General Fellowship Information

What does the Career Enhancement Fellowship include?
The fellowship includes a sabbatical grant for either six months or one year. The six-month award is $15,000 and the one-year award is $30,000. Institutions are responsible for supplementing the fellowship funding to allow the faculty member receipt of his/her 2020-2021 academic salary. The stipend should only be applied directly to salary–not institutional overhead or indirect costs. All Fellows receive a research, travel, or publication stipend and participate in an annual conference/retreat.

What does the selection process entail?
Applicants who are selected as finalists are notified in December and must participate in an interview with the selection panel in January. If you have not been selected to interview, your application will continue to undergo evaluation, with notification of your status in late February.

Are all finalists interviewed?
Yes, in general, all finalists are interviewed in January. However, in some instances, candidates are selected for awards without an interview and are notified in late February.

I already have an institutional leave for one term or another circumstance that prevents me from accepting a full year Fellowship. Can I apply directly for a six-month grant?
Yes. On the online application form (“Award Length: Please consider my application for:”), please select the “Six-Month Award ONLY” option. Please elaborate on your selection in your Personal Statement or Research Plan.

How many six-month vs. one-year grants are normally given?
A total of 30 Fellowships are awarded each year; of these, 10 are one-year and 20 are six-month grants.

I was awarded another fellowship. Can I combine this with the Career Enhancement Fellowship?
You must disclose all awards you will receive in the 2021-2022 academic year when accepting the Career Enhancement Fellowship. Please note that Fellows are unable to hold another monetary award from another funding source concurrently with the Career Enhancement Fellowship. Special situations will be assessed on a case-by-case basis.

Fellowship Selection

When are new Fellowship awards announced?
New grant awards are announced in mid-to late February.

When will applicants other than finalists be notified if they were selected for a Fellowship?
All selected Fellows will be notified by mid-March at the very latest.

If selected, may I defer the Fellowship?
Fellowships may not be deferred.

May I transfer my Fellowship to another institution?
The Career Enhancement Fellowship award may not be transferred to another institution. It will be sent to the institution indicated at the time of application.

How is the stipend disbursed to Fellows?
Stipends are sent directly to the Fellows’ institutions. One-year Fellows’ institutions receive two equal payments; in June and the following January. Six-month Fellows’ institutions receive one payment in June. Stipends checks are made payable to the institution unless otherwise requested by the institution. The research, travel, or publication grant is sent directly to the Fellow.

What reporting is required of Career Enhancement Fellows?
Career Enhancement Fellows are required to submit a final progress report at the end of the grant period.  The Fellow is also required to keep the Foundation abreast of his or her tenure status and agrees to respond to occasional surveys from the Foundation to monitor progress.



I am in the fourth year (or beyond) of my tenure track position. Am I eligible to apply?
You must currently be in the third year on the tenure track to be eligible to apply. The award is distributed in the fourth year of the tenure track.

I began a tenure track position at another institution than my current one. Am I eligible to apply?
Yes, if you are in the third year of all tenure-track positions and are considered by your institution to be in their 3rd year according to the institution’s tenure clock. If you have further questions please contact us at [email protected]

I will be receiving early-tenure, am I eligible to apply for the fellowship?
No, those receiving early-tenure are not eligible for a Career Enhancement Fellowship.

I have a doctoral degree other than a Ph.D.  Am I eligible to apply?
You must hold a Ph.D. to be eligible for this fellowship.

I do not see my field of study in the list of eligible fields. Is my program eligible for support?
Only fields which have 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: [email protected].

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

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

Am I eligible if my field of study is categorized within the physical sciences (Computer Science, Earth/Environmental/Geological Sciences, Ecology, Geology, Mathematics, Oceanographic/Marine/Atmospheric/Planetary Science, Physics and Astronomy)?
Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellows whose field of study is in the Physical Sciences should contact us to inquire about their eligibility at: [email protected]. Junior faculty in STEM disciplines who are not MMUF Fellows are not eligible for the award.

Are social work and clinical psychology eligible fields of study?
No, only fields designated by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation are eligible. (See listing above)

I was recently granted an academic leave. Am I still eligible to apply for this award?
Applicants who have not received any academic leave within the last 18 months are generally considered as demonstrating more need and thus will be more competitive than those who have already had the benefit of an academic leave. If you have further questions about a recent leave, please contact us at [email protected]. Please note that family or sick leave are not considered.


Application Submission

When must the application materials be received on the deadline date?
All application materials must be RECEIVED by 11:59pm on the October 23, 2020 deadline.

How are letters of recommendation submitted?
Letters of recommendation should be submitted through the online application.

Any additional questions should be directed to Mellon Program Associate, Ritu Mukherjee at [email protected].


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