ACLS Leading Edge Fellowships
March 15, 2023 9:00pm EDT
Leading Edge Fellowships place recent humanities PhDs with nonprofit organizations committed to promoting social justice in their communities.
The online fellowship and grant administration (OFA) system is now open for applications. Recent PhDs from across all fields of the humanities and humanistic social sciences are encouraged to apply for this fellowship. ACLS seeks to advance equity, justice, and inclusive excellence in all of our programs and initiatives. The Leading Edge Fellowship program welcomes applicants from diverse backgrounds including historically underrepresented groups such as Black/African American, Hispanic/Latinx, Asian American and Pacific Islander, American Indian or Alaskan Native scholars, first generation college students, scholars from low-income backgrounds, formerly incarcerated scholars, queer and trans scholars, and scholars with disabilities.
To watch an informational video on the 2023 Fellowship Competition, click here.
ACLS will hold a webinar for applicants to the 2023 ACLS Leading Edge Fellowship, offering real-time feedback on questions about eligibility, the online application, and the fellowship review and selection process. Please register here.
- Stipend: $66,000 in year one, and $70,000 in year two, plus health insurance and professional development funding
- Tenure: 24 months beginning in September 2023
- Applications will be accepted only through the ACLS Online Fellowship Application system. Please do not contact any of the organizations directly.
- Application deadline: March 15, 2023 9:00pm EDT
The American Council of Learned Societies is pleased to announce the fifth competition of the Leading Edge Fellowship program, which demonstrates the potential of humanistic knowledge and methods to solve problems, build capacity, and advance justice and equity in society. Leading Edge Fellowships place recent humanities PhDs with nonprofit organizations promoting social justice in their communities. Fellows take on substantive roles that draw on the skills and capacities honed in the course of earning the humanities PhD, including advanced communication, research, project management, and creative problem solving. This initiative is made possible through the support of the Mellon Foundation.
The fellowships are designed to foster mutually beneficial partnerships between fellows and their hosting organizations. Each applicant may apply for up to two of the available Leading Edge Fellowship opportunities listed below.
- Applicants must have a PhD that was/will be formally conferred by their university between September 1, 2018, and September 1, 2023. Applicants scheduled to graduate in Spring or Summer 2023 must be prepared to verify, with confirmation from their dissertation advisor or department chair, satisfactory progress towards degree conferral before September 2023. Applicants who do not have PhD in hand by September 1, 2023, will not be able to take up the fellowship.
- Applicants’ PhDs may be in any field in the humanities or humanistic social sciences. See FAQ for further information.*
- Applicants must be authorized to work in the United States for the entire duration of the fellowship term. This includes Indigenous individuals residing in the United States through rights associated with the Jay Treaty of 1794, and those who hold DACA status, Temporary Protected Status, or political asylee or refugee status. Neither ACLS nor the host organization can sponsor fellows for visas.
Applications must be submitted online and must include:
- A completed application form, including a short answer section about applying humanistic doctoral training to sectors beyond the academy.
- A cover letter tailored to each selected project and addressed to the host organization (1-2 pages). Applicants applying for two positions will submit two distinct cover letters.
- A resume (1-2 pages) and a list of three references. Applicants applying for two positions will submit two resumes and lists of references. No reference letters are required at the time of application.
Host Organizations and Position Descriptions
Download all of the position descriptions as a combined PDF here.
*Note: For the purpose of the spring 2023 competition of the Leading Edge Fellowship competition, PhDs in any field in the humanities or humanistic social sciences may apply. The humanities and related social sciences 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 interdisciplinary and cross-disciplinary humanistic studies are welcome. PhDs in education are eligible only if the degree’s focus is the anthropology, history, or sociology of education. EdDs are not eligible for the purposes of this program. This program also does not accept applications from students receiving a PhD in any field of pre-professional or applied study, including in the fields of business, public policy or public administration, education or arts education, clinical or counseling psychology, creative writing, journalism, library sciences, law, social work, social welfare, urban planning, public health, filmmaking, and performing arts. If your program or department supports degrees in humanistic fields of inquiry as well as pre-professional degrees, and your work is primarily humanistic in nature and draws on discourses (and dissertation committee members) in the humanities or interpretive social sciences, you may well be eligible. Please write to us at [email protected] if your degree is not listed above, or if you have any questions about your eligibility status. Master’s degrees, even if they are the terminal degree in the field, will not be accepted as substitutes for the PhD.