American Council of Learned Societies Launches Sustainable Public Engagement Grants Program


As many higher education institutions face difficult financial decisions, publicly committed humanities programs risk being labeled as ‘extras’ or ‘luxuries’. Yet connections with communities outside of academia, especially as we seek to understand the most pressing issues of our time, are essential to the flourishing of humanist scholarship.

ACLS Supporting Public Engagement Grants will support programs based at accredited U.S. colleges and universities dedicated to co-creating knowledge with various communities outside academia that have experienced staff reductions related to conditions of service. pandemic, programming setbacks and / or loss of institutional capacity for publicly engaged work.

The ACLS will award up to 40 public engagement support grants ranging from $ 50,000 To $ 225,000 for periods of 12 months each. Successful applicants will demonstrate how their programs deliver strong public engagement around racial equity, climate change, US-world relations, public health and pandemic recovery, democracy building and / or the exploration of America’s diverse history.

ACLS will begin accepting sustainable public engagement grant applications from Friday, October 8, 2021, with claims due by 9:00 p.m. EST Tuesday, December 7, 2021. AApplications from programs based at institutions serving minorities, regional public colleges and universities, and community colleges are strongly encouraged.

To learn more about the Sustaining Public Engagement Grants Program, eligibility requirements, and the application process, visit

ACLS will be hosting a series of informational webinars on the application process starting from Monday, October 18, 2 p.m. EST. Register on

“ACLS is proud to be part of this NEH recovery effort, which will support many humanists who are committed to directly engaging with the world beyond academia or preparing students to do so,” said ACLS president. Joy Connolly. “ACLS was founded on the fundamental belief that knowledge is a public good: the Sustaining Public Engagement Grant Program is a perfect illustration of this principle. It will help humanities researchers work with members of the public to create and disseminate much-needed information about America’s past and present. as well as visions for a better future. “

The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 allocated additional funding to the NEH to provide emergency assistance to cultural organizations and educational institutions and organizations working in the humanities that have been affected by the coronavirus pandemic. The Act recognizes that the humanities sector is an essential component of economic and civic life in 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 believes that knowledge is a public good. As such, ACLS strives to promote the circulation of humanist knowledge in society. In addition to leading and representing its member organizations, ACLS employs its $ 170 million endowment and $ 35 million annual operating budget to support scholarships in the humanities and social sciences and to defend the central place of the humanities in the modern world. Learn more about

National Foundation for the Humanities
Established in 1965 as an independent federal agency, the National Endowment for the Humanities supports research and learning in the fields of history, literature, philosophy and other areas of the humanities by funding proposals selected and peer reviewed from across the country. Additional information on the National Endowment for the Humanities and its grant programs can be found at

SOURCE American Council of Learned Societies

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