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Before applying to the Mellon Research Scholars Program, read the following information and Frequently Asked Questions. 

Twenty humanities students will be selected for the program which will begin in spring 2020. Each participant receives a total of $5,000 for conducting research and participating in developmental academic and mentorship activities for spring 2020-spring 2021. Recipients will receive $1,100 at the end of the spring 2020 semester and $3,900 during summer 2020. 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.

Learn more about the 2018 and 2019 student cohorts and their projects, or peruse the list of faculty mentors.

Applications for the 2020 Mellon Research Scholars Program are due Tuesday, December 3, 2019.


Information Sessions:

Monday, November 4 and Friday, November 15

The Honors College, 212W

3 - 4 p.m.


  • 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. Applications for the 2020 Mellon Research Scholars Program are due Tuesday, December 3, 2019.


  • Eligibility

    (1) University of Houston main campus undergraduate students in the humanities who are graduating in fall 2020 and spring 2021

    (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
    American Cultures
    Arab Studies
    Art History
    Asian American Studies
    Chinese Studies
    Classical Studies
    Creative Work
    Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual 
        & Transgender (GLBT) Studies

    India Studies
    Jewish studies
    Latin American Studies

    Liberal Studies 
        (if minors are in the humanities)
    Mexican American Studies
    Music Theory
    Phronesis Politics and Ethics
    Political Science
    esearch interests must be in political philosophy.)
    Religious Studies
        (Research interests must be in qualitative studies.)
    U.S. Ethnic Studies
    Women’s, Gender & Sexuality
    Women’s Studies 
    World Cultures and Literatures
    If you have a question whether your field of study qualifies, please contact Dr. Rikki Bettinger.
  • Programming

    This exciting program includes an opportunity for students to participate in a semester seminar series in spring 2020 and a two-week camp on applying to graduate school in May 2020, conduct a full-time summer research project under the direction of a faculty mentor in summer 2020, and complete a senior honors thesis or an intensive research study from fall 2020-spring 2021. 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.

  • Spring 2020

    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 2020.

  • May 2020

    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 11-22, 2020). 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.

  • Summer 2020

    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 1-August 7, 2020) 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 April 2021 Undergraduate Research Day.

  • Fall 2020-Spring 2021

    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 2020-Spring 2021

    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.

  • 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 2020) and during their final academic year (fall 2020-spring 2021). Within the Mellon online application, students should discuss the research they plan to conduct with their faculty mentor. 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. Rikki Bettinger.

  • Questions

    Please email Drs. Rikki Bettinger or Stuart Long for any questions regarding the Mellon Research Scholars Program.

  • Humanities Student but Not Yet Eligible?

    No problem! Consider applying for the Mellon Research Scholars program the following year.