ACLS Mission and Overview
Formed a century ago, the American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) is a nonprofit federation of 78 scholarly organizations. As the leading representative of American scholarship in the humanities and interpretive social sciences, ACLS’s core principle is 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 $38 million annual operating budget to support scholarship in the humanities and social sciences and to advocate for its central role in the twenty-first century.
Overview of department
The Vice President’s Office encompasses several core elements of ACLS: communications, finance, IT, and special projects.
For many decades, ACLS has extended the reach of ACLS beyond the borders of the United States. It advances humanistic studies through fellowships and grants
- to North American scholars for study of other areas of the world;
- to scholars in other parts of the world for strengthening local capacity;
- to scholars worldwide for pursuit of humanistic studies.
ACLS also strengthens global relations in the humanities and related social sciences by
- building communities of scholars in the world areas and disciplinary fields in which we work;
- establishing connections between those communities and the relevant ACLS learned societies;
- partnering with funders whose interests intersect with our programmatic vision;
- designing and carrying out projects to deepen understanding of issues arising from our activities;
- sustaining contacts with past Fellows;
- nurturing new associations founded by our Fellows and advisers.
International Programs is in a time of transition as its long-time director plans to retire later this year. During this period, the Program Officer, reporting to the Vice President, will help design and implement activities supporting humanities scholars and the communities in which they work.
The Program Officer will
- help oversee ACLS’s rigorous peer-review processes;
- monitor the progress of Fellows during and after their fellowships;
- help design and implement program activities beyond fellowship competitions, such as Fellows’ workshops for projects-in-progress and for manuscript development and such as retreats for analyzing the present status of field in terms of inclusion and openness to other cultures;
- create a new program that places a small number of scholars in positions outside academia;
- contribute to the writing of the World Humanities Report;
- maintain positive contact with former Fellows and advisers.
Responsibilities include but are not limited to:
COPYWRITING and EDITING
- Produce publicity, program descriptions and application instructions for website and other platforms; ensure consistency across all platforms
- Prepare competition-opening and award announcements related to annual competitions, in collaboration with the Communications director
- Vet applications according to eligibility criteria, with assistance from IP staff
- Assign applications to reviewers and select finalists based on pre-screening scores
- Oversee correspondence with applicants, Fellows, and selection-committee members
- Conclude competitions: correspond with nominees, allocate funds to alternates
- Monitor reports submitted by Fellows and grantees and use their content for ACLS reports
PREPARING REPORTS AND PROPOSALS
- Write narrative-progress reports to funders and to the ACLS board;
- Respond to questions from foundations, provide mid-course updates;
- Draft proposals for funding, in collaboration with ACLS senior leadership
Reporting to the ACLS Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, the Program Officer will be encouraged to learn and contribute to program direction by
- Helping manage components of programs such as relations with the new African Humanities Association
- Helping to facilitate convenings for assessment of program direction
- Helping enable and encourage communications with alumni/ae of programs, projects, and advisory groups.
- PhD in humanities or interpretive social sciences;
- Administrative experience in non-profit organizations, government agencies, or foundations especially those that conduct open-call, merit-based, fellowship competitions;
- Demonstrated skills in writing (professional experience in journalism or copyediting strongly desirable)
- Excellent planning abilities and the flexibility to work well in a group
- Willingness to occasionally travel to events in the United States and abroad, and to work at odd hours in intensive, off-site conditions (travel permitting)
- Proficiency in MS Office, particularly Word and Excel
- Experience with databases, especially relational databases such as Microsoft Dynamics CRM
ACLS is committed to addressing systemic inequalities in higher education through its programs, initiatives, and practices. In recognizing the existence of structures and systems that have historically and still hurt the most marginalized people in society, we believe our work in diversity and inclusion should center on these communities. We strongly encourage applications from Black, Indigenous, and members of other historically and systemically disadvantaged groups, who are committed to fostering equity in the academy.