Application Process

The Mellon Mays Fellowship program is currently not accepting any applications. Applications are generally available starting in early December and the deadline is typically in February of each year.  

Overview of the MMUF Application Process

All application materials must be submitted via the College's online application portal, UFUNDS, before the deadline. The system will not accept late applications.

Finalists are invited to interview with the MMUF Faculty Advisory Board in early March. Final notifications are emailed shortly thereafter. 

The MMUF Application requires:

  1. two essays (guidelines provided below)
  2. a resumé highlighting activities that demonstrate a commitment to eradicating racial inequality and any research you have done
  3. the student's internal academic record and, if a transfer student, transcripts from any other college or university attended
  4. recommendation letters from 2 professors (not graduate students) who know your academic work (guidelines provided below)

Application Essays

The application essays are a critical part of your application.

Essay 1: The research statement essay (not to exceed 750 words) should address the following:

  • explain your concentration plans, including how you see yourself as a researcher in this field, and any courses, texts or scholars within your discipline who have influenced your intellectual interests;

  • discuss the kind of research project you would like to begin undertaking this summer - including your research question(s) and/or methodology for approaching these questions, if known (note: Fellows should be prepared to participate in research activities at Brown during the summer following the sophomore year, unless they can present an alternative plan for summer research);

Essay 2: The goals statement (not to exceed 500 words) should address the following:

  • describe your future academic plans, including the anticipated doctoral degree(s) you hope to seek, your chief motivation for graduate study in your discipline, and your short term/long term career goals;

  • address how you plan to fulfill the stated goals of the Mellon Mays Fellowship Program, including why and how equity and diversity advocacy in higher education is meaningful in regard to your academic experience.

Recommendation Letters

Two recommendation letters are required.

  • Letters should come from faculty (not graduate students) who have taught you as an undergraduate. Faculty may hold full-time or visiting positions at Brown or at another college or university.
  • We urge you to review the suggestions for requesting letters of recommendation on the Dean of the College's Fellowships website. The site recommends asking for letters of recommendation at least two weeks prior to the deadline. For MMUF, we recommend you request letters at least 3-4 weeks prior and that you send a reminder just before the deadline, as well as a hand-written thank you note.
  • Upon listing a faculty member, UFUNDS will automatically send an email to that person requesting the recommendation letter. You must ask the faculty members if they are willing to write on your behalf before saving your application. We recommend that you begin your application and enter your recommenders' names at least several weeks prior to the deadline, even if you are not yet ready to submit your application, so that they will receive the automatically generated email well before the deadline.

Regarding Mellon Faculty Mentors:

  • All Mellon Fellows must have a committed faculty mentor. Having a committed mentor at the time of applying can strengthen your application.
  • If you have a mentor in mind, include a letter of recommendation from this person. Note that recommendation writers should know your academic work.
  • Visiting and adjunct faculty members can form part of your advising network, but should not be the primary Faculty Mentor.