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Deadline: February 24, 2022

Arab Council for Social Sciences (ACSS) Early Career Fellows Program | Cycle 9 2022-2023

This 12-month fellowship program aims at enabling early career researchers, up to three years out of the PhD, to pursue their research and publishing plans, become part of Arab research networks, and plan a research career in the Arab region. Mobility is highly encouraged for this type of fellowship. During the period of the fellowship, the ACSS particularly encourages applicants to plan to reside in another country in the region, and affiliate with an institution and mentor in a different country other than their country of origin or habitual residence.

Applicants should provide a well-thought-out plan for institutional affiliation and mentorship and in all cases, must seek new institutional affiliation and mentors other than those they have worked with before.

This initiative complements the efforts of the ACSS in supporting and promoting the social sciences in the Arab region, particularly in terms of investing in a new generation of social science researchers.

This program is funded by grants provided to the ACSS by the Carnegie Corporation in New York.

Arab Council for Social Sciences (ACSS) Early Career Fellows Program | Cycle 9 2022-2023 Eligibility Criteria:

The fellowship will be awarded competitively to junior scholars who meet the criteria described below. There is a special interest in attracting Arab scholars who received their PhD from outside the Arab region to come back to the region.

Applicants are eligible if they:

  • Are citizens or nationals of an Arab country: Applicants must be citizens/nationals of an Arab country (defined as a member of the League of Arab States) – or refugees and/or stateless individuals from Arab countries – who are currently residing in the Arab region. Arab scholars residing outside the region at the time of application would be eligible, but only if 1) they hold an Arab citizenship or have refugee and/or stateless status 2) are not in a tenure-track position and/or do not have access to research resources from their institutions and/or countries of residence. All fellows, including those residing outside the region at the time of their application, will be expected to spend the 12-month period of their fellowship in the Arab region.
  • Are junior scholars: This program targets scholars who are 0-3 years out of a PhD program in the social sciences (obtained from within or outside the Arab region). Applicants should have obtained their PhDs at the time of application. Applicants who received their PhD before the year 2020 are not eligible for this program.
  • Show high quality academic credentials and potential: Applicants are expected to submit a proposal (10-15 pages) that builds on their PhD dissertation. Proposals that are not based on or not related closely to the applicant’s PhD dissertation will not be considered eligible. The proposal should highlight the applicant’s academic credentials and outline a compelling research problem. The applicant is also expected to provide a publication plan that is realistic within the fellowship timeframe. Fellows should also write a 3-year career plan outlining their ambitions and expectations in pursuing a career. This should include details on the type of career (teaching or research), types of institutions they are planning to consider and countries.
  • Provide proof of support by a proposed mentor and institution: Applicants should provide a letter at the time of application from an academic mentor based in an institution in the Arab region in which he/she expresses willingness to provide administrative and academic support and supervision to the prospective fellow during the period of his/her fellowship. In addition, applicants should provide a letter from the hosting institution addressed to the Arab Council for the Social Sciences expressing the institution’s willingness to host the applicant during the time of fellowship.

Required Documents at the Time of Application:

Applicants are required to create an account and a Profile Page on the ACSS Applications Platform, then apply to the fellowship using the online application form for the Early Career Fellows Program, and provide the following supporting documents:

  • A detailed CV including publications
  • A one-page cover letter
  • A proof of nationality or residence in the Arab region (Copy of a valid passport or identification Card)
  • A project proposal (10-15 pages): detailing the activities that the fellow intends to undertake during the fellowship period. Please note that all submitted proposals will be checked on a plagiarism detection software.
  • A letter from a mentor based in an academic institution in the region, who expresses his/her willingness to supervise and mentor the applicant during his/her proposed fellowship period
  • A detailed CV of the proposed mentor
  • An official letter from a hosting institution addressed to the Arab Council for the Social Sciences expressing the institution’s willingness to host the applicant during the time of fellowship

Disciplinary and Thematic Focus:

The Early Career Fellows Program is open to any discipline in the social sciences and humanities and allied and interdisciplinary fields. Core disciplines include anthropology, demography, economics, history, political science, psychology, sociology, philosophy, literary studies and art history. Allied and interdisciplinary fields include architecture, geography, education, law, public health, gender studies, cultural studies, media studies, development studies and urban studies.

Selection Process

A multi-disciplinary Selection Committee composed of distinguished Arab scholars with established research and publication records and experience in regional research and teaching will review and select proposals for funding. The selection procedures abide by the highest standards of academic and ethical judgment.

Final decisions are based on the following evaluation criteria:

  1. Research Proposal’s Contribution to Knowledge (Research Questions, significance, quality and originality)
  2. Feasibility of Proposed Research Plan (Realistic timeframe and methods)
  3. Candidate’s Competency (Academic credentials, existing publications, and potential)
  4. Candidate’s Postdoctoral Plan (choice of mentor, institutional affiliation, and plans for conducting research during the pandemic)
  5. Expected Outputs (Planned Publications and career plan)

By submitting the electronic application, applicants affirm that they agree, without any objections, to the evaluation and selection results as decided and announced by the Selection Committee and the Arab Council for the Social Sciences.

Results will be communicated to applicants during the first week of May 2022. Successful applicants will receive provisional Award Letters confirming their selection and, if applicable, requests for clarification and elaboration from the Selection Committee. Applicants who are unsuccessful will not be informed of the specific reasons for rejection.

Timeline:

  • December 23, 2021: Application forms are available online.
  • February 24, 2022: Deadline for submissions.
  • First week of May 2022: Decisions are communicated to applicants.
  • June 2022: Accepted applicants sign their contracts.
  • June 2022: Fellowships are expected to begin. Later starting dates can be considered on a case-by-case basis. However, the latest starting date can be January 2023.
  • June 2022:Attend and present at the ACSS Fifth research forum. In parallel, the ACSS will organize a capacity building workshop on publishing.
  • Spring 2023: Present at the Sixth ACSS Conference, which will be held in Lebanon.

Applicants are advised to consult the Frequently Asked Questions and the Early Career Fellows Program Checklist prior to submitting their application.

Questions related to the program should be directed to the Grants and Fellowships Unit at the ACSS: grants@theacss.org.

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