ACLS Leading Edge Fellowships
March 2022 TBD
The deadline for this program has passed. The description below is for information purposes only. The next fellowship competition will launch in February 2022.
- Stipend: $60,000 plus health insurance and professional development funding
- Tenure: 12 months beginning in September 2021
- Applications will be accepted only through the ACLS Online Fellowship Application system. Please do not contact any of the organizations directly.
- Application deadline: May 6, 2021, 9pm EDT
The American Council of Learned Societies is pleased to announce the third competition of the Leading Edge Fellowship program, which demonstrates the potential of humanistic knowledge and methods to solve problems, build capacity, and advance justice and equity in society. Leading Edge Fellowships place recent humanities PhDs with nonprofit organizations committed to promoting social justice in their communities. Fellows lead substantive projects that draw on the skills and capacities honed in the course of earning the humanities PhD, including advanced communication, research, project management, and creative problem solving. This initiative is made possible through the support of The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
Leading Edge Fellows
- Take on substantive, intellectually meaningful projects in a challenging job market
- Receive annual stipends of $60,000 plus health insurance and professional development funding
- Take the lead on defined portfolios of projects lasting up to 12 months
- Undertake professional development activities with other fellows over the course of the fellowship
- Begin annual fellowship terms in September 2021
Leading Edge Hosting Organizations
- Benefit from fellows’ scholarly perspectives and broad sets of skills and capacities, including strong writing, project management, cultural competencies, and problem-solving skills
- Define substantive projects for fellows
- Provide oversight and access to requisite resources to execute the project(s)
- Offer opportunities for networking and mentorship throughout the fellowship year
- Are prepared to bring on fellows and support projects remotely
We expect the fellowships to foster mutually beneficial partnerships between fellows and their hosting organizations. Each applicant may apply for up to two of the available Leading Edge Fellowship opportunities listed below.
Participating Organizations and Projects
Full project descriptions, which include detailed information on the host organizations, the projects, and requisite applicant qualifications, will be available when the next competition is announced.
Note: PhDs in any field in the humanities or humanistic social sciences may apply. The humanities and related social sciences include but are not limited to American studies; anthropology; archaeology; art and architectural history; classics; economics; ethnic studies; film; gender studies; geography; history; languages and literatures; legal studies; linguistics; musicology; philosophy; political science; psychology (excluding clinical or counseling psychology); religious studies; rhetoric, communication, and media studies; sociology; and theater, dance, and performance studies. PhDs in interdisciplinary and cross-disciplinary humanistic studies are welcome. PhDs in education are eligible only if the degree’s focus is the anthropology, history, or sociology of education. EdDs are not eligible for the purposes of this program. This program also does not accept applications from students receiving a PhD in the fields of business, public policy or public administration, education or arts education, clinical or counseling psychology, creative writing, journalism, library sciences, law, social work, social welfare, urban planning, public health, filmmaking, performing arts, or any field of pre-professional or applied study. Master’s degrees, even if they are the terminal degree in the field, will not be accepted as substitutes for the PhD. If your degree field is not listed above, and you have questions about your eligibility, please contact email@example.com. For more information about eligibility, visit the FAQ page.
- Applicants must have a PhD that was/will be formally conferred by their university between September 1, 2016, and October 1, 2021. Applicants scheduled to graduate in Summer or early Fall 2021 must be prepared to verify progress to degree with official university documentation during the review and selection process.
- Applicants’ PhDs may be in any field in the humanities or humanistic social sciences. See FAQ for further information.
- Applicants must be authorized to work in the US for the entire duration of the fellowship term. This includes Indigenous individuals residing in the United States through rights associated with the Jay Treaty of 1794, and those who hold DACA status, Temporary Protected Status, or political asylee or refugee status. Neither ACLS nor the host organization can sponsor fellows for visas.
The selection and placement takes place over three stages: The first round of review is a peer review process conducted by PhDs holding positions in various sectors beyond the academy. Finalists emerging from this round will be interviewed by host organizations, who will send rankings and feedback to ACLS. Finally, ACLS interviews top-ranked candidates to offer the fellowship.
First-round reviewers will evaluate applications based on:
- Demonstrated ability to connect academic and non-academic skills and capacities to the qualifications and responsibilities of the applicant’s selected project(s)
- Demonstrated interest in and commitment to advancing justice and contributing to solutions to problems in society
- Willingness to partner, collaborate, listen, and learn from others
- Applicant’s academic and extra-academic accomplishments
- The capacity of an award to advance ACLS’s commitment to inclusive excellence in all our programs
Leading Edge Fellows will join a robust community of practice in the publicly engaged humanities and will have the opportunity to draw on networks of related ACLS programs, including the Mellon/ACLS Public Fellows and Scholars and Society Fellows. The diverse experience of the ACLS community is a shared resource that fellows are encouraged to draw on during and after their fellowship terms.
Applications must be submitted online and must include:
- A completed application form, including a short answer section about applying humanistic doctoral training to sectors beyond the academy.
- A cover letter tailored to each selected project and addressed to the host organization (1-2 pages). Applicants applying for two positions will submit two distinct cover letters.
- A résumé (1-2 pages) and a list of three references. Applicants applying for two positions will submit two résumés and lists of references. No reference letters are required at the time of application.