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    African Humanities Program Fellow Merit Kabugo studies the discourse of rural farmers. 

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Ten Universities Join ACLS’s Postdoctoral Partnership Initiative


ACLS announces partnerships with 10 US institutions of higher learning as part of the new Postdoctoral Partnership Initiative (PPI). In June, ACLS issued an open call for proposals from institutions that wished to augment the number or benefits of humanities postdoctoral fellowships that they would offer in the 2015-16 competition cycle (for fellows to take up two-year positions beginning in 2016-17). The initiative, made possible by the generous assistance of The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, is designed to provide insight into the impact of postdoctoral fellowships on humanities scholars’ careers and the value of such postdocs to the institutions that host them. It also seeks to foster cross-institutional conversation about the role of these positions in the changing humanities professoriate.

“We recognize the significant part that postdoctoral fellowships play within the career trajectories of many emerging scholars’ careers,” said Matthew Goldfeder, ACLS’s director of fellowship programs. “In recent years, so many of our predoctoral fellows have gone on to hold postdocs after graduation, and many of our post-graduate applicants and fellows having held them previously. This has prompted us to understand better what makes such positions to be high quality and career-launching opportunities that also add value to the local scholarly communities that host them. Of course, we’re not alone in this; it was clear from the proposals submitted that many institutions are thinking about these issues.” 

Institutional partners were selected in a two-stage process by panels made up of humanities scholars and academic leaders from across the country. As they considered the many strong proposals submitted to the program, the committees noted the commitments being made to competitive compensation packages; balanced opportunities for teaching and research; professional mentoring as well as explicit programming to better incorporate fellows into their campus environments; and attending to the placements of past postdoctoral fellows from these institutions.

The 10 institutional partners are:

  • Brown University
  • Columbia University
  • Northwestern University
  • Rice University
  • Stanford University
  • The Ohio State University
  • University of California, Davis
  • University of Notre Dame
  • University of Southern California
  • University of Wisconsin-Madison

For more information, see the program description

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