The Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship

The Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship (MMUF) is dedicated to forging a just academy and shaping the future of the humanities. A core objective of MMUF, as part of the Higher Learning program of The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, is multivocality. This refers to MMUF's commitment to elevating the knowledge that informs more complete and accurate narratives of the human experience and lays the foundation for more just and equitable futures. MMUF strives to amplify perspectives and contributions that have been marginalized within the conventional scholarly record and that promote the realization of a more socially just world.

Student applicants to MMUF will be evaluated based on their prior coursework, their plans for a major, and their potential to bring historically marginalized or underrepresented perspectives to the academy, including by producing scholarly research that reflects and satisfies multivocality.

The MMUF program is designed to encourage sophomore and junior Fellows to enter Ph.D. 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 school programs.


The Mellon Mays grant provides students with four forms of support: faculty mentoring; modest term-time compensation for research activities; stipend support for summer research activities and room and board for four weeks in Summer Session I; and repayment of undergraduate and/or graduate loans of up to $10,000 if fellows pursue doctoral study in one of the specified fields.

What makes a Mellon Mays Fellow?

The Application Process

The application process is designed to ensure that the Fellow's goals are aligned with the Mellon Mays' program goals. Applications for the next cohort of Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellows is now closed. 

Apply to be a Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellow!

Mellon Mays Fellows at Duke

Mellon Mays Fellows support and motivate one another at Duke and beyond. Our fellows often study together, share leadership in on-campus organizations, mentor one another, and form lasting friendships for the years to come. 


Dr. Benjamin Elijah Mays is remembered for his outstanding leadership and service as a teacher, preacher, mentor, scholar, author and activist in the civil rights movement.

Get to know more about Dr. Benjamin E. Mays