The SSRC-Mellon Mays Graduate Initiatives Program aims to address, over time, the problem of underrepresentation in the academy at the level of college and university faculties. Funded by grants from the Mellon Foundation, the program provides support for scholars from all backgrounds with a demonstrated commitment to this goal. To date, over 700 fellows have received doctoral degrees and nearly 700 fellows are in PhD programs.

The Graduate Initiatives Program builds upon the Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship Program (MMUF) by supporting MMUF fellows from the early stages of graduate school to the post-PhD years. It is only open to PhD students who were selected as Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellows. Fellows must enroll in doctoral programs within 39 months of receiving their undergraduate degrees, and they must be in one of the fields listed below.

Upcoming Events and Announcements

  • Applications for the 2021-2022 Predoctoral Research Grants are now open to MMUF Fellows in graduate school from Year 2-5. Applications for grants close on November 1.
  • Applications for the East Coast Regional Writing Retreat (RWR) are now open to MMUF fellows in graduate school (PhD not MA) within the Northeast Tri-State Area (NY, PA, CT, NJ). The application for the East Coast RWR closes on Tuesday, September 14th. 

To apply for these and other MMGIP opportunities, visit the Fellows Portal.

Eligible Fields of Study
• Anthropology and Archaeology
• Area/Cultural/Ethnic/Gender Studies
• Art History
• Classics
• Computer Science *
• Geography and Population Studies
• Earth/Environmental/Geological Science and Ecology *
• English
• Film, Cinema and Media Studies (theoretical focus)
• Foreign Languages and Literatures
• History
• Linguistics
• Literature
• Mathematics *
• Musicology and Ethnomusicology
• Oceanographic/Marine/Atmospheric/Planetary Science *
• Performance Studies (theoretical focus)
• Philosophy and Political Theory
• Physics and Astronomy *
• Religion and Theology
• Sociology
• Theater (non-performance focus)
• Interdisciplinary Studies

* No longer applicable for new undergraduate fellows

Fellows who enter PhD programs in a field not listed above must formally petition for recognition of the graduate program. For more information on SSRC-Mellon Mays benefits, please contact

Programs & Projects

Funders and Partners