Program Officer, US Programs

Job Summary

With the US Programs team, the Program Officer will help maintain and enhance the Council's rigorous peer-review processes and contribute to the direction of ACLS’s evolving portfolio of fellowship and grant programs. In addition to duties related to program administration, the Program Officer will take a leading role in research, analysis, and evaluation connected to ACLS’s programs. Among the areas of focus for this research will be the analysis of data related to the career stages and professional trajectories of humanities scholars, the conditions for humanities research across the range of higher education institutions, and the impact of humanities scholarship within and beyond the academy.

The Program Officer also will work closely with the US Programs team and other senior staff to develop and implement programming that supports humanities scholars at different career stages and at a variety of higher education institutions. 

Responsibilities include but are not limited to:

Program evaluation and research:

  • compile reports to funders and the board
  • gather and present information on program outcomes and developments in humanities scholarship to audiences within and beyond the academy
  • conduct research (using both internal data on ACLS programs as well as external sources) to assist in the analysis of existing programs and the development of new initiatives
  • maintain a consistent system to organize and access data and research

Program management:

  • help operate and improve all aspects of the annual application and selection process
  • recruit peer reviewers and program advisors
  • update ACLS’s web-based portals for applicants, fellows, and reviewers
  • facilitate the deliberations of selection committees
  • coordinate activities with other ACLS departments as necessary, including international programs, communications, and finance

Convening and support for scholars:

  • convene scholars, learned society, and higher education leaders around issues of shared interest in the humanities
  • develop programming for scholars to support professional development and collaborative projects
  • partner with learned societies, humanities organizations, and other funders on joint programming  

Required qualifications:

  • 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)

Preferred qualifications:

  • Familiarity with relational databases (such as Microsoft Dynamics CRM) and aptitude for working with qualitative and quantitative data
  • Interest in and awareness of research funding across the humanities and humanistic social sciences


Overview of ACLS

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 upholds the core principle that knowledge is a public good. In supporting its member organizations, ACLS utilizes its $181 million endowment and $34 million annual operating budget to expand the forms, content, and flow of scholarly knowledge because we value diversity of identity and experience.  We collaborate with institutions, associations, and individuals to strengthen the evolving infrastructure for scholarship.  In all aspects of our work, ACLS is committed to principles and practices in support of racial and social justice.

ACLS’s strategic plan  outlines four strategic priorities: encouraging scholars and scholarship 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 administers 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, inclusive, responsive, and effective.


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.


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