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Announcing the 2020 Mellon/ACLS Public Fellows Competition

The American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) is pleased to announce the tenth annual competition of the Mellon/ACLS Public Fellows program. The program promotes the visibility and value of the humanities PhD beyond the academy by offering opportunities for PhD's to contribute to the public good through two-year fellowship placements in the fields of policy, community development, arts and culture, media, and international affairs.

Fellows receive stipends of $70,000 per year and have access to employer-based health insurance through the host organizations. In addition, ACLS provides funds for relocation and professional development. This initiative is made possible through the support of The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The deadline for applications is Wednesday, March 18 by 8:00 PM CST.

In 2020, ACLS will place up to 21 PhD's as Public Fellows in the following organizations and roles:

  • Alliance for Higher Education in Prison (Denver, CO) – Community Engagement Director
  • American Association for the Advancement of Science (Washington, DC) – Government Relations Project Manager
  • American Civil Liberties Union (New York, NY) – Research Associate
  • Asian Cultural Council (New York, NY) – Manager of Strategic Research
  • Children’s Defense Fund (Washington, DC) – Senior Research Associate
  • City of Seattle Innovation & Performance Team (Seattle, WA) – Outreach & Engagement Research Analyst
  • Humanities Action Lab (Newark, NJ) – Public Programming and Exhibitions Manager
  • Institute for Study Abroad (Indianapolis, IN) – Assistant Director of Global Learning and Assessment
  • National Book Foundation (New York, NY) – Education Programs Manager
  • New Jersey Institute for Social Justice (Newark, NJ) – Policy Analyst
  • One Archives Foundation (Los Angeles, CA) – Communications Manager
  • Oxfam America (Washington, DC) – Research and Policy Advisor
  • Partnership for Public Service (Washington, DC) – Writer and Editor, Communications Team
  • Partnership for Working Families (Oakland, CA) – Public Goods Policy Strategist
  • Pittsburgh Cultural Trust (Pittsburgh, PA) – Government Relations Specialist
  • Refugees International (Washington, DC) – Program Manager
  • San Francisco Arts Commission (San Francisco, CA) – Community Impact Analyst
  • Solutions Journalism Network (New York, NY) – Higher Education Program Specialist
  • Twin Cities Public Television (St Paul, MN) – Audience Development Project Manager
  • University Settlement Society of New York (New York, NY) – Advocacy Director
  • Washington Center for Equitable Growth (Washington, DC) – Engagement Project Manager

Applicants must have a PhD in the humanities or humanistic social sciences conferred between September 1, 2016, and June 19, 2020, and must have defended and deposited their dissertations no later than Monday, April 6, 2020. Applicants must be authorized to work legally in the United States. Applications will be accepted only through the ACLS online application system and must be submitted by Wednesday, March 18 at 8:00 PM CST. Applicants should not contact any of the organizations directly. Click here for complete position descriptions, eligibility criteria, and application information. This program is made possible by a grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Questions about this program may be sent to

Categories: Fellowships