The Mellon Research Scholars Program at the University of Houston supports underrepresented students (Hispanic, African American, Pacific Islander) and other undergraduates with a demonstrated commitment to the goal of building a diverse academy in the humanities. Twenty humanities students will be selected for the Mellon program beginning in spring 2019. Each participant receives a total of $5,000 for conducting research and participating in developmental academic and mentorship activities for spring 2019-spring 2020. Recipients will receive $1,100 at the end of the spring 2019 semester and $3,900 during summer 2019. Research in the humanities might include gathering and analyzing primary and secondary sources in your field. It also might involve critically evaluating historical or contemporary texts, journal articles, or scholars. This research culminates in a research paper or thesis that Mellon Scholars present by the end of the program.
The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation is committed to training future scholars and supporting scholarship in the humanities, thereby contributing to culture and society. This generous funding from the Mellon Foundation supports UH undergraduate students in the humanities by enhancing their learning and engagement within their field of study.
(1) University of Houston main campus undergraduate students in the humanities who are graduating in fall 2019 and spring 2020
(2) Students interested in conducting research and attending graduate school within the humanities
(3) Underrepresented students (Hispanic, African American, Pacific Islander) and other undergraduates with a demonstrated commitment to the goal of building a diverse academy in the humanities
Eligible fields within the humanities include:
African American Studies
Asian American Studies
Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual
& Transgender (GLBT) Studies
Latin American Studies
(if minors are in the humanities)
Mexican American Studies
Phronesis Politics and Ethics
(Research interests must be in political philosophy.)
(Research interests must be in qualitative studies.)
U.S. Ethnic Studies
Women’s, Gender & Sexuality
World Cultures and Literatures
This exciting program includes an opportunity for students to participate in a semester seminar series in spring 2019 and a two-week camp on applying to graduate school in May 2019, conduct a full-time summer research project under the direction of a faculty mentor in summer 2019, and complete a senior honors thesis or an intensive research study from fall 2019-spring 2020. All students will have the opportunity to choose research topics that appeal to their scholarly interests in their field of study. Each Mellon Research Scholar receives a total of $5,000 for successfully completing the program—$1,100 for the graduate school camp in May and $3,900 for the full-time summer research experience.
Faculty-Led Mellon Research Seminar Series and Proposal Development
The Mellon Research Scholars will attend a faculty-led seminar series throughout the spring semester. Students will be exposed to the types of research currently taking place on campus. University of Houston faculty members in the humanities will present on their research, and discuss various graduate school tracks within the students’ fields of interest. During this same semester, students will work with or secure a faculty mentor. Collaboratively, the student and faculty mentor will develop a research proposal to execute during summer 2019.
Mellon Boot Camp on Applying to Graduate School and Competitive Scholarships
Scholars receive $1,100 for participating in a full-time, two-week camp (May 13-24, 2019). The seminar series will cover topics such as writing a personal statement, developing a curriculum vitae (CV), preparing for the GRE, applying for nationally competitive scholarships, and creating a writing sample. During the workshop, the Mellon Research Scholars will be required to develop a personal statement, a CV, and appropriate writing samples, and an ePortfolio. There will also be faculty-led panels on pursuing career trajectories within the humanities, conducting interdisciplinary research, and entering academia.
Mellon Full-Time Summer Research Experience
The Mellon Research Scholars will receive a $3,900 fellowship to conduct a full-time, 10-week research experience (June 3-August 9, 2019) during the summer. The faculty mentors will guide the students throughout their summer research projects. The Mellon Research Scholars will also attend a weekly lecture series offered by the Office of Undergraduate Research. Seminar topics will include employing research ethics, using library resources, and developing a research poster to present at the October 2019 Undergraduate Research Day.
Fall 2019-Spring 2020
Senior Honors Thesis or Intensive Independent Study
Mellon Scholars will conduct faculty-mentored senior honors theses or independent study projects during their final academic year. The project will either be an expansion of their summer research investigations, or a new inquiry within their discipline.
Additional Programming Spring 2019-Spring 2020
Mellon Prep Program
A hallmark of the Mellon program is building and cultivating a strong mentor and peer support network for the Scholars. To bolster this community, Mellon Research Scholars will participate in the Mellon Prep Program, which includes mentoring by faculty, attending a monthly discussion series, and developing a proposal for potential funding. The Mellon Prep administrators will assist the Mellon Research Scholars in finding and applying for nationally competitive scholarships. These monthly meetings will include workshops, seminars, writing studios, and social events within the City of Houston. The Mellon Research Scholars will meet once each month when participating in the Prep Program.
How to Apply
Here is the online Mellon Research Scholars application. This online application asks for candidates’ basic biographical information, a résumé, and the completion of three essays. One letter of recommendation from a UH professor is also required for a complete application.
Research Faculty Mentor
Candidates are encouraged to secure a faculty mentor within the humanities with whom to conduct research before applying to the Mellon Research Scholars program. This faculty mentor would guide the student in research during the full-time summer research experience (summer 2019) and during their final academic year (fall 2019-spring 2020). Within the Mellon online application, students should discuss the research they plan to conduct with their faculty mentors. Also, the letter of recommendation required for the Mellon application must come from this designated faculty mentor.
Although recommended, securing a faculty mentor prior to applying for the Mellon program is not necessarily required. If students do not have a designated research faculty member, then applicants should discuss the types of research areas within the humanities that are most of interest to them and why. For information on how to secure a faculty member to conduct research with as an undergraduate, visit the Getting Started in Research webpage.
Letter of Recommendation
One letter of recommendation from a UH faculty member is required when applying for the Mellon Research Scholars Program. If the student has secured a faculty member to conduct research with for the Mellon program, then the letter must be from this professor. If the student has not secured a faculty member to conduct research with for the Mellon program, the letter can be from any UH faculty member, but preferably from a professor within a humanities department on campus. The letter should be emailed to Dr. Karen Weber.
Humanities Student but Not Yet Eligible?
No problem! Consider applying for the Mellon Research Scholars program the following year.