The American Council of Learned Societies Launches Sustaining Public Engagement Grant Program

NEW YORK, Oct. 4, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — The American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) announces the launch of the Sustaining Public…

NEW YORK, Oct. 4, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — The American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) announces the launch of the Sustaining Public Engagement Grant Program, a $3.5 million responsive funding program made possible by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) as part of the Sustaining the Humanities through the American Rescue Plan (SHARP) initiative.

ACLS grants made possible by support from the NEH to support publicly engaged humanities programs.

As many institutions of higher education face difficult financial decisions, publicly engaged humanities programs risk being labeled as «extras» or «luxuries.» Yet connections with communities outside academia, particularly as we seek to understand the most pressing problems of our time, are crucial to the thriving of humanistic scholarship.

The ACLS Sustaining Public Engagement Grants will support programs based at accredited American colleges and universities devoted to the co-creation of knowledge with diverse communities outside academia that have experienced staffing reductions related to pandemic conditions, programming setbacks, and/or loss of institutional capacity for publicly engaged work.

ACLS will award up to 40 Sustaining Public Engagement Grants ranging from $50,000 to $225,000 for terms of 12 months each. Successful applicants will demonstrate how their programs provide strong public engagement around racial equity, climate change, US-global relations, public health and pandemic recovery, strengthening democracy, and/or exploring America’s diverse history.

ACLS will begin accepting Sustaining Public Engagement Grant applications starting Friday, October 8, 2021, with applications due by 9 PM EST Tuesday, December 7, 2021. Applications from programs based at minority-serving institutions, regional public colleges and universities, and community colleges are strongly encouraged.  

Learn more about the Sustaining Public Engagement Grant Program, eligibility requirements, and application process at bit.ly/ACLS-SPEGrant

ACLS will host a series of informational webinars about the application process starting on Monday, October 18, 2 PM EST.  Register at bit.ly/ACLS-SPEWebinar.

«ACLS is proud to be part of this NEH recovery effort, which will sustain many humanists who are committed to engaging directly with the world beyond academe or preparing students to do so,» said ACLS President Joy Connolly. «ACLS was founded on the core belief that knowledge is a public good: the Sustaining Public Engagement Grant Program perfectly exemplifies that principle. It will help humanistic scholars work together with members of the public to create and circulate much needed insights into America’s past and present as well as visions for a better future.»

The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 appropriated supplemental funding to the NEH to provide emergency relief to cultural organizations and educational institutions and organizations working in the humanities that have been adversely affected by the coronavirus pandemic. The Act recognizes that the humanities sector is an essential component of economic and civic life in the United States.

American Council of Learned Societies

Formed in 1919, the American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) is a nonprofit federation of 78 scholarly organizations.  As the preeminent representative of American scholarship in the humanities and related social sciences, ACLS holds a core belief that knowledge is a public good. As such, ACLS strives to promote the circulation of humanistic knowledge throughout society. In addition to stewarding and representing its member organizations, ACLS employs its $170 million endowment and $35 million annual operating budget to support scholarship in the humanities and social sciences and to advocate for the centrality of the humanities in the modern world. Learn more at acls.org.

National Endowment for the Humanities

Created in 1965 as an independent federal agency, the National Endowment for the Humanities supports research and learning in history, literature, philosophy, and other areas of the humanities by funding selected, peer-reviewed proposals from around the nation. Additional information about the National Endowment for the Humanities and its grant programs is available at neh.gov.

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SOURCE American Council of Learned Societies