ACLS Leading Edge Fellow Research Associate 
Job Posted: 30 January 2024
Company: PHI
Closing Date: 13 March 2024
Location: Remote


Link to application and full position listing


Leading Edge Fellowships place recent humanities PhDs with nonprofit organizations committed to promoting social justice in their communities.

Recent PhDs from across all fields of the humanities and interpretive social sciences are encouraged to apply for this fellowship. ACLS believes that inclusion, equity, and diversity enhance the scholarly enterprise. It is a priority of the Leading Edge Fellowship program that the application and selection process be broadly inclusive and welcoming of different backgrounds, cultures, and any aspects that make one unique, including disciplinary background and university affiliation, as well as socioeconomic, racial, gender, and other aspects of identity.

ACLS will hold two webinars for applicants to the 2024 ACLS Leading Edge Fellowship, offering real-time feedback on questions about eligibility, the online application, and the fellowship review and selection process. Please register for February 13 or March 8.

Fellowship Details

  • Stipend: $70,000 in year one, and $72,000 in year two, plus health insurance and professional development funding.
  • Relocation: Up to $5,000 in relocation funds for fellows who relocate for in-person and hybrid positions.
  • Tenure: 24 months beginning in September 2024.
  • Applications will be accepted only through the ACLS Online Fellowship Application system. Please do not contact any of the organizations directly.
  • Application deadline: March 13, 2024, 9:00 PM EDT.


The American Council of Learned Societies is pleased to announce the sixth competition of the Leading Edge Fellowship program, which demonstrates the potential of humanistic knowledge and methods to solve problems, build organizational capacity, and advance justice and equity in society. Leading Edge Fellowships place recent humanities PhDs with nonprofit organizations promoting social justice in their communities. Fellows take on substantive roles that draw on the skills and capacities honed in the course of earning the humanities PhD, including advanced communication, research, project management, and creative problem solving. This initiative is made possible through the generous support of the Mellon Foundation.

The fellowships are designed to foster mutually beneficial partnerships between fellows and their hosting organizations. Each applicant may apply for up to two of the available Leading Edge Fellowship opportunities listed below. There is a separate selection process for each fellowship opportunity.


  • Applicants must have a PhD that will have been formally conferred by their university between September 1, 2019, and August 31, 2024. Applicants scheduled to graduate in Spring or Summer 2024 must be prepared to verify, with confirmation from their university registrar’s office, a PhD conferral date on or before August 31. Applicants who do not have a PhD officially conferred by their university by August 31, 2024, will not be able to take up the fellowship. See FAQ for further information.
  • Applicants’ PhDs must be in a field of the humanities or interpretive social sciences. Please refer to our FAQ and our guidance on eligible fields below before applying.*
  • Applicants must be authorized to work in the United States for the entire duration of the fellowship term. This includes Indigenous individuals residing in the United States through rights associated with the Jay Treaty of 1794, and those who hold DACA status, Temporary Protected Status, or political asylee or refugee status. Unfortunately, neither ACLS nor the host organization can sponsor fellows for visas or provide advice on visa applications.

Selection Process

The selection and placement process takes place over three stages. The first round of review is overseen by ACLS and conducted by PhDs holding positions in the cultural, policy, and media sectors. Finalists determined by this process will be interviewed by host organizations, who will send rankings and feedback to ACLS. Finally, ACLS interviews top-ranked candidates to offer the fellowship.

First round reviewers will evaluate applications based on:

  • Demonstrated ability to connect skills and capacities to the qualifications and responsibilities of the applicant’s selected position(s).
  • Demonstrated interest in and commitment to contributing to solutions to problems in society.
  • Intellectual and cultural humility and demonstrated capacity to partner, collaborate, listen, and learn from others.
  • The capacity of the award to advance the stated goals and values of the Leading Edge Fellowship program.

Application Guidelines

Applications must be submitted online and must include:

  • A completed application form, including a short answer section about applying humanistic doctoral training to careers beyond the academy.
  • A cover letter tailored to each selected position description and addressed to the host organization (1-2 pages). Applicants applying for two positions will submit two distinct cover letters.
  • A resume (1-2 pages), including a list of three references. Applicants applying for two positions will submit two resumes and lists of references. No reference letters are required at the time of application.

Host Organizations and Position Descriptions

Download all of the position descriptions as a combined PDF here.