ACLS Digital Justice Development Grants
February 15, 2022, 9 pm EST.
- Amount: between $50,000 and $100,000
- Tenure: 12-18 months to be initiated as early as July 1, 2022 and no later than December 31, 2022
- Completed applications must be submitted through the ACLS online fellowship and grant administration system (ofa.acls.org) no later than 9 pm Eastern Standard Time, February 15, 2022.
- Notifications will be sent via email by mid-May 2022.
- Contact [email protected] with program inquiries
- For more information, see our FAQ
The American Council of Learned Societies is pleased to invite applications for Digital Justice Development Grants, which are made possible by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. ACLS Digital Justice Development Grants are designed to promote and provide resources for projects that diversify the digital domain, advance justice and equity in digital scholarly practice, and/or contribute to public understanding of racial and social justice issues.
This program addresses the inequities in the distribution of access to tools and support for digital work among scholars across various fields, those working with under-utilized or understudied source materials, and those in institutions with less support for digital projects. It promotes inclusion and sustainability by extending the opportunity to participate in the digital transformation of humanistic inquiry to a greater number of humanities scholars and projects at various stages of development. Finally, ACLS Digital Justice Development Grants offer scholars and project leaders the opportunity to receive tailored coaching from the Nonprofit Finance Fund in order to plan for the long-term stewardship and sustainability of their projects.
ACLS Digital Justice Development Grants support projects that pursue any of the following activities:
- Engage with the interests and histories of people of color and other historically marginalized communities, including (but not limited to) Black, Latinx, and Indigenous communities; people with disabilities; and queer, trans, and gender nonconforming people.
- Advance beyond the prototyping or proof-of-concept phase and articulates the next financial, technological, and intellectual phases of project development.
- Cultivate greater openness to new sources of knowledge and strategic approaches to content building and knowledge dissemination.
- Support teams of scholars committed to exploring and pursuing the best available means for their projects’ long-term sustainability and impact
ACLS Digital Justice Development Grants range in the amount of $50,000 to $100,000. Development grants may be held for 12-18 months. ACLS grants may not support projects whose focus is the production of creative works (e.g., novels or films), textbooks, straightforward translations, or purely pedagogical projects. Institutional indirect costs will not be covered.
- Projects must be hosted by an institution of higher education in the United States.
- Project’s principal investigator must be a scholar in a field of the humanities of the interpretative social sciences.
- Projects must demonstrate evidence of significant preliminary work as well as a record of accomplishment and impact with scholarly audiences.
Peer reviewers in this program are asked to evaluate all eligible proposals on the following criteria:
- The project’s engagement with understudied, underfunded, or otherwise marginalized topics of scholarly inquiry.
- The project’s capacity to advance justice and equity by addressing subjects and materials of significance for society and scholarship.
- The project’s intellectual, technological, and financial planning.
- The feasibility of development, extension, and/or renewal plans.
- The potential of the project to contribute to the careers of scholars devoted to these areas of study – both those involved in the creation of the project and those whose scholarship will be enhanced by access to the project.
- The project’s clarity with respect to which audiences it seeks to engage and why.
Applications for development grants must contain the following components:
Project Narrative, 10 pages, double-spaced, in Times New Roman 11-point font. The narrative must include the following sections:
- Project History and Impact: This section should include a brief history of the project to date, a clear articulation of the project’s intervention, and some measurement of the project’s current impact among target user communities (e.g. user metrics, reviews of past work, convenings of advisors to prepare the project for Development, etc.). It should also discuss the project’s contribution to field building, digital scholarship, and/or public understandings of racial and social justice issues. Proposals will be evaluated relative to the technical requirements for completing a successful digital project; evidence of significant preliminary work already completed; and the comparative advantage of the proposed project as measured against other related or similar projects.
- Project Overview: Applicants should describe, briefly but specifically, what the project team plans to do and why. How does this project demonstrate scholarly excellence in the humanities as well as the ability to bring the digital to bear on subjects that have historically been underrepresented or under-studied in academe? Applicants should discuss both the intellectual and programmatic ambitions of the project and its technological underpinnings, including any plans for data management. Proposals should illustrate with specific examples or use cases how the digital technologies involved in the project add value to humanistic inquiry.
- Infrastructure: Applications must indicate how their projects utilize the software, hardware, and staff support that constitute the infrastructure where the project is or will be hosted and maintained. A data management plan for the current and ongoing care for digital content produced is required.
Budget and Budget Description, no more than three pages, double-spaced, in Times New Roman 11-point font.
The budget should provide a detailed account of the proposed use of the grant funds. Grant funds may not pay for institutional overhead. However, direct administrative costs, such as office expenses and an honorarium for office assistance, are allowed. If applicable, the budget plan should also reflect any proposed cost-sharing measures undertaken by the host institution or a third party.
Please include a narrative that summarizes why your proposed budget and timeline are reasonable for the work you are proposing. In the narrative, address the following questions:
- What are some known and potential key risks or challenges that may impose barriers to building scale and growth of your project? How could you mitigate these risks?
- What are some one-time investments (i.e, investment in infrastructure) and on-going costs (i.e, new staff, purchase of software licenses) that the project will now need to assume as the project grows?
- What are some potential financial and non-financial resources (i.e, in-kind support, near-term partnerships on campus or off, etc.) that the project can access?
Project Timeline, no more than two pages, double-spaced, in Times New Roman 11-point font.
The timeline should demonstrate a coherent plan for the development and execution of the project, including the sequence of tasks to be accomplished within the grant period.
Bibliography, no more than two pages, double-spaced, in Times New Roman 11-point font. The bibliography should reflect works cited in the proposal and other key scholarship from the fields in which the project will intervene.
Intellectual Property Statement, one-page, double-spaced, in Times New Roman 11-point font.
Applications must include a statement concerning the intellectual property rights relating to software and content developed with grant funds. In this statement, applicants must commit to: (a) making any software developed with grant funds available pursuant to an open-source license located at www.opensource.org and in a public repository (such as GitHub or Sourceforge); (b) making any digital content broadly available; and (c) no infringement of third-party rights with respect to the development, dissemination, and use of the software and/or digital content. The creators of the software, digital products, and content created with support of ACLS grant funds will retain intellectual property ownership rights of those materials. Digital content should be made as widely available as intellectual property constraints allow, ideally with the most liberal Creative Commons license that is appropriate to the underlying content. In addition, applicants should explain how they propose to maintain software developed with grant funds after the end of the grant term and for how long they would maintain it in a usable form. These longer-term questions of software maintenance would also be addressed in the financial planning requirements. ACLS will require grantees to report on whether and how they have complied with the commitments regarding intellectual property made in the proposal.
In this section, provide a list of the names and institutional affiliations of members of the project team and a description of no more than one paragraph of each member’s role(s) and capacities on the project. If new staff will be hired to support the development of the project during the grant term, the applicant should describe the hiring process/timeline and provide descriptions (1-2 pages) of all positions to be filled. If a postdoctoral fellow will be hired for the project team, the application must outline what resources the fellow would have access to as a member of the team/community and how the role will advance the fellow’s longer-term career interests. If work is proposed with external consultants or contractors, this section should describe how these partners were chosen and what expertise they provide, as well as naming their expected deliverables and quantifying the time devoted to the project.
Two Reference Letters, to be submitted separately by referees via ACLS’s online portal. Referees are asked to comment on the degree to which the specific proposal represents a potentially significant contribution to humanistic digital scholarship. They are asked to evaluate the scholar’s achievements and ability to conduct and complete the project proposed, as well as the importance of this project within the general and specific field(s) to which it relates.
Institutional Statement, to be submitted separately via ACLS’s online portal.
The institutional statement should be submitted by a senior official of the principal investigator’s home institution or the institution hosting the project (i.e., a dean, provost, president, or other appropriate senior administrator). The form asks the institutional representative to confirm that the institution’s existing infrastructure complements and supports the technologies to be developed and the related program activities to be undertaken for the specified project, and how the activities supported by the grant would be counted for purposes of promotion and tenure at the host institution.
Contact [email protected] with program inquiries