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ACLS Digital Extension Grants FAQ

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Q: May I apply if I have the equivalent of a PhD?

Q: Does ACLS accept reference letters from Interfolio or university-based dossier services?

Q: The call for applications notes that, besides the base grant amount of $125,000, applicants may request up to an additional $25,000 to “fund concrete plans to collaborate with and build networks among scholars from US higher education institutions of diverse profiles.” What types of project costs are suitable for these special funds?

Q: May I apply if I have the equivalent of a PhD?
A: 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 in itself to satisfy the PhD equivalency 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).

Q: Does ACLS accept reference letters from Interfolio or university-based dossier services?
A: No. ACLS requests that reference letters contain specific elements targeted to the grant program, for example, directly addressing the applicant’s proposed research project. Reviewers have expressed strong reservations about letters from dossier services since they are necessarily general and thus less helpful in assessing the merits of the proposed project. This information is particularly crucial for proposals that reach the final round of selection where they are evaluated by multi-disciplinary committees. ACLS understands the demands placed on senior scholars and has sought to moderate that burden by reducing both the required number and the length of reference letters to minimum essential levels.

Q: The call for applications notes that, besides the base grant amount of $125,000, applicants may request up to an additional $25,000 to “fund concrete plans to collaborate with and build networks among scholars from US higher education institutions of diverse profiles.” What types of project costs are suitable for these special funds?
A: Though ACLS Digital Extension Grants may support a variety of project costs and modes of project extension, the program places special emphasis on fostering inter-institutional collaboration on digital projects, especially among institutions from different tiers of US higher education. Thus, ACLS has reserved special funding, up to $25,000, for activities and other items that help extend access of digital research opportunities to scholars from colleges and universities of diverse categories. Such project costs may include, but are not limited to:

  • Sites and events for training for scholars and developers from a range of higher education institutions
  • Activities associated with building networks of new users or developers from among a range of higher education institutions, especially individuals whose research can be advanced by accessing the cyberinfrastructure of the project
  • Travel, lodging, and meeting costs for scholars who are new to the project team or from institutions with limited digital infrastructure to participate in the project
  • Salary replacement for scholars who are new to the project team or from institutions with limited digital infrastructure.

Applicants should include in the budget plan or proposal a brief, cogent description of the project costs allocated to this special funding.

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Related Links

For answers to questions not addressed here, please contact us at fellowships@acls.org.

For questions pertaining to technical support, please consult the FAQ in the online fellowship application (OFA).