ACLS Leading Edge Fellowship Program Accepting Applications

Professional Opportunities

The American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) is pleased to announce the 2021 competition of the Leading Edge Fellowship program. The Leading Edge Fellowship program pairs recent PhDs in the humanities and humanistic social sciences with nonprofit organizations and agencies to support timely projects advancing social justice and equity.

Host organizations provide networking and professional development opportunities, and benefit from fellows’ scholarly perspectives and broad set of skills and capacities. Fellows receive a stipend of $60,000 for the year and have access to funds for health insurance and professional development.

The deadline for applications is Thursday, May 6, 2021 by 9pm ET.

This initiative is made possible through the support of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

In this round, ACLS will place PhDs as Leading Edge Fellows in projects with the following organizations:

  • American Friends Service Committee
  • Better Life Lab (New America)
  • The Brotherhood Sister Sol
  • The Center for Popular Democracy
  • The Center for Court Innovation
  • Children’s Defense Fund
  • Colorado Children’s Campaign
  • Common Justice
  • Community of Literary Magazines & Presses
  • The Center for Cultural Power
  • Data & Society
  • Deep Center
  • Environmental Law Policy Center
  • Freedom Project Network
  • Full Spectrum Features
  • Historic Germantown
  • Hunger Free America
  • The Hurston/Wright Foundation
  • International Student Exchange Programs
  • Institute for Local Self-Reliance
  • Louisiana Bucket Brigade
  • National Conference on Citizenship
  • National Low Income Housing Coalition
  • National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution
  • National Park Service, Capital Area
  • One Fair Wage
  • Pennsylvania Humanities Council
  • PEN America
  • Petey Greene Program
  • PRX, Inc.
  • Restore Justice
  • Sembrando Sentido
  • Services and Advocacy for Gay Elders
  • Southwest Folklife Alliance
  • Social Science Research Council
  • Students Learn Students Vote Coalition
  • Thurgood Marshall College Fund
  • United Neighborhood Houses New York

Applicants must have a PhD in the humanities or humanistic social sciences conferred between September 1, 2016, and October 1, 2021. Applicants must be authorized to work legally in the United States.

Applications will be accepted only through the ACLS online application system. Applicants should not contact any of the organizations directly. Please visit for complete project descriptions, eligibility criteria, and application information.

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