ACLS supports academic research in the humanities or interpretive 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, pedagogical projects, or translations without a scholarly apparatus of commentary and annotation.
For the purpose of this competition, the humanities or interpretive social sciences include but are not limited to:
- American studies
- Art history and architectural history
- Ethnic studies
- Film and media studies
- Gender studies
- Languages and literatures
- Legal studies
- Political science
- Religious studies
- Rhetoric and communication
- Science and technology studies
- Theater, dance, and performance studies
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). Mixed method approaches and proposals in interdisciplinary and cross-disciplinary humanities and related social sciences are welcome.
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 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.
Yes. As long as the outside award will not interfere with your full participation during the two-week summer institute from June 13, 2024 to June 29, 2024, 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.
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 always worthwhile to ask a colleague to proofread.
SISECSE Specific Questions
You might be eligible if you can meet several special requirements. If the PhD is not conferred (officially awarded) by the application deadline, the applicant must submit:
- (At the time of application) an institutional statement signed by a university official (dissertation advisor or departmental chair) confirming that the applicant is on schedule to complete the PhD by April 15, 2024.
- (By April 15, 2024) a letter from the applicant’s graduate school confirming that the dissertation has been submitted and approved by the graduate school for conferral according to the university calendar. The applicant is responsible for submitting the dissertation on time in order to meet this requirement.
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 interpretive social sciences.
We do not consider a JD to satisfy the PhD equivalency in itself, unless it was accompanied by:
- a record of scholarly publications that are humanistic in nature (as opposed to case studies or technical legal issues)
- 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 Ukraine.
Yes. Please use the applicant’s statement to make a case for why participation in the Summer Institute will benefit your research project.
No. As long as your PhD was granted by an accredited institution and you have an affiliation with an institution (i.e., college, museum, university) in North America or East Central and Southeastern Europe, you are eligible to apply.
No. Applicants must be already affiliated with an institution (i.e., college, museum, university) in the US or Canada.
The “affiliation with an institution (i.e., college, museum, university) in North America or East Central and Southeastern Europe” requirement for applicants refers to a long-term regular research or teaching appointment. A visiting position would need to be a long-term regular research or teaching appointment. See below for further information.
Long-term regular research or teaching appointments are full- or part-time positions at an institution (i.e., college, museum, university) 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 is meant to assure that the applicant intends to continue to contribute to the field in North America and/or East Central and Southeastern Europe. If you would like to make this case, we recommend that you apply. Please add a paragraph to the application statement indicating 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.
No. There are no plans to produce a publication of the participants’ work at the end of the Summer Institute.
The Online Application 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 at least an hour, if not two. In addition, you will need to submit your application essay and supporting documents. If your PhD degree is not conferred before the deadline, you will also need to secure a university official to submit an institutional statement confirming you are on schedule to complete the PhD by April 14, 2024. 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.
No. This program will not accept reference letters as part of the 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 or interpretive 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.