ACLS supports academic research in the humanities and humanities-related social sciences. The ultimate goal of the project should be a major piece of scholarly work by the applicant.
ACLS does not fund creative work or the performing arts (e.g., novels, films, performance, or musical composition), nor does it fund textbooks or pedagogical projects, or translations without a scholarly apparatus of commentary and annotation.
For the purpose of these competitions, the humanities and interpretive social sciences include but are not limited to American studies; anthropology; archaeology; art history and architectural history; classics; economics; ethnic studies; film and media studies; gender studies; geography; history; languages and literatures; legal studies; linguistics; musicology; philosophy; political science; psychology; religious studies; rhetoric and communication; science and technology studies; sociology; and theater, dance, and performance studies.
However, proposals in the social science fields listed above are eligible only if they employ predominantly humanistic approaches and qualitative/interpretive methodologies (e.g., economic history, law and literature, political philosophy, history of psychology). Proposals in interdisciplinary and cross-disciplinary humanities and related social sciences are welcome, and most programs do not restrict the focus of research to any geographic region or to any cultural or linguistic group of study.
Learn more about what qualifies as humanities and interpretive social sciences.
Yes, an applicant for this program may also apply to as many fellowship programs as are suitable, with the exception of the ACLS Public Fellows program. However, not more than one ACLS or ACLS-joint award may normally be accepted in any one competition year.
An applicant may apply to several competitions, ACLS fellowships or others.
Awardees in the SISECSE competition may hold other awards and/or receive separate funding for their project. A complementary award may be accepted if it does not take time away from participation in the summer institute. Acceptance of an award requires your attendance and full participation at all events during the two-week summer institute.
Eligibility and Program-Specific Questions
No. You may not apply for this year’s competition. Your PhD degree must be completed (including defense and revisions) by the application deadline.
If you can demonstrate, as part of your application, the equivalent of the PhD in publications and professional experience, you are still eligible to apply.
If you have published scholarly work on a par with the academic work required by the PhD degree, you may apply. You need to have completed a substantial academic project that required a sustained period of research, similar to a dissertation, in the humanities or humanities-related social sciences.
Please note that we do not consider a JD to satisfy the PhD equivalency in itself, unless it was accompanied by a) a record of scholarly publications that are humanistic in nature (as opposed to case studies or technical legal issues) and b) a substantial academic project that required a sustained period of research (such as a dissertation or book).
No. In order to be eligible, research proposals must be focused on the study of East Central or Southeastern Europe, understood as Albania, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Czechia, Croatia, Hungary, Kosovo, Moldova, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Poland, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, and/or Ukraine.
Yes. Please use the statement of interest to make a case for why participation in the Summer Institute will benefit your research project.
Yes. As long as your PhD was granted by an accredited institution and you have an affiliation with a university or college in North America or East, Central, or Southeastern Europe, you are eligible to apply.
Yes. However, to be eligible, a non-citizen/permanent resident who has just graduated from a PhD program in the US, Canada, or Mexico and is not yet employed/affiliated with a university in North America must in the Applicant’s Statement state plans for a career in East, Central, or Southeastern European Studies in North America or East, Central, or Southeastern Europe. It will strengthen the application to include applications underway for academic positions, with names of institutions being considered.
The applicant may state his/her PhD institution as current affiliation in the application.
No. You are not eligible. The “affiliation with a university or college in North America or Central/Eastern Europe” requirement for applicants who are not US or Canadian citizens/permanent residents refers to a long-term regular research or teaching appointment.
Long-term regular research or teaching appointments are full- or part-time positions at an institution that are either permanent or indefinitely renewable. For instance, a temporary postdoctoral or visiting position that is non-renewable (or only renewable up to a maximum number of years) does not meet the requirement.
This eligibility requirement for non-US/Canadian/Mexican citizens/permanent residents is meant to assure that the applicant intends to continue to contribute to the field in North America and/or East Central or Southeastern Europe. If you would like to make this case, we recommend that you apply. Please add a paragraph to the application essay stating what you see yourself doing five years from now. The selection committee will make its decision based on all the information you provide in your application.
The Online Application Process
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 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 secure referees to write letters in support of your application. 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, although 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.
Yes! Please make sure that you use spell check on all your submitted texts and documents. Please review your submission several times for spelling, grammar, and punctuation. It is always worthwhile to ask a colleague to proofread.
No. 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.
The Review Process
Proposals to the Summer Institute for the Study of East Central and Southeastern Europe are read by experts in Eastern European studies from a variety of disciplines in the humanities and related social sciences.
The projects 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 information on previous awardees and brief project descriptions here. You may also benefit from reviewing Writing Proposals for ACLS Fellowship Competitions by Christina M. Gillis.
Yes. As long as the outside award will not interfere with your full participation during the two-week summer institute from June 1, 2023 to June 15, 2023, you may hold a concurrent award.
Please keep in mind that acceptance of an award for the SISECSE competition requires your attendance and full participation at all events during the two-week summer institute.