Welcome to the UCR Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship

The Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship (MMUF) is the centerpiece of the Higher Learning program at The Mellon Foundation, an organization that supports communities, colleges, and universities through grantmaking and partnership in the arts and humanities. The MMUF program is designed to encourage undergraduate students majoring in the humanities and humanistic social sciences to enter PhD programs that prepare students for professorial careers in the arts, humanities, and social sciences. Fellows in the MMUF program pursue independent research projects on topics that amplify perspectives and contributions that have been marginalized within the conventional scholarly record, and that promote the realization of a more socially just world. The program is committed to “multivocality”,  the expression of multiple and diverse narratives of thought, scholarship, and discourse, and supports students with passions and interests that align with these goals.

Established by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation in 1988, the program funds MMUF programs at member institutions and consortia.  The program’s name honors Dr. Benjamin Mays, who was dean of the Howard University School of Religion, president of Morehouse College, and president of the Atlanta Public Schools Board of Education. The Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship program reflects Dr. Mays’ values in its commitment to fostering the academic aspirations of members of traditionally under-represented groups and/or those with interests in studies aimed at eliminating racial and ethnic inequalities. The MMUF program at UC Riverside is administered by the Center for Ideas and Society, the humanities research center for the College of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences.

For more information on the organization’s history and mission, visit the national Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship website. The MMUF program celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2019. Watch the documentary, “Toward a More Inclusive Academy: MMUF at 30” (Mellon Foundation, 2019), on YouTube.

UCR became a Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship Member Institution in 2014. You can download our brochure for an overview of UCR’s program or visit the Program FAQ page.  A list of faculty Advisory Committee members and other program details are on our Learn More page.

Each year, only five undergraduates are invited to become Mellon Mays fellows. You could be one of them.  Apply now! Visit our Application page for more information.