Changing the Narrative for the Twenty-first Century

Thank you so much for your interest in the inaugural year of our Fellowship program. All of the information about the fellowships—including how to apply—is on our website. In addition, here are responses to our most frequently asked questions.

What is the deadline?

The deadline is January 8, 2022, by 23:59 EST.


Only complete submissions will be considered. Each application must include the following:


1. Application Form (download here: ), including the Title of the Project and a Summary of the Project (75 words)


2. Curriculum Vitae


3. Statement of Research and Methodological approach (1250 words)


4. Personal Statement (750 words)


5. Two Letters of Reference (sent directly to


6. One additional piece of Supporting Material (such as a written article, a link to a specific item, or video personal statement; while applicants are invited to submit supporting material relevant to their application, it must be in a digital form)


Applications must be emailed to


Who is eligible to apply?

The Art Canada Institute is committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion and especially welcomes applications from Indigenous People, Black People, People of Colour, Women, People who are Transgender, People who are Gender Non-binary or Non-conforming, Persons with Disabilities, LGBTQ2S+ persons, and others who may contribute to the further diversification of ideas.


ACI welcomes applicants with significant experience in the study of art and from a wide range of backgrounds and lived experiences. Applicants must be prepared to commit substantial time to the meetings, events, and research required to meet the deliverables of the Fellowship. ACI welcomes applications from the following:


  • Graduate students, enrolled in a graduate studies program for a terminal degree (in art history, history, museum studies, sociology, or another field connected to their proposed topic)


  • Postdoctoral fellows


  • Pre-tenure faculty


  • Emerging scholars (have completed a graduate program within the previous six years)


  • Independent researchers


  • Professionals working in the museum sector


  • Professionals with substantial experience (in lieu of academic qualifications) with curatorial research or with working with artists, artist-run centres, archives, and/or community organizations to document and preserve knowledge of artworks


As well, joint applications from groups of two or three people are welcome.


All applicants must either be Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Canada or a “protected person” under subsection 95(2) of Canada’s Immigration and Refugee Protection Act by the application deadline; however, they may be living outside of Canada.


Which artists, genres, topics, and themes are eligible for the research?

The Redefining Canadian Art History Fellowship is intended to contribute to a fundamental re-working of the narrative of Canadian art history by incentivizing major research projects on the full range of visual culture across the country in all its rich diversity. The parameters of the program are focused on artists active in Canada/Turtle Island, and artists who are Indigenous, Black, People of Colour, 2SLGBTQQIA+, Nonbinary, Gender Non-conforming, Deaf, Living with Disabilities, and Women.


Fellowships are for one year to study an archival or museum collection or body of work that is related to an artist (or group of artists, especially in the case of a collection with multiple contributors) overlooked due to gender, racial, or cultural background. Areas of research specialty may include, but are not limited to, First Nations, Métis, and Inuit art; African Canadian art; Asian Canadian art; art by racialized Canadian artists; and by Canadian artists of gender and sexually diverse identities.


Can I research more than one artist during the Fellowship?

Yes, you can, if the collection that you are studying is associated with a group of artists rather than a specific individual. Please keep in mind that the project you undertake must be closely focused, as it must be completed within one year.


Which museums/collections are eligible to be researched for the fellowships?

Any substantial archive of materials related to an artist or group of artists is eligible. The archive might be a public archive in a library or museum, or it might be a privately held archive (held by an artist, private gallery, or foundation, for instance). If you are planning to conduct research in a privately held archive, you must have permission to do so at the time of application.


I am writing a reference for an applicant. What is required of referees?

  • The deadline to receive references is January 8, 2022 (by midnight)


  • Please use the subject line: “2021 ACI Fellowship Reference for (Name of Applicant)”



What is the assessment process for the submissions?

Only complete applications will be considered. Members of ACI staff and the ACI Fellowship Advisory Committee will assess each application according to the following criteria:


  • the applicant’s research ability and relevant experience


  • the potential impact of the proposed project for both the applicant and for the field of study


The timeline for the assessment process and commencement of the program is as follows:


  • March 2022 – Interviews of shortlisted applicants with members of ACI staff and the ACI Fellowship Advisory Committee


  • May 2022 – Awards announced


  • June 2022 – Fellowship orientation session is held


  • July 2022 – Fellows commence their research


What are the participation expectations for the Fellowship?

Fellows will participate in a mentorship program that consists of one-to-one sessions as well as group meetings, presentations, and industry networking. Each Fellow will be assigned a mentor from the Fellowship Advisory Committee and be introduced to the Fellowship Administrator at ACI. Both will support Fellows during their research. In addition, Fellows are expected to participate in the following meetings and events.



  • Mentors will meet with Fellows four times during the Fellowship (at the beginning and the end and two midway points)


  • The Fellowship Administrator will check in with Fellows during monthly, remote cohort meetings. Fellows will be asked to take turns giving short, informal presentations about their projects and the critical topics that they are investigating.


Event Program

  • Two-day initial orientation session


  • Two formal Mentorship/Fellowship Advisory Committee networking events


  • National Symposium


What are the participation deliverables for the Fellowship?

Fellows will be expected to complete the following presentations and written publication.



During the Fellowship, Fellows will be responsible for preparing oral presentations of their research projects as follows:


  • Two informal ten-minute presentations, to be delivered at the monthly cohort meetings (each Fellow will present twice to the group, once in the autumn and once in the winter)


  • A twenty-minute formal presentation at the National Symposium


  • A community group presentation (with the format to be determined by the Fellow in discussion with their adviser and their hosts)



Fellows will be responsible for preparing a written research project that will be published on the ACI website (with the publication process and costs supported by ACI). The general format for the project is as follows; however, all research projects are different, and Fellows and their advisers may propose adaptations of this structure (to word counts, for instance).


  • A 7500-word introduction to the artist and/or topic.


  • A 4000-word discussion of eight significant primary sources identified through the research (8 x approximately 500 words each).


  • A 7500-word critical essay that presents a specific argument about the research material and findings of the project.


  • A 2500-word conclusion that presents questions and recommendations for future research, and, in addition, a comprehensive bibliography.


  • An image list for the publication, including both images essential to the argument and optional additional images (100 in total).


While all Fellows must prepare projects broadly along the lines of this structure, Fellows are encouraged to approach it creatively, strategically, and responsibly, and to speak with the Fellowship Administrator about how it might be best adapted to their own project’s requirements and findings.


Is the Fellowship based in Toronto?

ACI’s main office is based in Toronto, but Fellows may live and work anywhere. Concerning Fellowship events, at the time of writing, it is hoped that the larger program events will be held in-person. Decisions will be made in 2022 depending on the safety of in-person gatherings and travel at that time.


I am a student—can these publications be included in my academic work?

A Fellowship project cannot be identical to work being previously or simultaneously completed for another project. However, applicants may consult with their institutions or departments of study to see if the project aligns in a complementary fashion, such as by fulfilling requirements for an independent study.


I have other funding. Can I apply for this fellowship?

It is up to the applicant to ensure there are no funding conflicts.


Are there ethical considerations in the work we propose?

ACI encourages applicants to review tri-council ethical considerations in the preparing and planning of the research they plan to undertake.


How can I find out more?

ACI will be hosting a virtual information session about the program on January 4, 2022 at 11:00am (EST).


To sign up for a session email:


For more information, please visit:

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