ORCID offers a persistent digital identifier (an ORCID iD) that you as an individual scholar own and control, and that distinguishes you from every other researcher. ORCID is being implemented by publishers around the world. In some countries with centralized funding structures, ORCID is in even greater use than it is in the United States. Ten million researchers have created their own ORCIDs.
Learn more about ORCID at https://orcid.org/.
ACLS is joining higher education organizations and funders in encouraging the use of ORCID, which will strengthen academic infrastructure and our relationships with constituencies throughout the academic world.
The benefits for scholars are numerous: having a persistent ID for applicants and fellows could be helpful to scholars whose scholarly record is attributed differently over time (due to differences between Roman and non-Roman characters or because a scholar’s name changes as a result of marriage, divorce, or transitions in gender identification). Faculty with adjunct or other contract employment also benefit from having a persistent and non-institutionally based identity, since institutions do not follow any standard record-keeping on their public websites.
In future years, we hope to integrate more of an applicant’s ORCID record data into the application process, saving them time and effort. For now, we believe that simply requiring ORCID registration is a great first step.
While it only takes a minute to sign up for an account, we advise applicants for ACLS fellowships and grants to register with ORCID before beginning their online applications.
You are only required to register for the ID; how much information you add to your profile is entirely up to you. You can learn more about the benefits of having and using an ORCID profile at https://info.orcid.org/benefits-for-researchers/.
ACLS Fellowships support academic research in all fields of the humanities and related social sciences. In order for social science applications to be eligible, they must employ predominantly humanistic approaches and qualitative/interpretive methodologies. The ultimate goal of the project should be a major piece of scholarly work by the applicant.
ACLS Fellowships do not fund works of fiction or the performing arts (e.g., novels, films, performance, or musical composition), nor does it fund textbooks or pedagogical projects, or work that consists solely of translation.
Yes, absolutely. Applicants for this fellowship are encouraged to apply to as many fellowship and grant programs as are suitable. However, not more than one ACLS or ACLS-joint award may normally be accepted in any one competition year.
No, your PhD degree must have been officially conferred by the application deadline. If you are a doctoral student, you may be eligible for one of ACLS’s dissertation fellowships.
The fellowship is structured so that it allows awardees to take it up in the academic year following the award or the calendar year following the award. Fellowship tenure is for a period of six to twelve months, which can be initiated between July 1, 2024 and July 1, 2025. Tenure must be concluded by December 31, 2025. Twelve-month fellowships may commence as late as January 1, 2025, and six-month fellowships may commence as late as July 1, 2025. Six months of the fellowship tenure must be consecutive, but any remainder of the fellow’s award term can be taken separately at a later date within the eligible award window.
Yes, in the 2023-24 competition year, ACLS is restricting eligibility for the ACLS Fellowship to scholars who earned their PhDs within 8 years of the application deadline and who do not hold a tenured faculty position. If an applicant is untenured at the time of application but holds a tenured position at the time of award or will begin their first tenured semester during the proposed fellowship term, the fellowship offer must be declined. This rule will ensure that the awards support untenured scholars.
Yes. Since this program is committed to providing supported research leave to emerging, untenured scholars exclusively this year, the 2023-24 awards may not be held by scholars with tenure.
Online Fellowship and Grant Application (OFA) Process
No, you will need to start over with a new online application.
This will vary, depending on how much work you have prepared before you begin the application process. Simply filling in the form will probably take an hour if not two, plus you will need to submit your proposal and supporting documents. We highly recommend that you start the process several weeks before the deadline to get a sense of what is required and start preparing your materials.
No, you may work on it in multiple sessions, though you will need to save your work after you finish each section of the application. Once you have submitted the application, you cannot work on it again.
The deadline to submit completed applications for this fellowship is 9 pm, Eastern Daylight Time, September 28, 2023.
We are flexible on this issue. We suggest you indicate the longer period. Should a fellowship be awarded, the tenure period can be adjusted at that time.
You may estimate the amount you expect to receive, or fill in nothing. You can enter this amount in the section asking you to list other major funding sources to which you are applying for your present research proposal. Should you be offered a fellowship, you will need to provide a specific amount for any other funding you will receive during the fellowship period.
No, your application will be judged as it is at the time of submission. Unfortunately we are unable to accommodate amendments to your application after it is submitted.
Notifications and other correspondence are sent via email from “acls.org” addresses. In order to prevent ACLS emails from being blocked, we suggest that applicants:
- Add the relevant ACLS email addresses (e.g., [email protected] and [email protected]) to their address book or safe senders list.
- Check spam or junk mail folder for notifications and correspondence, if you are expecting them.
- In the event that you continue not to receive ACLS emails in either your inbox or spam/junk folder, it may be that your institution (“.edu”) or internet service provider (“.com” or “.net” email) is blocking these emails before they reach you. Please contact the appropriate personnel, e.g., your IT department, so that they may resolve the issue.
Yes, although it must meet our formatting requirements: no more than five pages total, single or double spaced, including any footnotes or endnotes, in Arial or Helvetica 11-point font, including a brief description of context and the sample’s relation to the proposed project. Excerpts from publications that do not meet the formatting guidelines will not be accepted. An application containing a writing sample that does not conform to stated length and formatting requirements will be deemed ineligible for the competition.
Your writing sample’s status (published or unpublished) has no bearing on your success in the competition.
The personal statement is a brief narrative (no more than one page, double spaced, in Arial or Helvetica 11-point font) describing your journey as a scholar and how your work comes together at the nexus of personal experience and research interests.
The goal of this statement is to help our peer reviewers understand the connection between the scholar and their project. (Scholarship is not conducted in a vacuum of perfect detachment, devoid of personal perspective and experience.) You might choose to include information about your motivations for pursuing a particular topic of study or methodology, or how your teaching and working conditions inform your approach to your proposed research, or other information about you that would illuminate your trajectory as a scholar.
No. In the 2023-24 competition year, this program will not accept letters of recommendation as part of the fellowship application package. Other ACLS programs do require reference letters, and we encourage you to consult closely the application requirements for each program to which you are applying.
Proposals will be reviewed in two stages. At the first stage, three established scholars in your discipline (and/or regional area of study) will judge your proposal. These reviewers may or may not specialize in the particular sub-field(s) covered in your proposal. The first stage of review determines which applications will go on to the final stage. At that point, applications are reviewed by a panel of scholars whose collective expertise covers a range of disciplines in the humanities and interpretive social sciences.
At the first stage, your application will be reviewed in the context of your own field of research, by scholars working within your discipline or in closely related fields. In the second stage, your application will be judged against others in various disciplines.
To address experts in your field, explain why this project offers insight into the issues of your discipline, and make clear what question or problem is being addressed. In addition, though, be sure to explain any terms that might not be familiar to those outside your field or subfield, and discuss the significance of your project within your field. In a section of the application separate from the body of the proposal, you are also asked to address the significance of your proposed project for the humanities.
The portion of the proposal that should be devoted to its constituent parts varies according to the proposed project. An important part of the application process is gauging the most central elements of your project and presenting those elements to your best advantage within the specified word/page limit.
The projects that are ultimately selected vary widely. While there is no one model to follow for a successful application and we do not provide examples of proposals that receive funding, you are encouraged to view previous awardees and brief project descriptions on our website. You may also benefit from asking an ACLS Fellow that you know to show you her or his proposal and from reviewing Writing Proposals for ACLS Fellowship Competitions by Christina M. Gillis.
Yes, you may request feedback generated through ACLS’s peer review process by writing to [email protected] with the subject line “Request for feedback –” followed by your full name, e.g. “Request for feedback – Jane Q. Applicant.” Requests for comments from the 2023-24 competition must be received by June 30, 2024.
Due to the number of requests ACLS receives each year, and the work of administering new fellowships each spring, we do not begin processing feedback until the summer, after the competition year is complete. Thank you for your patience.
Please also note that feedback is made available at the discretion of each reviewer. Comments may not be available from every reviewer who assessed your application. We encourage peer reviewers to provide constructive feedback to applicants looking to improve on their ideas or how they express those ideas; comments are not an explanation or rationale for why an application was not selected for an award. Such feedback also is not intended to be directions that, if followed, would lead necessarily to greater success in future competitions. After all, the pool of reviewers changes every year, as does the pool of applications.
The fellowship is awarded to an individual scholar. ACLS can arrange payment through the scholar’s institution upon request. However, institutions may not deduct funds for overhead or indirect costs from the individual’s fellowship. For more information, review Information for Institutional Administrators.
ACLS Project Development Grants
There is no separate application for ACLS Project Development Grants. Rather, these $5,000 research grants will be offered to especially promising applicants from teaching-intensive institutions from within the overall pool of applicants to the ACLS Fellowship program. Recipients will be selected within the normal review process from among applicants from teaching-intensive institutions who advanced to the final stage and whose projects, while not selected for one of the very few fellowships available, would be advanced substantially by these seed grants.
While teaching and service are vital elements of a faculty career at all institutions of higher education, teaching-intensive institutions are those whose faculty teach a greater number of courses per year than more research-intensive institutions, often with fewer institutionalized resources for research. Community colleges, baccalaureate colleges, HBCUs, and regional comprehensive universities are generally considered to be teaching-intensive institutions for the purposes of this award.
ACLS can arrange payment through the scholar’s institution or to the grant recipient directly.
ACLS Project Development Grants are intended to be flexible and may be used to cover any expenses that help advance the fellow’s proposed research project, including but not limited to: travel expenses (for research or for attending relevant scholarly conferences); research assistance; research materials (books, equipment, software/licensing fees, reproductions); archival access/permission; scholarly programming such as workshops or speaker series related to their projects, etc.