Mellon Foundation FellowshipS

A small suite of programs offers support for graduate students, faculty members, and professionals who previously participated in the Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowships (MMUF). 

  • The MMUF Dissertation Grants support doctoral candidates nearing the completion of their dissertations. 
  • The MMUF Travel and Research Grants provide assistance in completing research prior to the start of dissertation writing. 
  • For MMUF Fellows, the Mellon Mays Gap Assistance Program (Mellon Mays GAP) helps Mellon Mays Fellows who have recently graduated maintain their graduate school ambitions and progress towards an academic career. 

Application deadline: December 1, 2021

THE MMUF Dissertation Grants

The MMUF Dissertation Grants are available to graduate students who participated in the Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship Program. The grants provide graduate students at the critical juncture of completing their graduate degrees with support to spend a year finishing the writing of the dissertation. 

  • The dissertation grant offers up to $25,000 for a 12-month period. Fellows are encouraged to apply for dissertation grants from their home institutions.
  • Winners who do not receive dissertation support from their own institutions are eligible to receive the full amount. The grant will be reduced by funding from other sources to ensure that each awardee receives a maximum award from all sources of $25,000.
  • The Institute for Citizens & Scholars will ask graduate schools to waive tuition for winners of the MMUF Dissertation Grant.
  • Candidates must arrange for their own health insurance coverage. 

Application Deadline
December 1, 2021

2021 Fellows

Rene Cordero | Brown University, history
Christofer Rodelo |Harvard University, American studies
Tiesha Cassel | Pennsylvania State University, philosophy and African American and diaspora studies
Zaynab Quadri| George Washington University, American studies

ELIGIBILITY

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. 

Dissertation Grants: Frequently Asked Questions

You must be a Ph.D. candidate in order to be eligible for this fellowship.

Only fields been designated by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation are eligible for support.  If you question the eligibility of your particular field you may contact us to inquire: mmufdis@woodrow.org. 

Eligible Fields 

Humanities: American and English Literatures, Foreign Languages and Literatures (including Area/Cultural/Ethnic/Gender Studies), Art History, Classics, Film, Cinema and Media Studies (theoretical focus) History, Linguistics, Musicology and Ethnomusicology, Performance Studies (theoretical focus), Philosophy and Political Theory, Religion and Theology, Theater (non-performance focus) 

Social Sciences:  Anthropology and Archaeology, Demography, Geography and Population Studies, Sociology 

Physical Sciences: Computer Science, Earth/Environmental/Geological Sciences, Ecology, Geology, Mathematics, Oceanographic/Marine/Atmospheric/Planetary Science, Physics and Astronomy 

No, only fields designated by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation are eligible. (See listing in question above) 

All application materials must be RECEIVED by 11:59pm EST on the December 1, 2021, deadline. 

Letters of recommendation should be signed, on institutional letterhead, and submitted through the online application.

New grant awards are announced in mid to late February.

Should an alternate be selected, they will be notified by mid-April.

Stipends are sent to the MMUF Dissertation Grant recipients in two equal payments, in June and the following January.

MMUF Dissertation Grant recipients are required to submit a final progress report at the end of the grant period.  They are also required to inform the Foundation when they have been granted the Ph.D. and provide updates to their contact information when necessary. The Foundation will send an occasional survey to monitor progress and provide targeted communications to recipients. 

MMUF DIssertation Grants: Application Information

OVERVIEW OF REQUIRED MATERIALS

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. 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.

All application materials, including letters of recommendation, must be received by the application deadline: December 1, 2021 at 11:59 pm EST.

Online Application Form: Click here to begin the application process (link will open in fall 2021 for the 2022 application cycle).  It is recommended that you bookmark this web page. 

    • • 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 $25,000 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. 

To upload your supplemental materials, click on  “supplemental items” on the left-hand side of the application. Make sure to upload your supplemental materials asa single PDF file in the order listed below. Label the PDF as follows: “LastNameFirstName_CEF_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 

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Draft Dissertation Chapter (50-page maximum, double-spaced and in 12-pt font)

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. 

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. 

The deadline for all application materials is December 1, 2021 at 11:59 pm EST. 

Please note the following: 

  • Fellowships are awarded on a competitive basis according to funds available in a given fiscal year.   The Institute for Citizens & Scholars does not comment on the deliberations of its award panels.  C&S does not provide evaluations of successful or unsuccessful applications. 
  • Applications and supporting documents become the sole property of C&S and will not be returned or held for another year. 
  • Applications are reviewed by distinguished scholars and should be prepared accordingly. 
  • Fellowships may not be deferred. 
  • Stipend checks are made payable to fellows, not to institutions. 
  • Fellows are responsible for reporting the fellowship as income to the U.S. Internal Revenue Service. 

Please direct any questions to Mellon Program Associate, Ritu Mukherjee at mukherjee@citizensandscholars.org. 

THE MMUF Travel & Research Grants

The MMUF Travel & Research Grants are available to graduate students who participated in the Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship Program. The grants provide eligible graduate students with the financial means to complete their research prior to the start of dissertation writing.

  • The MMUF Travel & Research grants provide up to $5,000 for a period of one summer or one semester. Grants may be used to cover dissertation research, travel to/from research sites, and photocopying of documents and/or the purchase of access to databases for research purposes. The award may not be used to purchase computer software or hardware, and may not be used for general living expenses. 
  • Funding is for one summer or one semester of travel and/or research support. Awards are based on the scholarly merit of the individual applications received.

Application Deadline
March 11, 2022

Final Selections Determined
Mid-April 2022

Award Notifications
Late May, 2022

2021 Fellows

Brandon Alston | Northwestern University

Elena Ayala-Hurtado | Harvard University

Kimberly Broughton | Purdue University-Main Campus

Jennifer Cárcamo | University of California-Los Angeles

Edward Escalon | University of Toronto

Sujin Han | Harvard University

Samantha Hobson | University of Michigan-Ann Arbor

Ava Kim | University of Pennsylvania

Spencer Lenfield | Yale University

Maria Ramirez | University of California-Irvine

Ikaika Ramones | New York University

Teona Williams | Yale University

ELIGIBILITY

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 passed all comprehensive examinations, completed all course work for the degree, and selected a dissertation topic that has been approved by the dissertation advisor.

Travel & Research Grants: Frequently Asked Questions

A: The MMUF Travel & Research Grant requires submission of a research plan for the summer or fall semester of 2022. The Mellon team at the Institute of Citizens & Scholars recognizes that COVID-19 may continue to disrupt Fellow travel and research for some time. As a result, this year we are asking that research plans include at least one paragraph describing in detail back-up plans in the case that you are not able to travel to and from locations of interest to pursue your research. The Mellon team is committed to working with our current Fellows and 2022 Fellows to ensure that they have time to adequately use their grants to further their doctoral research. The addition of this will help us understand how you will use the grant to continue your work in some fashion, despite on-going COVID-19 precautions. Please contact Daria Malone, malone@citizensandscholars.org, if you have any concerns or questions. 

A: You must be a Ph.D. candidate to be eligible for this grant. 

A: Only fields which have been designated by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation are eligible for support.  If you question the eligibility of your field, you may contact us to inquire: mmuftr@woodrow.org 

Eligible Fields 

Humanities:  American and English Literatures, Foreign Languages and Literatures, Area/Cultural/Ethnic/Gender Studies, Art History, Classics, Film, Cinema and Media Studies (theoretical focus) History, Linguistics, Musicology and Ethnomusicology, Performance Studies (theoretical focus), Philosophy and Political Theory, Religion and Theology, Theater (non-performance focus) 

Social Sciences:  Anthropology and Archaeology, Demography, Geography and Population Studies, Sociology 

*Physical Sciences:  Computer Science, Earth/Environmental/Geological Sciences, Ecology, Geology, Mathematics, Oceanographic/ Marine / Atmospheric/ Planetary Science, Physics and Astronomy *Applicants in these fields must have received the Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship before 2016, when these were approved fields. 

A: No, only fields designated by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation are eligible. (See listing in above question) 

A: Yes. Funds may only be used for items specific to the research intended for the award period. The grant cannot be used for: 

  • • Computer hardware or software, recording devices 
  • • Conference travel 
  • • General living expenses/moving expenses 
  • • Previous expenditures, deficits, or repayment of loans 
  • • Institutional (overhead) costs 
  • • Tuition for dependents’ education 
  • • Tuition for additional coursework 

A: All application materials must be RECEIVED by 11:59pm on March 11, 2022.

A: Only one letter will be considered for your application. Please ensure that your academic advisor/dissertation committee chair is the writer. The letter should be signed and on institutional letterhead and submitted through the online application.

A: New grant awards are announced in late May. 

A: MMUF Travel and Research Grant recipients are required to submit a final progress report at the end of the grant period.  They are also required to inform the foundation when they have been granted the Ph.D. and provide updates to their contact information when necessary. The foundation will send an occasional survey to monitor progress and provide targeted communications to grantees.

MMUF Travel & Research Grants: Application Information

OVERVIEW OF REQUIRED MATERIALS

A complete application for the MMUF Travel & Research Grants will include:

  • A completed online application form (including the Budget Form)
  • A single PDF file of supplemental materials in the order listed below. Label the PDF as follows: “LastNameFirstName_TRAVEL_RESEARCH_SUPPLEMENTAL” with no spaces.
    • Curriculum Vitae
    • Personal Statement
    • Research Plan (including your Research Timeline)
    • Budget Form (linked here)
  • Official graduate transcript
  • Two (2) letters of recommendation requested through the online application system and submitted directly by referees.

All application materials, including letters of recommendation, must be received by the application deadline: March 11, 2022 at 11:59 pm EST.

Online Application Form: Click here to begin the application process (link will open in fall 2021 for the 2022 application cycle).  It is recommended that you bookmark this web page. 

    • • Choose the correct application, “MMUF Travel and Research 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. 
      • • 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. 

To upload your supplemental materials, click on  “supplemental items” on the left-hand side of the application. Make sure to upload your supplemental materials asa single PDF file in the order listed below. Label the PDF as follows: “LastNameFirstName_TRAVEL_RESEARCH_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 

  1. Personal Statement(two-page maximum, double-spaced, one inch margins, 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 research 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.
  2. Research Plan (including your Research Timeline). The Research Plan and Research Timeline should together be a maximum of three pages, double-spaced, 1” margins and in 12-pt font. Label this document as the Research Plan and include the following: 
    • – A description of the research project that you are seeking funding for and its relevance to your overall dissertation. 
    • – A description of your expected outcomes of this research. In other words, what will you accomplish with this grant? 
    • – A description of theresearch methods you will use and why these are appropriate for your project. 
    • – A research timeline: this should be the last page of your plan, and should include a schedule or timeline of travel and/or research activities during the funding period. 
    • Please note that the Research Statement should not be a reiteration of the personal statement. 
  3. Budget Form(download the form here). The maximum award is $5000. Funding may include travel to/from research sites, the cost of meals and lodging at research sites, photocopying or microfilming of documents, purchase of access to databases for research, fees for use of research facilities, and other research-related expenses. Funds must only be used for items specific to the research intended for the award period. 

Submit one letter of recommendation from your academic advisor (a maximum of two pages). The letter should be requested through the online application system and submitted directly by your advisor. The letter should endorse your request for funding and briefly discuss your proposed dissertation. It should also comment on your research status and how funding will help to complete the research process. The letter must be written on institutional letterhead, signed and submitted through the online application. It is strongly recommended that you request the letter of recommendation as early as possible.  Do not wait until you have submitted your application. 

  • • Request the Letter of Recommendation by clicking on link #4 “Submit Supplemental Items.” 
  • • Click on the “Start” link and fill in the requested information. 
  • • It is suggested that you make note of the application/recommendation deadline in the area provided for a personal note. 
  • • Click on “Submit Request.” 
  • • Once you have started the process, your recommender will receive an email requesting that 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 a recommender if necessary. 

Submit one official 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.

Mailed transcripts should be sent Attn: MMUF Travel & Research Grants Program; 104 Carnegie Center, Suite 301, Princeton, NJ 08540-6. 

The deadline for all application materials is March 11th2022 at 11:59 pm EST. 
Please note the following: 

  • Grants are awarded on a competitive basis according to funds available in a given fiscal year.  The Institute for Citizens & Scholars does not comment on the deliberations of its award panels. C&S does not provide evaluations of successful or unsuccessful applications. 
  • Applications and supporting documents become the sole property of C&S and will not be returned or held for another year. 
  • Grants may not be deferred.
  • Grant checks are made payable to fellows, not to institutions. 
  • Grantees are responsible for reporting the fellowship as income to the U.S. Internal Revenue Service. 

Please direct any questions to Mellon Program Assistant, Daria Malone at malone@citizensandscholars.org. 

Mellon Mays GAP

The Mellon Mays Gap Assistance Program (Mellon Mays GAP) helps Mellon Mays Fellows who have recently graduated maintain their graduate school ambitions and progress towards an academic career. 

When there’s a gap between earning your undergraduate degree and pursuing your Ph.D., reduced contact with the academy, time management concerns, work-life balance, and other issues can make it more challenging to complete your application to a doctoral program. 

Mellon Mays GAP provides the resources that Mellon Mays Fellows who are now successful graduate students and Ph.D.s cited as critical for getting through the gap year(s): 

  • Structured template of gap year activities with staff follow-up and accountability with peers on your track. 
  • Live and on-demand media resources including webinar courses, handouts, video interviews with more senior Fellows. 
  • Predoctoral coaching and mentoring, regional events and virtual conversations. 
  • Graduate school intensive bootcamps in spring and fall (most expenses paid) to prepare for graduate school. 

GAP Fellows are placed on one of two tracks—either a six-month or a full-year curriculum—based on their timeline to apply to graduate school. The brief outline below lists available resources. 

Are you in a gap year and ready to apply in 2021, or planning to apply in 2022? Sign up here

Are you a graduate student, postdoc, or faculty member interested in participating as a mentor or coach in this program? Sign up here. 

For questions and more information, contact us at MellonMaysGAP@citizensandscholars.org.