The American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) is one of the leading private institutions supporting scholars in the humanities and related social sciences at the doctoral and postdoctoral levels. Fellows and grantees in all programs are selected by committees of scholars appointed for this purpose. (See What is peer review?) ACLS seeks to embed our commitment to inclusive excellence in all of our fellowship and grant programs, from our recruitment of peer reviewers to the evaluation of proposals and the administration of awards.
In the 2019-20 competition year, ACLS fellowship and grants supported approximately 350 scholars advancing humanistic research at over 150 US institutions of higher education and many more outside the United States. Over $25 million was awarded across all programs. Descriptions of the 2020-21 programs are available here.
Applicants who are not US citizens or are based at institutions outside the United States should review the information we provide for international applicants here.
So long as they meet each program’s eligibility requirements, individual scholars may apply to as many fellowship and grant programs as are suitable. However, no more than one ACLS fellowship may be accepted in any one competition year.
For the purpose of these competitions, the humanities and related social sciences include but are not limited to American studies; anthropology; archaeology; art history and architectural history; classics; economics; ethnic studies; film and media studies; gender studies; geography; history; languages and literatures; legal studies; linguistics; musicology; philosophy; political science; psychology; religious studies; rhetoric and communication; science and technology studies; sociology; and theater, dance, and performance studies.
However, proposals in the social science fields listed above are eligible only if they employ predominantly humanistic approaches and qualitative/interpretive methodologies (e.g., economic history, law and literature, political philosophy, history of psychology). Proposals in interdisciplinary and cross-disciplinary humanities and related social sciences are welcome, and most programs do not restrict the focus of research to any geographic region or to any cultural or linguistic group of study.