ACLS Emerging Voices Fellowships

Fellowship Details

  • Stipend: $65,000 plus health insurance, a one-time relocation allowance of $3,000, and $3,500 (annually) for research/professional development 
  • Tenure: Two-year positions at select institutions in ACLS’s Research University Consortium beginning in August/September 2022
  • Eligibility: Applicants must have received their PhD in the humanities or humanistic social sciences from a US institution and that degree must be conferred between January 1, 2018 and December 31, 2021.
  • Application deadline: Completed applications must be submitted only through the ACLS Online Fellowship Application system ( no later than 9 pm Eastern Daylight Time on Wednesday, January 12, 2022.

The American Council of Learned Societies is pleased to announce the third competition of the Emerging Voices Fellowship which allows recent PhDs in the humanities and interpretive social sciences to take up two-year positions at select institutions in ACLS’s Research University Consortium for the 2022-23 and 2023-24 academic years. Up to 45 fellowships will be available for a fall semester 2022 start date.

NOTE - Candidates will not be permitted to hold Emerging Voices Fellowships at their PhD-granting institution. 

This final iteration of the Emerging Voices Fellowship will maintain its focus on the vanguard of scholars whose voices, perspectives, and broad visions will strengthen institutions of higher education and humanistic disciplines in the years to come. The program seeks to sustain emerging scholars who are “both-and”: who are both outstanding scholars and effective communicators to diverse audiences inside and/or outside the classroom. We are proud of our record in this program so far of supporting scholars of color, scholars from low-income and unconventional backgrounds, scholars who have taken on extraordinary roles in graduate school (organizing public art exhibits, teaching in prison education programs, managing research support groups, to name just a few). Preference will continue to be given to these groups.  

Emerging Voices Fellowships provide a $65,000 annual stipend plus benefits, a one-time relocation allowance of $3,000, and $3,500 (annually) in research/professional development funding, childcare or elder care costs, as well as access to ACLS professional development resources. Fellows are expected to teach one course or the equivalent per year.  Fellows will participate in professional development activities organized by ACLS in the first year of the fellowship. In the second year, they will join projects in their host institution in a limited, pre-arranged capacity – for example, assisting in organizing public events, contributing to institutional research, or leading a workshop for doctoral students. 

Emerging Voices Fellows will join a robust community of practice in the publicly engaged humanities and will have the opportunity to draw on networks of related ACLS programs, including alumni of the Mellon/ACLS Leading Edge Fellows and Scholars and Society Fellows. The diverse experience of the ACLS community is a shared resource that fellows are encouraged to draw on during and after their fellowship terms.


  • The competition will be open via the ACLS online portal to all applicants whose PhDs in the humanities and interpretive social sciences were formally conferred at US-based institutions between June 1, 2018 and December 31, 2021. Students who anticipate receiving the PhD after December 31, 2021 are not eligible.  
  • Applicants must be authorized to work legally in the United States for academic year 2022-23.
  • Applicants' PhDs may be in any field in the humanities or interpretive social sciences.* See FAQ for further information.

Strong candidates for this fellowship program will be both outstanding scholars and effective communicators to diverse audiences inside and/or outside the classroom. They will have demonstrated their ability to use the classroom as a vehicle to attract students to humanistic study and research. Priority in the review process will be given to applicants who show great promise in making the humanities meaningful to non-specialist audiences; come from diverse backgrounds including historically underrepresented groups; and have experience or show promise of leadership in institutional contexts or within their disciplines or interdisciplinary area of study. 


Applications must be submitted online and must include:
  • A completed brief application form including demographic information
  • A CV (1-2 pages)
  • A single-spaced, three-page (max) personal statement (in place of a cover letter) responding to specific prompts. Applicants should log into the online application portal for information about the writing prompts and document upload.
  • Dissertation abstract (no more than one full page, single-spaced)
  • One letter of reference is required and must be submitted by your faculty adviser, department chair, or other suitable referee. Recommenders should include information to highlight the strengths and experience of the applicant in being both an outstanding scholar and an effective communicator to diverse audiences inside and/or outside the classroom. Letters must be submitted through the ACLS application portal no later than 9 pm Eastern Daylight Time on Friday, January 12, 2022 (applicants will be prompted to request this letter from recommenders using our system).

Applicants will be asked to describe their potential contribution to programmatic needs in their disciplinary or interdisciplinary field or area: specifically, how they use the classroom as a vehicle to attract students to humanistic study and research, and how they approach inclusive online teaching. We will also ask applicants to choose from a list of programs and initiatives and explain their relevant experience and potential contribution. This list, which we are currently developing in dialogue with potential host institutions, includes but is not limited to programs and initiatives such as race and ethnicity studies, gender and sexuality studies, premodern studies, area studies, creative arts, digital humanities, public humanities, medical humanities, environmental humanities, community-engaged research and generalist, non-field specific.

Only complete applications, submitted through the ACLS Online Fellowship Application system ( from December 15, 2021 – January 12, 2022, 9pm Eastern Daylight Time, will be considered. Submitted applications will be evaluated through peer review based on the priorities detailed below.

Important Dates and Deadlines

 Application Opens
Wednesday, December 15, 2021
Application Deadline  Wednesday, January 12, 2022
Award Notification
By May 15, 2022
Fellowship Period
Academic Years 2022-2024

ACLS Emerging Voices Fellowship FAQ


The selection and placement take place over three stages: ACLS will organize two rounds of peer review, the first a large group of external readers holding PhDs and the second involving a small group including ACLS staff. Then, finalists determined by this process will be interviewed by ACLS’s Research University Consortium hosting institutions, who will send rankings and feedback to ACLS. Top- ranked candidates will be offered the fellowship. 

Please direct questions to

* ACLS welcomes nominees for the Emerging Voices Fellowship competition with PhDs in the humanities and interpretive social sciences, which include, but are not limited to, American studies; anthropology; archaeology; art and architectural history; classics; economics; ethnic studies; film; gender studies; geography; history; languages and literatures; legal studies; linguistics; musicology; philosophy; political science; psychology (excluding clinical or counseling psychology); religious studies; rhetoric, communication, and media studies; sociology; and theater, dance, and performance studies. PhDs in the social science fields listed above are eligible only if they employ predominantly humanistic approaches (e.g., economic history, law and literature, political philosophy, history of psychology). PhDs in interdisciplinary and cross-disciplinary humanistic studies are also welcome. This program does not accept applications from students receiving a PhD in the fields of business, public policy or public administration, education, clinical or counseling psychology, creative writing, journalism, library and/or information sciences, law, social work, social welfare, urban planning, public health, filmmaking, performing arts, or any field of pre-professional or applied study. Master’s degrees, even if they are the terminal degree in the field, will not be accepted as substitutes for the PhD.

For questions about eligibility, please visit the FAQ page or contact