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Grants to USA IHEs to Offset the Impacts of
COVID-19 on Humanities Progams

ACLS Sustaining Public Engagement Grants

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS), the National Endowment for the Humanities, and Sustaining the Humanities through the American Rescue Plan (SHARP)

Conf. Date:


Deadline Date:

12/07/21 9:00 PM Eastern Time Receipt


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Grants to USA institutions of higher education for humanities projects. Funding is intended to offset the impacts of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis, including reductions in capacity and programming setbacks. Eligible programs focus on one or more of the following areas of urgent public interest: racial equity; climate change; US-global relations; public health and pandemic recovery; strengthening democracy, and exploring America’s diverse history.

The American Council of Learned Societies is pleased to invite applications for ACLS Sustaining Public Engagement Grants, a responsive funding program made possible by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities as part of the Sustaining the Humanities through the American Rescue Plan (SHARP) initiative. These grants are designed to repair the damage done to publicly engaged humanities projects and programs by the social and economic disruption of the Covid-19 pandemic.

ACLS seeks proposals for grants that will support established publicly engaged humanities projects, initiatives, or programs in accredited US colleges and universities. ACLS will select projects or programs for grants that will redress programming setbacks and/or reductions in internal capacity and staffing support on the part of faculty, staff, students, and community partners due to pandemic conditions.

ACLS strongly encourages applications from across the diverse institutional landscape of US higher education, including Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs), regional public institutions, and community colleges. 

The proposal must explain how grant funding will repair the negative impact of the pandemic, for example through the retention of displaced or furloughed faculty and staff; remuneration for community collaborators, staff, students, and faculty to engage with the work of the project; and the rebuilding of closed or reduced projects and programming. 

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 198823

Estimated Total Program Funding:


Number of Grants:

ACLS will select up to 40 projects or programs for grants.

Estimated Size of Grant:

Grant Amount: between $50,000 and $225,000

Term of Contract:

Tenure: twelve consecutive months to be initiated as early as April 1, 2022, and no later than August 1, 2022

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

- Project must be hosted by an accredited institution of higher education in the United States.
- Project must demonstrate established relationships with partners and/or audiences beyond the academy.
- Project’s principal investigator must be a scholar in a field of the humanities.
- Project must be grounded in the publicly engaged humanities.

The grant funds may not cover the following costs:
- Overlapping project costs with any other pending or approved application(s) for federal funding and/or approved federal awards
- Competitive regranting
- Cancellation costs
- Pre-award costs incurred more than 90 days before the start of the grant term
- Equipment costs in excess of 20% of total project costs
- Travel (both foreign and domestic)
- Construction, purchase of real property, major alteration and renovation
- Collections acquisition
- The preservation, organization, or description of materials that are not regularly accessible for research, education, or public programming
- Promotion of a particular political, religious, or ideological point of view
- Advocacy of a particular program of social or political action
- Support of specific public policies or legislation
- Lobbying
- Projects that fall outside of the humanities and the humanistic social sciences (including the creation or performance of art; creative writing, autobiographies, memoirs, and creative nonfiction; and quantitative social science research or policy studies)
- Support of non-US citizens

Pre-proposal Conference:

ACLS will host a series of informational webinars about the application process.

Join ACLS for a series of informational webinars about the application process.
- Monday, October 18, 2 PM EST
Register at
- Wednesday, November 3, 2:30-3 PM EST
Register at

Learn more at

Pre-Application Information:

Proposals are due to ACLS’s online application portal by 9 PM EST Tuesday, December 7, 2021. Applicants will be notified no later than March 31.

Matching funds and cost sharing are not required for the grant term, though additional consideration will be given to proposals that demonstrate thoughtful plans for longer-term sustainability.

Grant FAQ:

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.


Questions may be submitted to

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Alabama;   Alaska;   Arizona;   Arkansas;   California;   Colorado;   Connecticut;   Delaware;   Florida;   Georgia;   Hawaii;   Idaho;   Illinois;   Indiana;   Iowa;   Kansas;   Kentucky;   Louisiana;   Maine;   Maryland;   Massachusetts;   Michigan;   Minnesota;   Mississippi;   Missouri;   Montana;   Nebraska;   Nevada;   New Hampshire;   New Jersey;   New Mexico;   New York City;   New York;   North Carolina;   North Dakota;   Ohio;   Oklahoma;   Oregon;   Pennsylvania;   Rhode Island;   South Carolina;   South Dakota;   Tennessee;   Texas;   Utah;   Vermont;   Virginia;   Washington, DC;   Washington;   West Virginia;   Wisconsin;   Wyoming

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