The American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) is pleased to announce a new initiative to advance publicly engaged scholarship in the humanities. The Mellon/ACLS Scholars & Society program, made possible by a grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, will support humanities scholars who seek to partner with nonacademic organizations in their research and encourage innovation in doctoral education at their universities.
Inspired by the Mellon/ACLS Public Fellows program, which demonstrates the dynamic value of doctoral education by placing recent humanities PhDs in top nonprofit and government organizations, the Scholars & Society program will encourage faculty to explore connections between humanities research and broader society while in residence at a US-based cultural, media, government, policy, or community organization of their choice. The fellowships also provide resources and training that will enable fellows to incorporate best practices of public scholarship into doctoral education on their campuses. ACLS developed the program in consultation with academic and nonprofit leaders with extensive experience in the realm of publicly engaged scholarship.
“Just as ACLS strives to increase funding for core humanities research through a variety of fellowship and grant programs, we also recognize the urgent need to promote the broader circulation of that knowledge across all sectors of society,” said John Paul Christy, director of public programs at ACLS. “We look forward to supporting scholars who can be ambassadors for the humanities beyond their campus communities, and who will instill an ethos of reflective public engagement in their scholarship for years to come.”
The fellowships are open to faculty who hold tenured positions in PhD-granting departments or programs at universities in the United States. In the pilot year of the program, ACLS will award 12 fellowships for the 2019-20 academic year. Each fellowship carries a stipend of $75,000, plus funds for research, travel, and related project and hosting costs.
The goal of the fellowship year should be a major research project in the humanities or humanistic social sciences that treats a significant issue in society, such as democratic governance; technological change; racism and inequality; environmental change; economic exclusion; or migration and immigration, to name just a few possibilities. Fellows will select host organizations based on their capacity to advance their research.
Fellows will participate in two workshops over the course of the fellowship year. These workshops will encourage collaboration between scholars and organizations engaged in public scholarship and will support institution-building efforts to train humanities faculty and doctoral students who are interested in developing research agendas that have purchase both inside and outside of the academy.
Proposals must be submitted through ACLS’s online application system, which will begin accepting applications in late July. Further information about the program, including eligibility criteria and FAQ, is available online here. The application deadline is October 24, 2018.