Luce/ACLS Program in Religion, Journalism & International Affairs Fellowships for Scholars

The online fellowship and grant administration (OFA) system is now open for applications.

Fellowship Details

  • Stipend: $55,000, plus $3,000 for project-related research and travel costs and $5,000 to support attendance at an ACLS-hosted media workshop in Fall 2020 as well as other media training and engagement activities of the fellow's choosing
  • Tenure: one academic year
  • Events: all fellows will participate in a fall media workshop and spring symposium for scholars and journalists
  • Completed applications must be submitted through the ACLS online fellowship and grant administration system ( no later than 9 pm Eastern Daylight Time, October 23, 2019
  • Notifications will be sent via email by late March 2020.
  • For information on how to request reviewer feedback, see FAQ.

ACLS invites applications for fellowships offered by the Luce/ACLS Program in Religion, Journalism & International Affairs, made possible by the generous support of The Henry Luce Foundation. The program aims to deepen public understanding of religion by advancing innovative scholarship on religion in international contexts and equipping individual scholars and institutions of higher education with the capacities to connect their work to journalism and the media and to engage audiences beyond the academy.

Designed for scholars in all disciplines of the humanities and related social sciences, Luce/ACLS fellowships support research on any aspect of religion in an international context and encourage scholars to connect their specialist knowledge with journalists and media practitioners. As religion plays important roles in many dimensions of society, this program welcomes proposals that explore connections between religion and the environment, gender rights, health and medicine, migration and immigration, politics and economic policy, and media and entertainment, among others. The ultimate goal of the research should be a significant piece of scholarly work by the applicant and concrete steps to engage journalistic and media audiences. Please note that this program does not fund creative work (e.g., novels or films), textbooks, straightforward translation, or pedagogical projects.

The awards are portable and are tenable at the fellow's home institution or any other appropriate site for research. ACLS requires all fellows to participate in two program-sponsored events during the fellowship year: a media engagement workshop in November 2020 and a spring 2021 symposium that brings together scholars, journalists, and public policy experts. In addition to these required events, fellows receive support to pursue other media training and engagement activities at universities, research centers, and media organizations that encourage connections between journalism and the academy; see the FAQ for more information.

ACLS will award up to six fellowships for the 2020-21 academic year with tenure beginning in August or September 2020. The award carries a stipend of $55,000, plus $5,000 to support attendance at a media engagement workshop in November 2020 as well as other media training and engagement activities designated by the fellow. Fellows also receive up to $3,000 for fellowship-related research and travel costs.

Scholars may apply for a Luce/ACLS Fellowship and for other forms of support, including other ACLS fellowship programs. Please note that an applicant may accept only one ACLS fellowship in a given competition year.


Applicants must:

  • be a US citizen or permanent resident as of the application deadline date
  • have a PhD degree that was conferred by the application deadline. (An established scholar who can demonstrate the equivalent of the PhD in publications and professional experience may also qualify.)
  • be able to attend and participate in two program-sponsored events, a workshop in November 2020 and a symposium in April 2021 (locations TBA)


  1. To encourage connections between scholarship on religion and the training and practice of journalism;
  2. To provide scholars in all disciplines of the humanities and social sciences who are conducting research on religion in international contexts with opportunities to advance their scholarship and to connect their specialist knowledge with journalism and media audiences;
  3. To promote greater public understanding of the role of religion in international affairs.

Application Requirements

Applications must be submitted online and must include:

  • Completed application form
  • Proposal (no more than five pages, double spaced, in Times New Roman 11-point font)
  • Up to two additional pages of images or other similar supporting non-text materials (optional)
  • Statement of interest in connecting scholarly research to journalistic audiences (no more than two pages, double spaced, in Times New Roman 11-point font), including a description of plans to pursue media engagement
  • Bibliography of relevant scholarly and journalistic sources (no more than two pages)
  • Publications list (no more than two pages)
  • Two reference letters

Evaluation Criteria

Peer reviewers in this program are asked to evaluate all eligible proposals on the following six 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 quality of the proposal with regard to its methodology, scope, theoretical framework, and grounding in the relevant scholarly literature.
  3. The applicant’s demonstrated commitment to connecting scholarly research with journalistic and media audiences.
  4. The rationale for the proposed site(s) of the fellowship and likelihood that resources available there will enable the applicant to carry the project forward and advance the applicant’s interests in media engagement.
  5. The feasibility of the project and the likelihood that the applicant will execute the work within the proposed timeframe.
  6. The applicant's scholarly experience and potential for scholarly achievement.

Please note: Fellows may not teach or undertake other significant administrative responsibilities during the fellowship tenure.