University of the Cumberlands


 The ACA Faculty Fellowship Program

The Appalachian College Association's Faculty Fellowship Program is the longest running program of the ACA. The Fellowship Endowment is supported by foundations (notably the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the William Randolph Hearst Foundation, and others), member schools, and individual contributions.

The ACA received its first major grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation in 1991 for continued support of the Faculty Fellowship Program. The ACA completed a challenge grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities in 2000 which further boosted the endowment for faculty fellowships and development.   

Fellowships named in honor of Jean Ritchie, Wilma Dykeman Stokely and John B. Stephenson are awarded annually and policy requires that at least 75 percent of fellowship funds be given to faculty in the arts and sciences, as defined by the Carnegie Foundation.  The fellowships provide from $3,000 to $30,000 for pre- or post-doctoral study.  Fellowships are awarded for a short term (generally summer, maximum $6,000), one semester (maximum $15,000), or an academic year (maximum $30,000).


To be eligible to apply for and receive a fellowship, applicants must be full-time faculty members at an ACA institution, have held their current teaching position for at least two years, agree to return to their ACA institution to teach for at least twice the term of the fellowship (a minimum of one academic year), and arrange leave time for the fellowship. Fellowships may be renewed providing the Fellowship Review Committee believes that the applicant used the previous fellowship to make significant progress towards achieving his/her professional goals. Proposals for fellowship renewals must go through the entire application process.

Fellowship recipients are selected by the Fellowship Review Committee of the Council of Chief Academic Officers (CCAO) elected by the Council for rotating, three-year terms. Per policy, CAOs serving on the committee will not review faculty from their own institutions.

Fellowship funds are paid to the institution, not to the fellowship recipient. For one-and two-semester fellowships, the funds help to cover the costs of adjunct faculty replacements and other expenses while the fellowship recipient is not teaching. The institution continues to pay the recipient’s salary. Funds for short-term fellowships are also sent to the school and are distributed in accordance with that institution’s policies. For these reasons, no budget proposal is required in fellowship applications. However, it is important that the applicants discuss how funds will be allocated by the college or university before making application.

Fellowship Guidelines and Application Requirements

If you have any questions, please contact us.



Click on "Apply for Funding" above to begin application