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Wednesday, October 5, 2022

Grants for doctoral students remain available (letter)

To the Editors:

Colleen Flaherty’s September 20, 2022, article, “Ford Basis Ends Fellowship Program”, on the sunsetting of the Ford Basis Fellowship Program, offered vital context about this long-running program’s effectiveness in diversifying the ranks of PhD-level students in increased schooling and the growing challenges to funding this work.

Flaherty rightly highlights the necessity for brand new pondering and motion by way of funding fashions whereas recognizing the potential of students and scholarship to advertise constructive social transformation.

Her depiction of the ending of the Mellon-funded, American Council of Discovered Societies-administered Dissertation Completion Fellowship program, nevertheless, overlooks the help Mellon and ACLS proceed to supply doctoral college students and early-career students, together with these representing numerous backgrounds, fields of research, and establishments within the humanities and interpretive social sciences.

For sixteen years (2006-2022) the Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowship program offered greater than 1,000 doctoral college students with assets and a help community designed to assist them full their dissertations by giving them time to focus solely on their analysis, free of mounting instructing and administrative obligations. We’re happy with the accomplishments of this program, which has offered vital classes and insights that we now have utilized to our ongoing dedication to diversifying the academy and supporting students who’ve historically been underserved by it.

ACLS can be excited to proceed our partnership with Mellon. Earlier this yr we launched the Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Innovation program, which particularly welcomes purposes from PhD candidates whose views and/or analysis tasks domesticate larger openness to new sources of data, innovation in scholarly communication, and, above all, responsiveness to the pursuits and histories of individuals of coloration and different traditionally marginalized communities. This system goals to reward doctoral college students demonstrating promise of main their fields in vital new instructions. Offering an early-stage intervention on the formative stage of the event of the dissertation, earlier than writing is much superior, this system will allow fellows to develop revolutionary approaches to dissertation analysis—publicly engaged, trans- or interdisciplinary, collaborative, crucial, or methodological. They are going to be a part of a peer community of like-minded students and obtain knowledgeable mentoring {and professional} growth.

Information of the discontinuation of long-standing assets for doctoral college students will disappoint many, as there isn’t any scarcity of want for help, specifically amongst communities of coloration who’ve lengthy been marginalized in increased schooling. On the identical time, we sit up for providing ACLS fellowship and grant packages supposed to usher in what we see as a brand new academy that welcomes a extra numerous professoriate and a variety of fields of research and approaches to scholarship—key parts to the continued development of humanistic information.

Pleasure Connolly
American Council of Discovered Societies

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