ACLS Project Grants for HBCU Faculty
The deadline for this program has passed. The description below is for information purposes only. Awardees in the 2023-24 competition will be announced in the spring.
- Stipend: Up to $10,000 grants to be used for any activities that advance the proposed project, including (but not limited to) course releases, travel to collections or conferences, research and editorial support, and child- or eldercare support that enables project engagement.
- Tenure: 12-15 months, starting June 1, 2024, and concluding no later than August 31, 2025.
- Each project grant comes with an additional grant of $2,500 to the awardee’s home institution to support humanities programming or infrastructure.
- Applicants who advance to the finalist round of review will receive a $500 grant to support their research, in addition to access to project and proposal development workshops in 2024.
- Completed applications must be submitted through the ACLS online fellowship administration system (ofa.acls.org) no later than 9 pm Eastern Daylight Time, November 2, 2023.
- Notifications will be sent via email in late January 2024.
The American Council of Learned Societies invites applications for 2024 ACLS Project Grants for HBCU Faculty. The grants of up to $10,000 support early-stage project design as well as smaller-scale project development that can be completed within the 12 to 15-month award tenure. These grants may be used to complete exploratory research, advance an existing or established project to its next stage of development, and/or serve as a formative next step for future funding opportunities. In addition to the grant stipend, awardees will have access to networking and mentorship opportunities that align with their scholarly goals and institutional circumstances.
This fellowship opportunity is part of the ACLS HBCU Faculty Fellowship and Grant Program, which offers both project grants and longer-term fellowships to HBCU faculty. Please review our program page for information about both award types and to determine which opportunity is right for your project.
We encourage you to sign up to receive updates about informational webinars, opportunities to participate in proposal development workshops, and other program news.
The applicant’s goal should be to pilot and/or substantially develop a research-grounded project during the term of the award. Possible project outcomes include, but are not limited to, contributions to the development of one or more of the following: monographs, scholarly articles, conference papers, book chapters, or book on a topic in the humanities or social sciences and/or teaching and learning in those disciplines; pedagogical tools that make meaningful connections between a scholar’s research and teaching; works that bridge scholarly and creative practice; and community-engaged projects grounded in scholarly research but geared toward a public audience.
The examples above are by no means exhaustive. ACLS seeks to advance diverse forms of research as well as innovative forms and modes of publication. The program welcomes digital, collaborative, and publicly and community engaged approaches to scholarship. The program also welcomes proposals from HBCU faculty that engage with scholars from other institutions, disciplines, or organizations outside of the academy.
Projects with pedagogical or curricular outcomes must focus on a postsecondary context. Projects focused on teaching and learning in a K-12 setting are not appropriate for this program. Community and/or student engagement with the research project is encouraged, as is the dissemination of the research to audiences across higher education.
Use of Grant Funds
The strongest applications will show evidence of thoughtful plans for engaging the sources, resources, scholars, and communities – on campus and/or off – necessary to advance their projects.
Fellows might use grant funds for:
- Funds for research (e.g., train research assistants, pay research participants, learn new methods, travel to libraries and archives, pay for reproductions).
- Support to integrate research and pedagogy/teaching and learning, such as action research projects or Scholarship of Teaching and Learning in the classroom.
- Travel costs and registration fees for research and conferences; costs associated with organizing a workshop or event related to the project.
- Course releases.
- Writing and editorial assistant to advance work to publication, or other fees related to publication or dissemination of research.
- Collaborations across institutions, both among HBCUs and other universities.
- Interdisciplinary collaborations with colleagues across fields with similar research agendas.
- Support for civic engagement and/or social justice work with surrounding communities.
We understand that no two projects require the same type of support and, as such, this list is by no means comprehensive. Applicants are encouraged to think about the specific needs of their project, as well as the roadblocks to project outcomes. Award funds may be used for anything that is necessary to advance the project.
- Be employed primarily as instructors at an institution designated as an Historically Black College or University. (Please consult this list to determine whether your institution is eligible.) Applicants do not need to be appointed full time and do not need to be on the tenure track. Part-time and adjunct instructors are welcome to apply. All awardees must remain employed at an accredited HBCU for the duration of the award term.
- Have an MA or PhD in the humanities or related social sciences that was conferred by the application deadline.
- Agree to take part in occasional networking, project development, and mentorship events during the course of the award term.
- Address a topic in the humanities or social sciences and/or teaching and learning in those disciplines in a higher education setting.
- Employ predominantly humanistic approaches and qualitative/interpretive methodologies.
- Include original scholarly research.
ACLS believes that humanistic scholarship benefits from inclusivity of voices, narratives, and subjects that have historically been underrepresented or under-studied in academe. We especially welcome applications from scholars from historically underrepresented communities in the academy, including (but not limited to) Black/African American, Hispanic/Latinx, and Indigenous communities from around the world; people with disabilities; queer, trans, and gender nonconforming people; and people of diverse socioeconomic backgrounds. We also believe that institutional diversity enhances the scholarly enterprise, and we encourage applications from all types of institutions represented among HBCUs, including both two-year and four-year degree granting institutions.
Peer reviewers are asked to be mindful of ACLS’s commitment to inclusive excellence, and of how equity and diversity are integral components of merit. In addition, reviewers in this program are asked to evaluate all eligible proposals on the following criteria:
- The potential of the project to engage successfully with the field or fields of study in which it is proposed and make a meaningful contribution to scholarship, teaching and learning, and/or public understanding.
- The quality of the proposal with regard to its methodology, scope, workplan, and clarity of expression.
- The feasibility of the project, including the proposed timeline and budget.
- The appropriateness of the project (i.e., scope and/or stage of development) for the type of funding sought.
- The potential of the award to advance ACLS’s commitment to inclusive excellence, which is based on the principle that humanistic scholarship benefits from institutional diversity and the inclusion of voices that have been historically underrepresented in the academy due to race, gender, class and other aspects of identity.
Applications must be submitted online and must include:
- Completed application form (this includes basic biographical information, as well as short-answer questions regarding your journey as a scholar, research interests, teaching responsibilities, and institutional context).
- Proposal detailing the project’s research base and goals; work already undertaken (if any); and resources needed to complete project (no more than two pages double spaced, in Times New Roman 11-point font, including any footnotes or endnotes).
- Optional: Up to one page of images or figures, if needed.
- A bibliography (no more than one page, single spaced, in Times New Roman 11-point font).
- A one-page workplan detailing work to be conducted during award tenure. (Suggested guidelines for this application component.)
- A basic budget. (ACLS provides a sample template for reference.)
No reference letters or institutional statements of support are required as part of the initial application. Successful applicants will be asked to submit institutional certification pledging that the applicant will be permitted to carry out the work outlined in the proposal. This brief form will be made available to provisional awardees and will be completed by a department chair, dean, or other senior administrator as part of the confirmation of the award.
Please see the FAQ for more details on the format and content of each piece of the application. Applicants are encouraged to draw on application resources, such as webinars and informational sessions.
ACLS offers the following support for HBCU faculty who are interested in these fellowship and grant opportunities. Please sign up here to receive notifications as new opportunities for support are announced.
- Office hours for applicant support: Sign up here.
- Feedback on draft applications: ACLS will provide feedback on draft applications on a rolling basis over the course of the summer 2023. Program officers will review complete or incomplete drafts of proposals, workplans, and budgets submitted by August 31, 2023. Unfortunately, we cannot provide feedback on drafts received after that date. This optional review is not part of the formal selection process and has no bearing on the final funding decision. All drafts should be sent as Word or PDF attachments to [email protected].