Skip to main content

The American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) invites applications for the fifth competition of the Public Fellows program. This year, the program will place up to 22 recent PhDs from the humanities and humanistic social sciences in two-year positions at partnering organizations in government and the nonprofit sector. Fellows will participate in the substantive work of these organizations and receive professional mentoring. Fellows receive a stipend of $65,000 per year, as well as individual health insurance.

This initiative, made possible by a grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, aims to expand the role of doctoral education in the United States by demonstrating that the capacities developed in the advanced study of the humanities have wide application, both within and beyond the academy. The ACLS Public Fellows program allows PhDs to gain valuable, career-building experience in fields such as public policy, international aid, conservation, arts and culture, and digital media.

ACLS seeks applications from recent PhDs who aspire to careers in administration, management, and public service by choice rather than circumstance. Competitive applicants will have been successful in both academic and extra-academic experiences.

Applicants must:

  1. possess US citizenship or permanent resident status; 
  2. have a PhD in the humanities or humanistic social sciences (see this note on eligible fields) conferred between June 1, 2012 and May 31, 2015; 
  3. have defended and deposited their dissertations no later than the application deadline of March 17, 2015; and
  4. not have applied to any other ACLS fellowship programs in the 2014-2015 competition year. 

The deadline for submitted applications is Tuesday, March 17, 2015, 6 pm EDT, and applications must include: (1) completed application form; (2) cover letter tailored to a specific position; (3) résumé; (4) candidate’s personal statement (of up to one page); (5) two reference letters; and, for applicants with PhDs conferred between September 1, 2014 and May 31, 2015, (6) institutional documentation of PhD conferral (or, if the degree has not yet been conferred, an institutional statement from the registrar attesting that the dissertation defense and deposit have been completed and confirming the degree conferral date). Applications for these positions are accepted only through the ACLS Public Fellows program. Only complete applications, submitted through the ACLS Online Fellowship Application system (ofa.acls.org) by the deadline, will be considered.

Submitted applications will undergo ACLS’s standard rigorous peer-review process, which may include interviews by ACLS and by the hosting organization. Reviewers will look for:

  1. applicant’s academic accomplishment and success;
  2. demonstrated relationship between past experience and specified position; and
  3. commitment to pursuing a career in the public and/or nonprofit sector

For further details on the program and to see the list of partnering organizations, visit the ACLS web site.