No. The applicant must reside in and maintain an affiliation in one of the participating countries: Ghana, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania, and Uganda. Affiliation is defined as a scholarly or professional relationship with a university, museum, or other academic institution that can be documented by an official at that institution.
If an applicant is a permanent resident of one of the five countries, and affiliated with, an institution in that country, such an applicant would also need to be a citizen of another sub-Saharan country. A citizen of a country outside of Africa with permanent residence in one of the five participating countries is not eligible.
The Carnegie/ACLS African Humanities Program is committed to inclusion, equity, and diversity as integral components of merit that enhance the scholarly enterprise. It is a priority of this program that cohorts of Fellows be broadly inclusive of different backgrounds, cultures, and any aspects that make one unique. We seek balance regarding gender, country of origin, and current university affiliation, as well as in topics and disciplinary approaches. Women are especially encouraged to apply.
No. ACLS postdoctoral fellowships are intended for scholars who have PhD degrees and who have received the degree no earlier than eight years before applying.
nly projects in the humanities are eligible. The list of humanities disciplines includes anthropology, archaeology, history, studies of the fine and performing arts, musicology, languages and linguistics, literature studies, religious studies, and philosophy. Projects in social sciences such as economics, sociology, or political science, as well as in law or international relations, are not eligible unless they are clearly humanistic in content and focus, that is, unless they use qualitative methods and approaches, and are informed by the study of history and culture. Projects whose purpose is advocacy or the improvement of policy, or that work for development, are not eligible.
Projects can explore any aspect of the humanities in any region of the world.
Final products must be pieces of scholarly writing. Acceptable examples include book manuscripts or a series of substantial journal articles. Proposals for research must identify the written scholarly product that will result. Creative projects such as novels, artworks, films, and musical compositions are not eligible. Projects for the organization of scholarly materials, such as archiving, collecting, and cataloguing, are not eligible.
No. ACLS does not specify how research must be performed. Applications should state why the proposed research framework is the most appropriate for the research questions posed.
Applications should propose work that can be completed within a 10-12-month period. If the work is part of a larger, multi-year project, the applicant should state this and should identify the activities that will be supported by AHP funds during the fellowship period.
The application essay should mention a few key works that have guided formulation of the research question or the choice of approaches and methods. The essay is not the place for a literature list. The place for such a list is the Project Bibliography and Sources file to be uploaded separately in the Documents Upload section of the online application.
All standard methods of citation are acceptable.
ACLS does not provide examples of winning proposals, and there is no one model to follow for a successful application. However, applicants may view abstracts of winning proposals on the ACLS website. Please read the selection criteria posted on the ACLS website.
Applications should propose scholarly research projects that will lead to the publication of a monograph or other scholarly product. Professional projects such as textbooks and course planning are not eligible. Journalistic accounts and popularizations are also not eligible.
No. Postdoctoral fellowships are intended for scholars working alone.
Yes. This is encouraged. However, the applicant must clearly state what sort of work will be involved in revisions e.g., writing only (specify which chapters), additional research, library or archival searches, etc.
The total number of fellowships awarded ranges from 35 to 50. The number depends on the quality of the applications, not on the total number of submissions received.
Application Review Process
No. All applications must be filled out and submitted online through our Online Fellowship Application system. If you have trouble using the online system please contact us at [email protected].
No. Late applications are never accepted, regardless of circumstances. It is the applicant’s responsibility to begin preparing the application early enough to allow time for proper transmission to ACLS.
Each application is reviewed by three senior faculty members teaching at African institutions to determine finalists. Applications of finalists are sent to the selection committee, which decides awards.
Applicants are notified of their results approximately six to seven months after the competition deadline.
Applicants who submitted a complete application dossier may request comments after they are notified of their results. However, reviewers are not required to write comments. Therefore, in some cases, an application receives no comments.
Yes. Individuals may apply multiple times, but they must observe the eight-year-past-PhD limit. It is inadvisable to submit the same application twice, without revision. Before reapplying, applicants should seek the advice of colleagues and mentors regarding the substantive content as well as the presentation of their applications. Applicants should consider any advice they receive, but the final version of the application’s content, as well as its final written form, should be the applicant’s own work.
No. Awards granted are based on application quality alone.
YES! Please make sure that you spell check all your submitted texts and documents. Please review your submission several times for spelling, grammar, and punctuation. It is worthwhile to ask a colleague to proofread.
Yes. It is acceptable to use extra time for the preparation of additional material for publication or for conducting further research. However, applications proposing work that can clearly be accomplished in much less than the 10-12-month fellowship period will be given a lower priority by the selection committee.
No. Fellowships must be completed within the 10-12-month period proposed in the application. These periods must match the timeframes of the annual competition for which they were submitted.
No. ACLS Fellows may hold no other simultaneous scholarships or grants. However, Fellows may accept paid leave or partially paid leave from their home institutions during the AHP fellowship period.
No. ACLS Fellows may not accept any form of employment, paid or unpaid, during the period of the AHP fellowship. Fellowship stipends are intended to free recipients from teaching and other duties for a full academic year to concentrate on the scholarly work proposed in the application.
No. ACLS Fellows may not travel outside the African continent during the period of the AHP fellowship. However, short travel to present a paper at a conference directly related to the project will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Fellows should email [email protected] in advance to ask for travel permission.
Online Application Process
This will vary, depending on how well you have prepared before you begin the application process. Simply filling in the form will probably take at least an hour, if not two. In addition, you will need to submit your application essay and supporting documents. You will also need to ask referees to write letters in support of your application and to make sure they submit them in a timely manner. You should start the process at least several weeks before the deadline to determine what is required and to start preparing your materials.
The best advice is to start early.
No, you may work 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.
No. Your application will be evaluated as submitted.
Your main priority should be to secure letters from referees who can write strong, well-informed letters on your behalf, preferably persons who can comment on the proposed project. ACLS reviewers sometimes have concerns about letters from colleagues in the applicants’ departments, and often prefer “arm’s length” letters from scholars who can attest to the proposed project’s significance to other work being done in the field.
It is good to show that you have contributed to the field, not merely in the department or institution at which you are employed or did your graduate work. Think carefully about who can write the best letters.
Applicants at early career stages are more likely to rely on dissertation advisors as advocates. In any case, you will want your referees to be tenured scholars.
You can check online to see if your references have been submitted. If one or more of your letters has not been submitted by the deadline, you should contact the writer of the missing letter. If one of your designated referees cannot write the letter, you may ask someone else to write for you and submit the appropriate information on your reference form. However, please note that once the required number of letters has been submitted for your application (regardless of which one of your referees submits it), no more letters will be accepted by the system. Think carefully, then, before requesting replacement letters. You would not want to put a referee in the position of writing a letter for you that then cannot be submitted.