MMUF Dissertation Grants

  • November 30, 2018
    Application Deadline for 2019 Grants

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MMUF Dissertation Grant Application Instructions and FAQ

2019 Application Instructions

All documents listed below must be received no later than November 30, 2018.

Download a .pdf of these instructions here.


General Instructions:

Please label all materials. The Personal Statement and Prospectus must be double-spaced and 12-pt. font. If submitting an unpublished draft chapter, it must also follow these formatting guidelines. The application should be emailed in a single PDF file (excluding letters of recommendation) to [email protected] Please do not scan in the application form or written components. Letters of recommendation should be written on institution letterhead, signed, and emailed directly by referees.

Application Documents:

  1. Official Application form: Fill out completely via the fillable pdf.
  2. Curriculum Vitae/Resume. Please see below for Curriculum Vitae guidelines.
  3. Personal statement (three-page maximum): 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 disparity and promoting cross-cultural understanding on your campus. Label the document as the Personal Statement.
  4. Prospectus (three-page maximum): 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; they are NOT the same.  It cannot be combined into one document with the personal statement. Label the document as the Prospectus.
  5. Draft chapter (50-page maximum): Draft chapter will not be returned.
  6. Official graduate transcript: Your institution must send the transcript directly to the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation.
  7. Budget: Complete the enclosed 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.
  8. Two 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. All letters must be signed and on letterhead and should be emailed to us at [email protected]

Please note the following:

Fellowships 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.

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.

Guidelines for 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 submitted for publication yet)
  • 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



Frequently Asked Questions

I am a candidate for a doctoral degree other than a Ph.D.  Am I eligible to apply?
You must be a Ph.D. candidate in order 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: 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

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)

When must the application materials be received on the deadline date?
All application materials must be RECEIVED by 11:59pm on the November 30, 2018 deadline.

How should letters of recommendation be submitted?
Letters of recommendation should be emailed to us at [email protected]  All letters must be signed and on letterhead.

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

When will alternates be notified if they were selected for a grant?
Should an alternate be selected, they will be notified by mid-April.

How is the stipend disbursed to MMUF Dissertation Grant recipients?
Stipends are sent to the MMUF Dissertation Grant recipients in two equal payments, in June and the following January.

What reporting is required of MMUF Dissertation Grant recipients?
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.

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

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