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Mellon Graduate Workshops

The Mellon Graduate Student Workshops are a wonderful resource for dissertating humanities and humanistic social science students. Intended to both provide a means by which to facilitate dissertation completion and to foster communication across disciplines within the academy, the workshops are student organized and address questions relevant to the research of the participants.

With a budget ranging from $4,000 to $7,000, each group is encouraged to bring visitors to campus who will enable their participants to refine their writing and promote new depths of understanding in their work. On a more regular basis, the groups serve as forums to discuss their participants’ writing and explore topics of mutual interest, thus fostering an environment of collaboration and intellectual exchange.

Established by a grant from the Andrew Mellon Foundation, the Mellon workshops offer young scholars the opportunity to take part in dialogues with which they may not otherwise have an opportunity to engage, especially while writing a dissertation. Participation allows students to present work beyond the bounds of their departments, meet and interact with faculty and scholars from other disciplines, and explore common research questions from a variety of perspectives.

Brown University normally runs five graduate workshops per year. Please explore the rest of this site to gain a better understanding of how the workshops to date have impacted the Brown community, what types of questions they have been concerned with, how they have been organized and how to apply to run one.

Criteria for successful proposals include:

  • Strong conceptualization of the topic
  • A likelihood of attracting students to the workshop

Workshops are eligible for renewal in succeeding years on the basis of a review of written evaluations and of their ability to continue to draw participants, to elicit dissertation progress, and where appropriate, to stimulate multidisciplinary research.

Workshop Coordinators
One graduate student coordinates each workshop. Since the intention of the workshop is to facilitate dissertation completion, only students who expect to have successfully completed their qualifying exams by the start of the fall semester should apply. The student coordinator organizes meetings, hosts speakers, and sees to the overall administration of the workshop. The student coordinator receives a $2,000 stipend supplement.

Brown conceives of the workshops not only as a way to augment graduate training, but also as part of the academic enrichment initiatives to enhance graduate education and research. The workshop program is administered by the Cogut Center for the Humanities, in conjunction with the Mellon faculty and student coordinators. 

Applications
Mellon Graduate Workshops focus on intellectual problems or topics of interest to students writing their dissertations. Multidisciplinary initiatives are encouraged as well as disciplinary based seminars. Applications must be completed by an eligible graduate student, with topics proposed in the humanities or humanistic social science.

The application process opens on February 10, 2014 and all applications are due by March 10, 2014. Applications should be sent to humanities_center@brown.edu, to the attention of the Faculty Coordinator of the Mellon Graduate Workshops. Please include Mellon Workshops Application in the subject line. Applications can be in Word or PDF format.

The core components are:

  • Workshop title
  • A short (i.e., 100 word) summary of the intellectual focus of the workshop
  • A longer description of the workshop’s intellectual focus and inter-disciplinary dimensions (1,000 words)
  • A preliminary workshop bibliography of core works — either as stand-alone document or appended to the description
  • A list of projected attendees
  • A list of proposed external visitors
  • The names of one or more faculty sponsors
  • A preliminary budget between $4,000 and $7,000 (see a sample budget here)