Welcome to the UCR Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship!

Welcome! The Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship (MMUF) is the centerpiece of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation’s initiatives to increase diversity in the faculty ranks of institutions of higher learning. To reduce underrepresentation in the academy, the MMUF program’s goal is to increase the number of students from underrepresented minoritized groups who pursue PhDs, and to support the pursuit of PhDs by students who may not come from traditional minoritized groups but have otherwise demonstrated a commitment to the goals of MMUF. The MMUF program is designed to encourage Fellows to enter PhD programs that prepare students for professorial careers in the arts, humanities, and social sciences; it is not intended to support students who plan to go on to medical school, law school, or other professional schools.

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.