significance, from work that compares historical or literary trends across two or more cultures; that requires command of two or more scholarly disciplines to advance analysis; that explores topics requiring insights from two or more fields of the humanities; or that is poised to take fields of study in new directions. Please look through the projects of past Burkhardt Fellows as examples of the significant variety of such scholarship.


Proposals should show evidence of significant preliminary work already completed, and a plan of work, typically in the five-year range, to be carried out. Assurance will be required from the administrative leadership of the scholar's home institution (dean, provost, president, or other appropriate person) that the applicant is an especially promising member of its humanities faculty, and that the institution is prepared to make its own contributions—beyond providing normal fringe benefits during the fellowship year—to assist the scholar in bringing the project to completion. (See below.)

The overall structure of support would thus include:

  1. An academic year's leave funded by ACLS under the Burkhardt Fellowship program, with a stipend of $95,000 plus other funds for scholarly activities and relocation, and residence (not including lodging costs) at one of the participating residential centers. To accommodate fellows' personal schedules, these centers and libraries have agreed to permit successful applicants to specify one of the succeeding three years for residency and to hold a place for them; applicants will be required to adhere to that schedule.
  2. A summer's support (usually estimated at 2/9 salary) and/or equivalent reduction of teaching and administrative duties at some point in the post-fellowship stage, funded by the home institution.
  3. Since projects are expected to be long-term, and since these fellowships offer a high level of salary support, work plans should be designed to take maximum advantage of existing leave and/or sabbatical policies at home institutions; that is, these fellowships should be viewed as incremental to institutionally approved leave policies rather than substituting for them. Such institutionally granted research support could be used for the final effort necessary to bring the project to completion.

Participating Residential Research Centers

The participating centers are:
American Academy in Rome (Rome, Italy)
American Antiquarian Society (Worcester, MA)
Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences (Stanford, CA)
Huntington Library (San Marino, CA)
Institute for Advanced Study, Central European University (Budapest, Hungary)
Institute for Advanced Study, Schools of Historical Studies and Social Science (Princeton, NJ)
John W. Kluge Center at the Library of Congress (Washington, DC)
National Humanities Center (Research Triangle Park, NC)
Newberry Library (Chicago, IL)
Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study (Cambridge, MA)
Swedish Collegium for Advanced Study (Uppsala, Sweden)
Villa I Tatti (Florence, Italy)

Applicants must specify the particular center or research library where they hope to go into residence and the year of the proposed residency in their application materials, and provide a rationale as to why that center or library is best suited to advance the project. (Applicants also must select one alternate site in their application should their first choice be unable to accommodate them.)

There are two exceptions. Applicants who have previously held a Rome Prize may not apply for residency at the American Academy in Rome. Villa I Tatti will accept applications only for residency in 2020-21.

Application Requirements

Applications must be submitted online and must include:

  • Completed application form
  • Proposal (no more than 10 pages, double spaced, in Times New Roman 11-point font)
  • Bibliography (no more than three pages)
  • Publications list (no more than two pages)
  • Three reference letters
  • Institutional statement

Evaluation Criteria

Peer reviewers in this program are asked to evaluate all eligible proposals according to the following criteria:

  1. The potential of the project to advance the field of study in which it is proposed and make an original and significant contribution to knowledge.
  2. The ambition and scope of the proposed project.
  3. The quality of the proposal with regard to its methodology, scope, theoretical framework, and grounding in the relevant scholarly literature.
  4. The likelihood that residence at the specified center will increase significantly the applicant's ability to carry the project forward.
  5. The feasibility of the project and the likelihood that the applicant will execute the work within the proposed time frame.
  6. The scholarly record and career trajectory of the applicant, taking into account relative advantages and constraints on resources for the proposed project and over the course of the applicant's career.
  7. Commitment by the scholar's institution to assist in advancing the project.