Eligibility & How to Apply


Who should apply to the MMUF Dissertation Grants?

  • Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship Program alumni
  • Candidate for the Ph.D. degree in fields recognized under the terms of the Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship Program
  • Candidates must have completed all pre-dissertation requirements before the application deadline. Specifically, each applicant must have passed all comprehensive examinations, completed all coursework for the degree, received approval of the dissertation topic, and completed most or all of the fieldwork and/or research necessary to begin writing. 

Application Instructions

Online Applications: Dissertation Grants

  • Create an account by registering and remember to write down your username and password. After creating an account, you will be taken to your personal account page where you can return at any time to edit your personal information, change your password, start and/or complete your application, and submit and/or verify receipt of your supplemental materials.
  • Choose the correct application, “MMUF Dissertation Grants.”
  • Begin the application and remember to click on “save and continue” before leaving a page, or “save application” before logging out in order to save your work. The application can be completed during more than one session.
  • To complete an unfinished application simply return to your bookmarked page, log in with your email and password, and continue filling out remaining sections.
  • Please note that letters of recommendation and supplemental items must be received PRIOR to submitting the application. Submit the application when complete, using the submit button at the left-hand side of the application. If you have missed any required fields, you will receive an error message.  Click on the item(s) listed within parentheses and you will be taken directly to the missed field.  Once all required fields have been completed, click on the submit button.

The Budget Form: Allocate funds (up to $30,000 maximum) for the 12-month grant period (e.g., necessary living expenses, research-related expenses, and other relevant costs).  Include the amount of dissertation funding requested from your institution, if applicable. This form is part of the online application.


A complete application for the MMUF Dissertation Grants will include:

  • A completed online application form (including the Budget Form)
  • A single PDF file of supplemental materials in the order listed below. Do NOT upload PDF in portfolio format. Label the PDF as follows: “LastNameFirstName_DISSERTATION_SUPPLEMENTAL” with no spaces.
    • Curriculum Vitae
    • Personal Statement
    • Prospectus
    • Draft Chapter (50-page maximum)
  • Official graduate transcript
  • Two (2) letters of recommendation requested through the online application system and submitted directly by referees.
  • Explanation of budget

All application materials, including letters of recommendation, must be received by the application deadline: December 1, 2023 at 5:00 pm ET.

Letters of Recommendation

Two (2) Letters of Recommendation: Letters should not exceed two pages. The first letter should be from your dissertation advisor and the second from an academic scholar who is knowledgeable about your graduate performance and/or familiar with your dissertation project.  Recommenders should comment on your research and scholarship to date and your ability to finish the dissertation within one year. Letters of Recommendation must be written on institutional letterhead, signed and submitted through the online application. It is strongly recommended that you request letters of recommendation as early as possible.  Do not wait until you have submitted your application.

  • Request Letters of Recommendation by clicking on section Recommenders.
  • Add contact information for two recommenders and click “Send Invitation.”
  • It is suggested that you contact each recommender and specify the due date and information needed to be provided from the above instructions. Recommendation letters must be received before you can submit your application.
  • Once you have started the process, your recommenders will receive an email requesting they submit a letter of recommendation on your behalf. They have the option to accept or decline this request.  Recommenders who accept the request will be taken to an online form where they will enter some information before uploading and submitting their recommendation letter.  If a recommender declines your request to provide a recommendation, you will be notified by email.  If you receive a “decline” notification, you will need to return to your account page to request a new recommendation from a different recommender.  You can also change a recommender by clicking on “cancel” and then following the procedures to “start” a new recommendation process with a different recommender. You can also resend a request to one of your recommenders, if necessary.

Supplemental Materials

To upload your supplemental materials, click on  “supplemental items” on the left-hand side of the application. Make sure to upload your supplemental materials as a single PDF file in the order listed below. Label the PDF as follows: “LastNameFirstName_DISSERTATION_SUPPLEMENTAL” with no spaces.

1. Curriculum Vitae: When submitting a C.V., it is best to be precise in describing the state of yet-to-be published work.  The term “forthcoming” may have a variety of meanings.  It is most helpful, therefore, to state specifically the status of your research.  Below are some useful terms for use on a C.V.:

  • In progress (still being written, not yet submitted for publication)
  • Under review (submitted to a journal or press)
  • Revising to resubmit (submitted to a journal or press and returned for revision)
  • Under contract (manuscript has been accepted by a press but may be undergoing revisions before final publication)
  • In press (manuscript finished, submitted to a journal or press and awaiting publication)

It is also a good idea to parenthetically explain the conditions under which an article was published.  It is best to state whether a text has been subject to “peer review,” is an “invited submission” or whatever term best describes its publication.

Refer to the sample below when preparing the Publications portion of the C.V.:

Published Work

Movements in Chicano Poetry: Against Myths, Against Margins,                            Book Cambridge University Press, 1995.

“Chicano Cultural Discourse: Coyotes at the Border,”American                              Article Literature.  67 (Dec): 815-824, 1995.

Unpublished Work

No entries at this time.

Work in Progress

Memories of an East Los Angeles….  Written with John Q. Jones                            Book

2. Personal Statement (three-page maximum, double-spaced and in 12-pt font): Your personal statement should be a narrative that addresses how your professional and/or personal life influenced you to undertake your dissertation project and graduate degree. Describe how your scholarship or presence/service in the academy speaks to your commitment to eradicating racial disparities and promoting cross-cultural understanding on your campus. Label this document as the Personal Statement.

3. Prospectus (three-page maximum, double-spaced and in 12-pt font): This should include a description of the proposed dissertation including major features and/or topical organization. Explain how the award will allow you to complete the dissertation within one year. The final page should include a schedule or timeline for the year’s work. The prospectus is separate from the personal statement and cannot be combined into one document with the personal statement. Label this document as the Prospectus.

4. Draft Dissertation Chapter (50-page maximum, double-spaced and in 12-pt font)

Graduate Transcript

Submit one copy of your graduate transcript. Electronic transcripts are preferred; please request it to be sent by your institution or its transcript service to tech-help@citizensandscholars.org.