ACLS Mission and Overview
Formed a century ago, the American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) is a nonprofit federation of 75 scholarly organizations. As the leading representative of American scholarship in the humanities and related social sciences, ACLS holds a core belief 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 $146 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.
This year, ACLS issued its first-ever strategic plan, which outlines four strategic priorities: encouraging scholars and scholarship to be responsive to diverse audiences; strengthening relationships among our core constituencies within the academy and our partners beyond the academy; lifting the public profile of humanistic knowledge; and empowering staff and partners to work responsibly and inclusively.
Overview of Department
The US Programs team runs an evolving set of programs that respond to issues in scholarship and higher education by supporting humanities scholars at different career stages and at a variety of higher education institutions. In the most recent competition year, ACLS drew on the expertise of over 600 peer reviewers to make awards totaling $25 million to nearly 400 scholars. The team prizes collaboration, flexibility, creativity, and problem-solving, and we seek colleagues who will join us in our efforts to improve our programs and processes so that they are more accessible, equitable, responsive, and effective.
In the Office of US Programs, program officers manage the design, implementation, and administration of programs that offer support to scholars nationally and internationally, working both inside and beyond the academy. They maintain and enhance our peer-review processes, uphold standards of inclusive excellence, and present the results of fellowship programs and supported research to foundation funders, ACLS’s constituencies, and the wider public.
The program officer will work closely with members of the US Programs team and other staff across the organization on a variety of activities that enhance ACLS’s ability to serve our community and advance scholarship in new directions. We welcome applications from individuals who will bring new backgrounds, perspectives, and types of professional and personal experience to our team.
Responsibilities include but are not limited to:
- helping administer and improve all aspects of the annual fellowship and grant application and selection processes
- developing new programs that respond to the needs of scholars from diverse backgrounds and institutions
- recruiting peer reviewers and facilitating the deliberations of selection committees
- updating ACLS’s web-based portals for applicants, fellows, and reviewers, with an eye toward both data integrity, access, and user experience
- convening scholars and higher education leaders around issues of shared concern in the humanities
- organizing program-related events for fellows, peer reviewers, and ACLS stakeholders
- conducting quantitative and qualitative research that assists in the analysis and refinement of existing programs
- compiling and analyzing data, and drafting reports to funders and the board
- creating content for ACLS communications and presenting that material to a variety of constituencies
- coordinating activities with other ACLS departments as necessary, including international programs, communications, philanthropy, and finance
- PhD in humanities or social science discipline
- Strong written and oral communication skills, with a keen ability to adapt communication style to different audiences
- Excellent organizational skills and attention to detail
- Ability to multi-task and prioritize long-term projects and short-term assignments in a deadline-driven environment
- Facility both for working collaboratively with a team and for working independently
- Analytical and creative problem-solving capacity
- Excellent interpersonal skills with a track record of working effectively on a team
- Ability to take initiative and respond flexibly to evolving circumstances
- Proficiency in MS Office, particularly Word and Excel
- Must be willing and able to travel to multi-day events within the United States a few times per year, and to attend and/or staff infrequent after-hour and weekend events (after the public health crisis has abated)
- Experience supervising team members
- Familiarity with contact management databases
Anticipated start date of position is Fall 2020. ACLS staff are currently working remotely through December 2020. New colleagues will be onboarded remotely.
ACLS is committed to creating an inclusive environment for our employees and embedding attention to equity and inclusion in all our practices. We welcome applications from all individuals with diverse backgrounds, experiences and perspectives, without regard to race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy and gender identity), national origin, political affiliation, sexual orientation, marital status, disability, genetic information, age, parental status, or military service.