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Distributed July 5, 2005
Contact Tracie Sweeney

Professional Development for Recent Ph.D.s
$1.16-Million Grant Establishes Postdoctoral Program in the Humanities

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has given a five-year, $1.16-million grant to Brown University to establish postdoctoral fellowships in the humanities. In addition to offering professional development to recent Ph.D.s, the program will help establish ties between departments and the University's new Cogut Humanities Center, enrich the curriculum, and promote multidisciplinary research initiatives.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Brown University has received a five-year, $1.16 million grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to establish a postdoctoral fellowship program in the humanities.

“The fellowships will provide vital assistance to scholars just out of graduate school who often face difficulties securing tenure-track positions in today’s highly competitive job market,“ said Karen Newman, past dean of the Graduate School, professor of comparative literature and English, and principal investigator on the grant. Recent Ph.D.s will have an opportunity to gain teaching experience, develop their research, and publish in preparation for seeking permanent positions.

The fellows will be based in departments, where they will teach half-time, and will be affiliated with the University’s new Cogut Humanities Center, where they will participate in lectures, working groups, and large-scale seminars appropriate to their research.

The fellowships also will help Brown University accomplish the following:

  • Enrich its curriculum by bringing in visiting faculty who work in such emerging fields as transatlantic relations, Africa and the African diaspora, Islamic studies, and digital media, and in new multidisciplinary research initiatives such as the social study of science, and cultural geography.
  • Accommodate a new faculty leave program now being planned. The enhanced leave program will offer a significant proportion of Brown faculty a semester for research every seventh semester rather than after 12 semesters as is currently the case. The postdoctoral fellows will help the University cover its curriculum while maintaining its low faculty-student ratio.

This newest grant is the second one awarded recently to the Graduate School by the Mellon Foundation. In 2003, the Graduate School received a three-year, $225,000-grant to establish the Mellon Graduate Workshops, a program that supports graduate students who are writing their dissertations.


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