Application Instructions


Applicants must meet the following criteria:

  • • 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.

Overview of Required Materials

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

  1. A completed online application form
  2. 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 (download the form here)
  3. Official graduate transcript e-mailed to [email protected]
  4. 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. All letters must be on institutional letterhead and signed by the recommender.

All application materials, including the official graduate transcript and letter of recommendation, must be received by the application deadline: March 13th 2020 at 11:59 pm EST.

The Online Application

Online Application Form: begin the application process by clicking on the “Apply Now” button at the top of this page.  It is recommended that you bookmark this web page.

  • • Create an account 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.
  • • Create an application by clicking on link #2: “Start an Application.” You will be taken to a listing of all available programs. Select the MMUF Travel & Research Grants application. The confirmation page will show your selected academic term and application. Click on “Submit,” and wait for the application to load.
  • • 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 click on link #3 “Complete an Application.”
  • • Submit the application when complete, using the submit button at the bottom 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.


Supplemental Materials

To upload your supplemental materials, click on “My Account” and scroll down to “Submit Supplemental Items.” Make sure to upload your supplemental materials as a 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, 1” 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.
  1. 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:
  1. A description of the research project that you are seeking funding for and its relevance to your overall dissertation.
  2. A description of your expected outcomes of this research. In other words, what will you accomplish with this grant?
  3. A description of the research methods you will use and why these are appropriate for your project.
  4. 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.

  1. 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.

Letter of Recommendation

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.


Official Graduate Transcript

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 [email protected]. Mailed transcripts should be sent Attn: MMUF Travel & Research Grants Program; 5 Vaughn Drive, Suite 300, Princeton, NJ 08540-6313.

The deadline for all application materials is March 13th, 2020 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.  Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation (WW) does not comment on the deliberations of its award panels.  WW does not provide evaluations of successful or unsuccessful applications.
  • • Applications and supporting documents become the sole property of WW 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.


Important Dates

Event Date
Application Deadline March 12, 2021
Final Selections Determined Mid-April 2021
Award Recipient Notifications Late May, 2021
  • This is a tentative schedule of events for the selection and announcement of the 2021 cohort of MMUF Travel and Research Grant recipients.

Please direct any questions to Mellon Program Assistant Daria Malone at [email protected] or Mellon Program Associate, Ritu Mukherjee at [email protected].


Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What if my plans are disrupted by COVID-19?

A: The MMUF Travel & Research Grant requires submission of a research plan for the summer or fall semester of 2021. The Mellon team at the Institute of Citizens & Scholars recognizes that COVID-19 may continue to disrupt Fellow travel and research for some months. 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 2021 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, [email protected], if you have any concerns or questions.

Q: I am a candidate for a doctoral degree other than a Ph.D.  Am I eligible to apply?

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

Q: I do not see my field of study in the list of eligible fields. Is my program eligible for support?

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: [email protected].

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.

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

Q: Are there items that grant funds cannot be requested/used for?
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

Q: When must the application materials be received on the deadline date?
A: All application materials must be RECEIVED by 11:59pm on March 13, 2020.

Q: How many letters of recommendation can be included in my application?
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.

Q: When are new grant awards announced?
A: New grant awards are announced in late May.

Q: What reporting is required of MMUF Travel and Research Grant recipients?
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

Any additional questions should be directed to the Mellon Program Associate, Ritu Mukherjee, at [email protected] or Mellon Program Officer, Melanie Meinzer, at [email protected].



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