Grants & Awards

"these projects represent the best of American Cultures, teaching students to reach out across racial, class, gender and national lines and to grasp the situated experience of themselves and others in a deeply transformative way"

The American Cultures Engaged Scholarship (ACES) Program

The campus has received a generous grant from the Haas Jr. Foundation to support a variety of efforts to increase equity and inclusion across campus. One of the signature projects of the grant is the American Cultures Engaged Scholarship (ACES) Program, led by the American Cultures Center and the Public Service Center.  This initiative intends to transform how UC Berkeley engages its community partners, how students understand societal issues and how faculty's community-engaged scholarship is valued. 

ACES provides resources for faculty who serve as 'Chancellor's Public Scholars' to deepen their own community-engaged scholarship through the development of new and/or revised American Cultures courses with community-based components such as community-based research or service-learning projects. Scholars receive a $3,000 stipend, up to $1,500 to support implementation of the community-based component, support from students serving as 'Chancellor's Public Fellows', the benefits of being part of an inter-disciplinary cohort of faculty, and the possibility of future course continuation funds.

Now, in its fifth year, the program is building on an innovative and exciting efforts, in a wide range of departments, including African American Studies, Art Practice, Asian American Studies, The College of Natural Resources, Ethnic Studies, Gender and Women's Studies, The Haas Business School, The School of Public Health, The Graduate School of Education, Legal Studies and Psychology.

Expectations for 2015-2016 Chancellor's Public Scholars:

  • UC Berkeley faculty selected to serve as 2015 Chancellor’s Public Scholars are expected to develop new or revised American Cultures courses to be taught in Fall 2015 or Spring 2016.
  • Proposed courses must clearly meet the curricular expectations of the American Cultures program and funds will not be released until the course is approved by the American Cultures faculty sub-committee.
  • Attend an intensive all day ACES Institute 9:00-3:00 on either Friday, February 27th or Saturday February 28th (to be confirmed based on teaching schedules). The ACES Institute is designed to provide faculty with the opportunity to develop, broaden, or deepen their research and teaching of community-engaged scholarship.
  • Attend 1-2 cohort meetings in both Spring 2015 and Fall 2015 semesters for faculty and students to address developing needs and ideas.
  • Conduct ACES pre- and post- assessment in courses.

Benefits of Participation:

  • Intensive training and consulting from ACES staff
  • A faculty grant of $3,000 for each course
  • Up to $1,500 to pay for costs related to the course’s community project
  • Logistical support for the implementation of the course from one Student Fellow (undergraduate or graduate student) who serves as a Chancellor’s Public Fellow. Students participate in all ACES trainings and receive a $1500 stipend. (Please note, there are no funds through ACES to pay for a GSI or readers for the course.)
  • The possibility of course continuation funds to support the course in subsequent semesters
  • Opportunities to present research and best practices at the Imagining America conference or on-campus seminar
  • Explore and deepen your own community-engaged scholarship
  • Benefit from relationships developed with an interdisciplinary cohort of faculty
  • Enhance your capacity to build and sustain long-term relationships with community partners
  • Mentor undergraduate and graduate students in the development of community-based partnerships

The ACES Program is now accepting course proposals for the 2015-16 year.  We welcome all proposals, and especially encourage proposals that address K-12 education, environmental justice, the arts, public health, and/or suggest collaborations with partners in Richmond or with previous ACES community organizations.  If you are interested in discussing these options, please contact Victoria Robinson.  To download an application for 2015-16 academic year, please click here.*

*Applications Due by 12noon on January 23, 2015, to Victoria Robinson at victoriarobbi@berkeley.edu*


The founding concept of the AC requirement was conceived as providing the possibility for great innovation, chances to break through disciplinary boundaries, to use cutting-edge pedagogy and to excite the student body into realizing the multidirectional nature of their community's social fabric.

Therefore, the American Cultures Center makes it a priority to honor the great teaching efforts, abilities and innovations created in the American Cultures classroom by both faculty and students. A number of opportunities for recognition occur throughout the year, including prizes for faculty advancement in AC courses, student research, and grants for AC course development and improvement.

For information on the 2014 Student Research and Faculty Innovation Prizes, click here.
For information on American Cultures Course Development Grants, click here.