The American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) has announced 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.
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.