PLEASE FILL IN THE APPLICATION FORM BELOW
PLEASE READ THE FOLLOWING DIRECTIONS CAREFULLY PRIOR TO PREPARING YOUR ONLINE APPLICATION PACKAGE.
INCOMPLETE APPLICATIONS WILL NOT BE CONSIDERED.
A STATEMENT ABOUT THE UNCF/MELLON PROGRAMS:
The UNCF/Mellon Programs are designed to identify the “best and brightest” students from throughout the UNCF network who are worthy of the name Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellow. Those accepted into the Undergraduate Fellowship program are expected to present themselves as serious scholars. Our programs are committed to the development of future faculty scholars who will transform the Academy through their scholarship, teaching and thought leadership.
We welcome your interest in applying to become a candidate for a UNCF/Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship. TO BE ELIGIBLE, YOU MUST BE ENROLLED IN A UNITED NEGRO COLLEGE FUND INSTITUTION OR HAMPTON UNIVERSITY. YOU MUST BE NOMINATED BY EITHER THE CHIEF ACADEMIC OFFICER OF THE COLLEGE OR THE UNCF/MELLON PROGRAMS CAMPUS COORDINATOR, IF ONE IS IN PLACE. (Please note that institutions are not allowed to nominate more than five students.)
Nominees must be entering their junior year. Applicants are required to have a grade point average of at least 3.2 and plan to pursue doctoral studies in the Humanities (which includes area studies), Anthropology and Archaeology, Geography and Population Studies, Film, Cinema and Media Studies (theoretical focus), Performance Studies (theoretical focus), Political Theory, Sociology, or Theater (non-performance focus). (Please refer to the listing included in this online application packet.) Nominees must be willing to work under the direction of a faculty mentor for the duration of the fellowship, intend to complete their undergraduate studies at a UNCF institution, intend on enrolling in a Ph.D. program in one of the designated disciplines, and be citizens or permanent residents of the United States. If accepted, applicants must show proof of a passport or a passport application.
It is important to stress that students with interests in law, engineering, journalism, elementary and secondary education or other professional degree programs are not eligible for this program and therefore should not be nominated by their home institutions. Applications reflecting these areas of interest will not be reviewed.
If selected as a Fellow, the program will provide work-study compensation for research activity during the academic year. In addition, the fellowship provides summer stipends, a mentor support system, a Summer Research Institute following the sophomore year, sponsored independent activity in the post-junior summer, graduate record examination preparation, advice and assistance in applying to graduate school, and repayment of all or part of the undergraduate Guaranteed Student Loan for participants who pursue the Ph.D. study in one of the specified fields. If selected, the Fellow will be required to participate in the UNCF/Mellon Programs Summer Institute, June 1 - 30 every year.
Your completed application package must be submitted by:
Anthropology and Archaeology
Geography and Population Studies
Film, Cinema and Media Studies (theoretical focus)
Musicology and Ethnomusicology
Foreign Languages and Literatures
Performance Studies (theoretical focus)
Philosophy and Political Theory
Religion and Theology
Theater (non-performance focus)
Interdisciplinary Studies: Interdisciplinary areas of study may be eligible if they have one or more Mellon fields at their core.
GENERAL STATEMENT AND PURPOSE
The UNCF/Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship Program is supported by a generous gift from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Participation in the program is open to students at four-year institutions that are members of the United Negro College Fund and at Hampton University.
The purpose of the program is to increase the number of talented undergraduates who choose to enroll in Ph.D. programs in the humanities or particular science and social science disciplines. The eligible fields are:
- Anthropology and Archaeology
- Area/Cultural/Ethnic/Gender Studies
- Art History
- Geography and Population Studies
- Film, Cinema and Media Studies (theoretical focus)
- Musicology and Ethnomusicology
- Foreign Languages and Literatures
- Performance Studies (theoretical focus)
- Philosophy and Political Theory
- Religion and Theology
- Theater (non-performance focus)
- Interdisciplinary Studies: Interdisciplinary areas of study may be eligible if they have one or more Mellon fields at their core.
It is important to stress that students with interests in law, engineering, international policy, early or secondary education or other professional degree programs are not eligible for this program and therefore should not be nominated by their home institution.
The program will provide work-study compensation for research activity during the academic year. In addition, it provides summer stipends, a mentor support system, a Summer Research Institute following the sophomore year, sponsored independent activity in the post-junior summer, advice and assistance in applying to graduate schools, and assistance with selected undergraduate loan repayment for participants who pursue Ph.D. study in one of the specified fields. If selected, the Fellow will be required to participate in the UNCF/Mellon Programs Summer Institute, June 1 – 30 every year.
NOMINATION FOR CONSIDERATION
- Nominations to the UNCF/Mellon Fellows Program must be submitted by the chief academic officer or UNCF/Mellon Programs Campus Coordinator, if one is in place.
- Each institution may nominate more than one, but not more than five students in a single year.
- Nominees must complete the UNCF/Mellon Undergraduate Fellows application.
Institutions wishing to participate in the program must:
- Agree to assist in identifying a faculty mentor for the student nominee. Mentors with a demonstrated interest in the student’s research area should be selected. Please note that mentors are required to attend a two-three day conference, which is held annually at the program’s expense in early October. Each mentor will receive an annual stipend of $1,000.00.
- Agree, when and if several fellowships (3 or more) are awarded, to appoint an official of the institution to serve as campus coordinator of the program. Each coordinator will receive an annual stipend of $500.00. Campus coordinators will not serve as mentors.
- Agree to be willing to evaluate the mentor's effectiveness.
- Be willing to provide demographic and other information on each Fellow and assist in following up on information about the Fellows after they graduate.
- Be completing the sophomore year and entering the junior year after their selection
- Have at least a 3.2 G.P.A.
- Express serious interest in pursuing graduate studies leading toward a Ph.D. in a Mellon designated area of study. (Please refer to the enclosed list of Mellon disciplinary areas.)
- Be committed to a career as a college professor
- Intend to complete their undergraduate studies at a UNCF school
- Be a citizen or permanent resident of the United States
- Represent the fellow’s academic disciplinary area
- Be willing to help design and coordinate an independent research project with the fellow
- Assist the fellow with identifying disciplinary scholarship to support her/his research
- Assist the fellow in identifying potential graduate school destinations
- Assist the fellow with identifying scholars at graduate institutions with similar disciplinary research questions
- Attend the annual two-three day UNCF/Mellon Programs Conference
- Submit an annual Mentor’s Report
STIPENDS AND LOAN FORGIVENESS
- Academic Year Stipend - During the junior and senior years, Fellows will engage in supervised research or other comparable activities arranged by their mentors. For this research activity, Fellows will receive a stipend of $3,600.00 per academic year. The purpose of the stipend is to facilitate Fellows’ research activity by relieving them of the need to undertake other work responsibilities. The fellowship should not jeopardize the Fellow’s access to other forms of financial aid that might be available.Institutions should not, therefore, withhold institutional scholarships or grants for which the Fellow is eligible. The student can hold a UNCF/Mellon Fellowship concurrently with other financial awards.
- Summer Stipends - For each summer of activity in the program, students will receive up to a $3,900.00 stipend. During the first summer, registration, food and lodging, and other expenses for the Summer Institute will be deducted. The Summer Institute is required of all new fellows. The $3,900.00 stipend for the second summer must be used to support the student’s research or graduate school interests. The 2017 Summer Institute will be held for the entire month of June.
- Loan Forgiveness - For Fellows who enroll in Ph.D. programs in one of the specified fields no longer than 39 months after receiving the B.A. degree, the program will repay one-eighth (1/8) or up to $1,250.00 a year of the student's undergraduate Guaranteed Student Loan for each of the first four years of full-time graduate study. The remainder of the undergraduate loan up to $5,000.00 will be repaid when the Fellow receives the Ph.D. degree. Loan repayment has been approved for graduate students who have not used the loan repayment allocation to repay undergraduate loans, but who have taken out designated educational loans from recognized lenders for graduate study.
- Travel Stipend - UNCF/Mellon Fellows may request a travel stipend in the amount of up to $600.00 per year. Fellows may use this stipend to assist with expenses related to traveling to various conferences, institutions, facilities or any other destination, in an effort to supplement their research and facilitate the graduate school selection process.
- International Research Travel Grant – This initiative is designed to support the international/global scholarly interests of UNCF/Mellon Fellows. These grants may be used to supplement pre-existing study abroad plans or to subsidize a summer or fall/spring semester international engagement (for example, attending a conference abroad, conducting research abroad, etc). A total of four grants of up to $3,000.00 will be awarded each academic year. This is a competitive grant.
- Research Stipend - The UNCF/Mellon Programs will provide funds in the amount of up to $400.00 to assist senior undergraduate fellows with expenses related to their research needs.
- Graduate Record Examination Preparation - The UNCF/Mellon Programs will provide funds in the amount of up to $600.00 for senior undergraduate fellows to enroll in graduate record examination preparatory classes.
Each nominee should follow the instructions indicated on this website. An application will not be considered complete unless it includes the following:
- Nominating Letter - A letter of nomination from the chief academic officer or UNCF/Mellon Campus Coordinator (if one is in place), containing the information previously cited, identifying a mentor, and accompanied by a copy of the 1-2 page curriculum vitae for the mentor.
- Letter of Recommendation - Included in the application packet is a request for a letter of recommendation from a faculty member that summarizes the academic accomplishments, potential, activities, and plans of the nominee.The Program’s Selection Committee has found most helpful those recommendations that portray the talents, skills, interests, and aspirations of the nominee. Discussion of the student’s interest in becoming a college professor is imperative. Information on leadership abilities and accomplishments in student organizations as well as information about the student’s character has proven to be quite useful. The Committee has to rely heavily on this letter and the student’s transcript to choose among many outstanding candidates. An informative letter, then, is an essential part of the process.
- Mentor’s Statement - Nominees are required to submit a mentor’s statement from the faculty member selected to serve as a mentor. The Mentor should indicate how her/his area of scholarship will compliment and support the research interest of the fellow. The Mentor’s Statement form is included in the application packet. The Mentor must also review the nominee’s Personal Statements (Research and Character Statements) and sign where indicated on the Mentor’s Statement that she/he has proofread them.
- Transcript - Although official transcripts are preferred, unofficial transcripts will be accepted.
- Photo - All applicants must attach a passport-sized photo of themselves to the application page.
SELECTION OF RECIPIENTS
The UNCF/Mellon Advisory Board of nationally recognized scholars, chaired by the Director of the UNCF/Mellon Programs, will select UNCF/Mellon Fellows on a competitive basis from among those students who are nominated by their institution.
All nominations should be submitted by January 31. Please submit below or mail all nominations to the following address:
Dr. Cynthia Neal Spence, Director
350 Spelman Lane
Atlanta, GA 30314
(p) (404) 270-5685
STEPS TO FOLLOW FOR COMPLETING ONLINE APPLICATION
1) STUDENT APPLICATION FORM
Please complete the below online application form. The application should be proofread. Please note that your proposed Mentor is required to proofread your Personal Statements (Research and Character Statements) and sign where indicated on the Mentor’s Statement that he/she has proofread them.
2) PERSONAL STATEMENT(S)
Please be sure that your name is visible on your statements.
The UNCF/Mellon Undergraduate Fellowship Program seeks to assist students with graduate school preparation and matriculation and the eventual entrance into the professoriate. Along those lines, please answer the following questions in your first statement, keeping in mind that applications are reviewed by an interdisciplinary committee of academics and scholars. Statements should be written with the composition of the Selection Committee in mind.
a) RESEARCH STATEMENT
Please answer the following questions in the first statement (not to exceed three typed, double-spaced pages.) and upload below.
- What is your SPECIFIC research topic?
- What are your SPECIFIC research questions?
- Provide a brief paragraph describing how your research questions are related to disciplinary scholarship in your area.
- Who are the scholars exploring similar questions in your field and what do they have to say about your research area?
- Why do you want to be a college professor?
- What research and/or teaching experiences have you had as part of a job or as a volunteer?
- What specific qualities do you possess that would help you to complete the Ph.D.?
b) CHARACTER STATEMENT
Please upload a second statement no longer than two typed, double-spaced pages answering the following question:
Why do you believe that you possess the character and integrity required of a UNCF/Mellon fellow?
3) ANNOTATED BIBLIOGRAPHY
Please upload an annotated bibliography with your Research Statement below.
4) MENTOR STATEMENT FORM
Along with the application, you must submit a statement from a faculty member who will act as your mentor in the Fellowship program. You may select as a mentor any member of the faculty at your undergraduate institution within your academic disciplinary area, or a faculty member within an interdisciplinary area of study that complements your selected research topic who agrees to serve in this capacity. Your mentor should complete the mentor’s statement and return it to you. In addition, the mentor must submit a curriculum vitae. Your mentor’s area of research should match the area of interest you have identified in your statement.
5) LETTER OF RECOMMENDATION
You will need one letter of recommendation from a faculty member in your department (not your mentor). There is a form located on this website at uncfmellon.org/letters-of-recommendation. Please forward link to faculty member you choose for completion. Upon completion, the faculty member should upload their letter of recommendation and forward a copy to you for uploading below. The letter of recommendation MUST be on departmental letterhead. Please take a photo and upload below.
6) NOMINATING LETTER
You will need a letter of nomination from the chief academic officer or UNCF/Mellon Campus Coordinator on your campus.
You will need to include a passport-sized photo of yourself. Please upload the photo below.