Fellowship and Exchange Programs

Available Fellowship and Exchange programs

The UNCF/Mellon Mays Fellowship is a program for students who are interested in earning a Ph.D. in the Humanities and (select) Social Science fields. The fellowship provides financial and institutional support at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Students complete a self-directed research project in the junior and senior years under the mentorship of a faculty member. Faculty mentors also receive a stipend each semester.

The following fields are included as part of the program:

Anthropology and Archaeology

Area/Cultural/Ethnic/Gender Studies

Art History


Geography and Population Studies


Film, Cinema, and Media Studies (theoretical focus)

Musicology and Ethnomusicology

Foreign Languages and Literatures




Performance Studies (theoretical focus)

Philosophy and Political Theory

Religion and Theology


Theater (non-performance focus)

Interdisciplinary Studies: Interdisciplinary areas of study may be eligible if they have one or more Mellon fields at their core.

Sophomore-level students with a minimum GPA of 3.5 are eligible, and the application is due to the Fisk program coordinator by January 1, 2021.

Visit the program website (uncfmellon.org) or contact the Fisk program coordinator, Dr. Katharine A. Burnett (kburnett@fisk.edu) for more information.

Steps to Completing Applications Process

1.) Application for Fellowship and Exchange Program Above

2.) Research statement (3 typed, double-spaced pages)

Please answer the following questions in the first statement (not to exceed three typed, double-spaced pages.) and upload below.

·         What is your SPECIFIC research topic?

·         What are your SPECIFIC research questions?

·         Provide a brief paragraph describing how your research questions are related to disciplinary scholarship in your area.

·         Who are the scholars exploring similar questions in your field and what do they have to say about your research area?

·         Why do you want to be a college professor?

·         What research and/or teaching experiences have you had as part of a job or as a volunteer?

·         What specific qualities do you possess that would help you to complete the Ph.D.?

3.) Character statement (2 typed, double spaced pages)

Please upload a second statement no longer than two typed, double-spaced pages answering the following question:

Why do you believe that you possess the character and integrity required of a UNCF/Mellon fellow?

4.) Annotated Bibliography

5.) Mentor Statement Form and Mentor's CV

6.) Letter of Recommendation from Additional Faculty Member

7.) Nominating Letter from Campus Coordinator

8.) Transcript

9.) Photo (passport-sized)

Paul Springer
Class of 2022
Psychology & History Major
Memphis, TN

We are Fisk.

As a Mellon Fellow, I have received some of the most personal and beneficial education that will change me for a lifetime. Receiving a culturally influenced education has changed the way I understand my reality. The Mellon Mays Program cultivates young African American scholars like me and helps us to become productive individuals and transcendent leaders. This unique education has inspired me to continue a legacy of brilliance and excellence that will influence generations to come. Like the Mellon Fellows before me, I intend to inspire people to make a difference on the world. Being a Mellon Fellow means being scholarly and having an endless curiosity about the world around us. Therefore, the UNCF Mellon Fellowship has allowed me to become an ambassador for my institution and an ambassador in my community. I will never forget my summer experience with my cohort because it affected my present shaped my future.