The Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship (MMUF) Program is a unique program open to sophomores who apply in January to join a two-year fellowship during their junior and senior years. Funded primarily by the Mellon Foundation, MMUF exists to counter the under-representation of minority groups on college and university faculties nationwide. MMUF encourages minority students, and others with a demonstrated commitment to racial diversity, to pursue academic careers. It provides opportunities for talented undergraduates to work with faculty mentors and sponsors in research and other activities designed to encourage the pursuit of the PhD in the humanities and social sciences (please view the Mellon Foundation website for a specific listing of approved fields). Students are required to commit to attend bi-monthly meetings throughout the academic terms of junior and senior years while pursuing independent research guided by a faculty mentor. Funding is provided for both the academic year and summer session. The regular meetings allow students to hear from distinguished faculty members, learn about the graduate school application process, discuss personal challenges and successes of one’s individual research project, and join like-minded students in a fellowship community.
The Program aims to address not only the racial disparities in higher education but also the attendant educational consequences of these disparities. The program serves the related goals of structuring campus environments to be more conducive to improved racial and ethnic relations, and of providing role models for all youth. The name of the program symbolically connects the mission to the stellar achievements of Dr. Benjamin E. Mays, educator, college president, and civil rights activist.
MMUF has been at Harvard since 1989 and is now run by the Office of Undergraduate Research and Fellowships. Please encourage students who you think might be deserving of this fellowship to apply to the program. Applications are submitted through CARAT and are due on Jan 30th. We are also holding an Information Session on Thursday, December 4th from 4-5 in Harvard Room 102. For more information about the program, please visit the website or contact Meg Brooks Swift directly. In past years we have received upwards of 40 applications for ten positions.