crossposted from ACLS
The online fellowship and grant administration (OFA) system is now open for applications. Recent PhDs from across all fields of the humanities and humanistic social sciences are encouraged to apply for this fellowship. ACLS welcomes applicants from diverse backgrounds including historically underrepresented groups such as Black/African American, Hispanic/Latinx, American Indian or Alaskan Native communities, first generation college students, and people with disabilities.
- 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 (ofa.acls.org). 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.
- 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.
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.
Review Process and Selection Criteria
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.
The PDFs of the full project descriptions, which include detailed information on the host organizations, the projects, and requisite applicant qualifications, are available below. We expect that all fellowships granted in this competition will be held remotely.
- ACCESS – Using the Power of the Humanities to Improve Health Outcomes for the Arab American Community
- American Friends Service Committee – Inside and Out: Responding to the Needs of LGBTQ Incarcerated People
- Better Life Lab (New America) – Innovations in Child Care Access and Affordability in the United States
- The Brotherhood Sister Sol – The Future Project: Youth Centered Change in a Post-COVID NYC
- Center for Court Innovation – Reimagining Public Safety and Community Development
- The Center for Cultural Power – Cultural Power Impact & Learning Implementation
- The Center for Popular Democracy – The Critical Role of Just Transition Policies in Response to COVID-19
- Children’s Defense Fund – Culturally Relevant Pedagogy and the Development of a Teacher Training Institute
- Colorado Children’s Campaign – Building Resilient Kids and Families across CO through Responsive Policy Solutions
- Common Justice – Securing Victim Compensation Funds for All Survivors of Violence
- Community of Literary Magazines & Presses – DEIA Outreach, Programs & Strategic Partnerships
- Data & Society – Antiracist Science and Tech Policy Research
- Deep Center – Identifying Policies for a Just and Equitable Georgia
- Environmental Law Policy Center – Equitable and Inclusive Climate Change Solutions
- Freedom Project Network – Liberatory Education Models: Understanding the Impact of Justice-Focused Education in Mississippi
- Full Spectrum Features – Hidden Histories Digital Humanities Training Program for K-12 Teachers
- Historic Germantown – Decolonizing Historic Germantown: Re-Framing Sites, Collections, Landscapes, and Museums
- Hunger Free America – SNAP Outcomes: How Public Benefits Impact Recipients’ Lives
- The Hurston/Wright Foundation – Measuring Success and Charting Our Future
- Institute for Diversity and Civic Life – Curating the Religions Texas Archive
- International Student Exchange Programs – Curriculum Mapping Database for Equity
- Institute for Local Self-Reliance – Bridging the Digital Divide in Native Nations
- Institute for Local Self-Reliance – Internet Access as a Health Imperative: Defining the Health Outcomes and Cost Savings of Broadband Networks in Unconnected Communities
- Louisiana Bucket Brigade – Black History Along Cancer Alley
- National Conference on Citizenship – Black Girls Vote Research Network
- National Low Income Housing Coalition – Preserving Housing Stability of Federally Assisted Tenants
- National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution – Educational Justice Activism in Washington, DC: Digital Access and Technological Literacy
- National Park Service, Capital Area – Landscapes of Protest: Public Parkland and the First Amendment
- One Fair Wage – Restaurant Workers and Sexual Harassment Under COVID
- PEN America – Right to Read in American Prisons
- Pennsylvania Humanities Council – August Wilson’s Century Cycle and the African American Experience in Pennsylvania
- Petey Greene Program – HBCU Forward Initiative: Elevating and Supporting Black Volunteer Tutors
- PRX Inc. – Amplifying Inclusion: Building a Public Media Impact Framework
- Restore Justice – Faces of Juvenile Life Without Parole Sentences
- Sembrando Sentido – Mapping Civic Solutions to Ensure Fair Use of Public Resources in Puerto Rico
- Services and Advocacy for Gay Elders – Identifying the Critical Concerns of LGBT Elders of Color
- Southwest Folklife Alliance – Support Systems for Traditional Artists in the Southwest Creative Economy
- Social Science Research Council – Communicating Research on Technology, Power, and Social Justice
- Students Vote Students Learn Coalition – Understanding the Impact of COVID-19 on College Student Voter Participation
- Thurgood Marshall College Fund – Center for Social Justice at Thurgood Marshall College Fund
- United Neighborhood Houses – Advancing a Strong and Equitable Early Childhood Education and Care System as New York Recovers from COVID-19
Applications for these positions are accepted solely through the Leading Edge Fellowship program. Only complete applications, submitted through the ACLS Online Fellowship Application system (ofa.acls.org) by Thursday, May 6, 2021 9pm EDT, will be considered. Please do not contact any of the host organizations with questions.
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 protected]. For more information about eligibility, visit the FAQ page. Back to text.