Building on ACLS’s New Faculty Fellows program (2012-13), the Postdoctoral Partnership Initiative aimed to utilize postdoctoral funding to advance institutional aims, such as the diversification of the faculty, while also supporting emerging scholars in responsible ways. 

In fall 2018, ACLS issued an open call for proposals to support postdoctoral fellowships within the humanities for members of groups that have been historically underrepresented on their campuses with the intent that if the fellowship progressed as planned, the fellows would be retained as tenure-track faculty. For each partnership, ACLS covered the cost of one two-year postdoctoral fellowship with a competitive annual stipend and benefits to be hosted within a department at the institution. The initiative, made possible by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, brought together higher education institutions working on these issues for an ongoing conversation about the evolution of the humanities professoriate. 

Through the Postdoctoral Partnership Initiative, The City College of New York, Haverford College, Temple University, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and the University of Kentucky each offered a two-year postdoctoral fellowship for promising early-career scholars from historically underrepresented groups such as Black/African American, American Indian, Alaskan Native, and Hispanic/Latino scholars.