Learn more about the UCR Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship program.

A voluntary board of faculty members helps develop the UC Riverside program and selects fellows for admission each year. We encourage students to contact these MMUF faculty ambassadors for questions about research, graduate school, and our program.

Alejandra Dubcovsky (History) alejandra.dubcovsky@ucr.edu

Dylan Rodriguez  (Media and Cultural Studies) **former Mellon Mays Fellow** dylan.rodriguez@ucr.edu

Goldberry Long (Creative Writing) goldberry.long@ucr.edu

Worku Nida (Anthropology) worku.nida@ucr.edu

Kim Yi Dionne (Political Science) kdionne@ucr.edu

Download a Two-Year Program Schedule

The MMUF online program application opens in August and closes in early February each year. Successful candidates are notified of admission in April. Transfer students are awarded conditional fellowships, pending acceptance to UCR and completion of the UCR Statement of Intent to Register (SIR).

Soon after being notified of admission to the program, the Fellows select or are matched with a faculty mentor who will help the student prepare a preliminary reading list for the first summer’s research.

In May, new and continuing Fellows, mentors, and program coordinators meet for a welcome reception and celebration of graduating members.

The First Summer:

During their first summer in the program, Fellows participate in a summer research program, either at UCR or elsewhere.
In the week before the fall quarter begins, the Fellows meet in a joint orientation session with their MMUF cohort to discuss the values of the MMUF program, fellowship expectations, and requirements. Mentors and Fellows also have an opportunity to set their research agendas for the year.

Year One:

(1) Developing Research Skills

During the year, MMUF Fellows pursue their research projects and meet with their faculty mentors twice a month at a minimum as a means of monitoring and facilitating their progress. (Fellows have the option to receive academic credit/units for seminar work and research.) Toward the end of the year, Fellows are encouraged to consider submitting the preliminary results of their research to the University of California Riverside Undergraduate Research Journal (http://ugr.ucr.edu/journal.html) and presenting the results of their research at the UCR Symposium for Undergraduate Research, Scholarship, and Creative Activity (http://ugr.ucr.edu/symposium.html).

During fall quarter, Fellows also attend the Annual Western Regional Conference organized by California’s MMUF programs. This joint programming with other MMUF institutions in the region provides further opportunities to network with colleagues through a rich exchange among Fellows, to present papers, and to attend workshops that will enhance the Fellows’ sense of belonging to a community of scholars.

(2) Developing Writing Skills & Graduate School Application Materials

Every other week, new Fellows engage in a writing workshop with the Writing Specialist. The instructor guides students in preparation of a personal statement, research statement, writing sample and other elements of the graduate school application. The Specialist also provides support for general academic and research writing.

(3) Exploring Academic Life

Alternating weekly meetings not devoted to developing writing skills include sessions with an assortment of UCR faculty members, graduate students and visitors who will talk about their trajectories and lives as academics, their reasons for pursuing the research in which they are engaged, their teaching experiences and the goals they have for their research, teaching, service, and outreach.

(4) Professionalization

The MMUF program asks MMUF Fellows to attend selected extra-curricular lectures on campus and provides opportunities for them to meet with the lecturers on an informal basis before- or after-lecture. These meetings provide opportunities for students and visiting lecturers to talk about the lecturers’ academic careers, their reasons for becoming academics, and their research and teaching goals.

The Second Summer:

During the summer before their second fellowship year begins, Fellows conduct 8-10 weeks of intensive research in close consultation with their faculty mentors. This research may be a continuation or deepening of the first year’s research or may widen that research to pursue a related theme. Students complete a portion of their final paper which serves as a writing sample to be submitted with Fellow’s graduate applications in December.

With the help of their mentors, Fellows select the graduate schools and programs that best suit their interests and goals. Fellows also take a GRE preparatory class and continue to assemble the components of their graduate school applications, including letters of recommendation.

Year Two:

During the Fall Quarter, Fellows take the GRE and submit their graduate school applications. Throughout the second year, students attend extra-curricular lectures, meet in weekly seminars and twice monthly with their mentors, and participate in information sessions for new MMUF recruits.

By winter quarter of the second academic year, students complete their research projects and final papers. Fellows submit the results of their research to the University of California Riverside Undergraduate Research Journal, the Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship Journal, and the UCR Symposium for Undergraduate Research, Scholarship, and Creative Activity. In addition, they participate in the Annual Western Regional Conference and may attend other conferences as available.

During the Winter and Spring, under the guidance of their mentors, Fellows have the opportunity to develop a syllabus related to their research topic for a 2-unit R’course to be taught in the Spring Quarter. R’course is a program that allows undergraduates to lead a one or two-unit class under the mentorship of a faculty member. R’ courses seek to encourage discussion of timely topics outside of the regular classroom curriculum.

Graduating Fellows receive certificates of completion at the annual spring dinner in May.

Prospective fellows are expected to fulfill the requirements stated below:

  • Design and complete an independent research project in consultation with a faculty mentor. (This project may be related to a senior honors thesis.)
  • Prepare graduate school application documents by December of your second year in the program.
  • Apply to at least one PhD program in one of the Mellon-designated fields within three years of graduation from UCR.
  • Attend a Summer Research Program during your first summer in the program.
  • Participate in mandatory weekly seminar meetings and other MMUF programming designed to prepare students for doctoral study.
  • Meet regularly with a faculty mentor for the duration of the two-year fellowship.
  • Be prepared to discuss and present research findings to your cohort during seminar.
  • Submit a full-length academic paper for publication in the Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship Journal or other undergraduate journals.
  • Be in residence at UCR for the first quarter in the program before undertaking any EAP or UC/DC program.
  • Commit to two years (at least 5 quarters and 2 summers) in the program.
  • Maintain a cumulative GPA of at least 3.3.
  • Attend and present your research at the regional MMUF conferences and at the UCR Undergraduate Research Symposium.
  • Actively participate in the recruitment of next year’s cohort of Mellon Mays Fellows.
  • Maintain regular contact with the MMUF program office and adhere to program rules and regulations.
  • Inform the program director if you are no longer interested in an academic career.
  • Successfully complete undergraduate education at UCR.

UCR is committed to facilitating undergraduate research in all its forms.  Whether you are interested in our program or interested in completing undergraduate research in other areas, we encourage you to learn more about how UCR supports your research:

Undergraduate Research Portal

The Undergraduate Research Portal is a one-stop shop for students to find and participate in faculty-mentored research, scholarship, and creative activities. UCR offers research opportunities to all undergraduates, including freshmen, sophomores, and transfer students.

Students can get connected to faculty in arts, business, engineering, humanities, and sciences. Opportunities are available for course credit, paid and volunteer work.

Student Success Workshops

UCR offers workshops that will help you apply for national awards and conduct research.  This includes workshops on asking for letters of recommendation, the basics of research, and submitting your research results for publication.

Support, funding, workshops, and networking opportunities continue even after Mellon Mays fellows complete their undergraduate degrees. Membership in the national Mellon Mays program provides benefits, membership and encouragement throughout a former fellow’s academic career.  We like to say, “Once a Mellon, always a Mellon!”

Loan Repayment Program

After successful completion of their undergraduate program, fellows are eligible for up to $10,000 of undergraduate loan repayment.  Fellows must enter a Ph.D. program in a Mellon-approved field within 39 months of graduation from UC Riverside.  Undergraduate loans are repaid in lump sum installments over the course of the fellow’s graduate studies. Recent graduates are advised to stay in touch with UCR coordinators and to keep the program updated on their status. Questions about loan repayment should be directed to the Administrative Coordinator: katharine.henshaw@ucr.edu

Mellon Mays Gap Assistance Program

MMGAP is a set of post-baccalaureate resources and events for Fellows taking a gap year and preparing to apply to Mellon-approved doctoral programs in six or 12 months. This transitional program is a bridge between the fantastic support Fellows receive in their undergraduate programs and the myriad funding and development opportunities that Woodrow Wilson and SSRC offer to graduate students and PhDs.

Mellon Mays Graduate Initiatives Program at the Social Science Research Council

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-Ph.D. years. It is only open to Ph.D. students who were selected as Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellows. Program components include conferences, workshops, writing retreats and grant opportunities.