Sponsor Deadline
Posted: 7/18/2023

Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Innovation Fellowships

ACLS invites applications for Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Innovation Fellowships, which provide a year of support for doctoral students preparing to embark on innovative dissertation research projects. This program is made possible by a grant from the Mellon Foundation.

Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Innovation Fellowships support graduate students in the humanities and social sciences who show promise of leading their fields in important new directions. The fellowships are designed to intervene at the formative stage of dissertation development, before research and writing are advanced. The program seeks to expand the range of research methodologies, formats, and areas of inquiry traditionally considered suitable for the dissertation, with a particular focus on supporting scholars who can build a more diverse, inclusive, and equitable academy.

ACLS believes that humanistic scholarship benefits from inclusivity of voices, narratives, and subjects that have historically been underrepresented or under-studied in academe. We especially welcome applications from PhD candidates whose perspectives and/or research projects cultivate greater openness to new sources of knowledge, innovation in scholarly communication, and, above all, responsiveness to the interests and histories of people of color and other historically marginalized communities, including (but not limited to) Black/African American, Hispanic/Latinx, and Indigenous communities from around the world; people with disabilities; queer, trans, and gender nonconforming people; and people of diverse socioeconomic backgrounds. We also believe that institutional diversity enhances the scholarly enterprise, and we encourage applications from doctoral students from all accredited institutions of higher education in the United States.

The program supports projects that push the traditional approaches and forms of dissertation research in new directions. 

Deadline: Oct. 25, 2023


Eligibility Requirements

Applicants must:

  • Be a PhD student in a humanities or social science department in the United States.1
  • Be able to take up a full year (9-12 months) of sustained specialized research and training, released from normal coursework, assistantships, and teaching responsibilities.
  • Have completed at least two years and all required coursework in the PhD programs in which they are currently enrolled by the start of the fellowship term.
  • Have not advanced to PhD candidacy/ABD status prior to January 1, 2023.
  • have not previously applied for this fellowship more than once.
Amount Description

The total award includes a $40,000 stipend for the fellowship year, as well as up to $3,000 for research and travel, and up to $5,000 in professional development funds to support skills acquisition or additional research to support innovative/expansive directions. An additional $2,000 is available as a stipend for the external mentor.

Funding Type