MMUF

The Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship (MMUF) is a two-year program designed for outstanding students in Mellon-designated humanities, arts, and social science fields who intend to pursue a PhD and a career in academia. Mellon Mays Fellows work closely with faculty advisers and graduate mentors to design and carry out an independent research project. They are encouraged to complete an honors thesis in their home departments, where available.

The MMUF program is named in honor of Dr. Benjamin E. Mays (1894-1984), educator, scholar, college president, and civil rights activist. The chief goal of the program, funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, is to diversify the professoriate by increasing the number of faculty from underrepresented groups and also by supporting those with a demonstrated commitment to eradicating racial disparities in higher education. For more information about the MMUF program, go to http://www.mmuf.org/ .

UCLA MMUF PROGRAM

Fellows enroll in the MMUF seminar course and independent research courses each quarter, and they conduct summer research their junior and senior years (junior year in an MMUF program at another campus and senior year at UCLA). In winter quarter of their junior years, Fellows enroll in Honors 101I: Research Today. Fellows receive Graduate Record Exam (GRE) preparation, assistance in completing graduate school applications, and professional development.

Fellows receive quarterly research stipends totaling $3,600 junior year and $3,600 senior year, as well as $3,900 each summer. Fellows enrolling in PhD programs in Mellon-designated fields within a defined time period after graduation are eligible for repayment of up to $10,000 of their undergraduate loans.

UCLA MMUF SELECTION CRITERIA

The UCLA MMUF program includes intensive undergraduate research, completion of a senior thesis project, and preparation for graduate school. Students interested in applying for the Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship must meet the following criteria:

  • Junior level standing (at least 90 units), and a spring or summer 2020 degree expected date
  • Minimum 3.25 GPA (earned at UCLA); transfer students are eligible to apply
  • All students are eligible, including permanent residents, AB 540, DACA, and undocumented students
  • Commitment to research and intention to enroll in a PhD program
  • Superb scholarly promise in a major that includes work in one of the following Mellon-designated fields at UCLA:
    • Anthropology and Archaeology
    • Area/Cultural/Ethnic/Gender Studies
    • Art History
    • Classics
    • Geography and Population Studies
    • English/Comparative Literature
    • Film, Cinema, and Media Studies (theoretical focus)
    • Musicology and Ethnomusicology
    • Foreign Languages and Literatures
    • History
    • Linguistics
    • Performance Studies (theoretical focus)
    • Philosophy and Political Theory
    • Religion and Theology
    • Sociology
    • Theater (non-performance focus)
    • Interdisciplinary Studies: Interdisciplinary areas of study may be eligible if they have one or more Mellon field at their core.

HOW TO APPLY

Application Deadline: November 15, 2018

Submit an Undergraduate Research Fellows Program application (available in early October) and check the “Mellon Mays” box.

The application includes 4 components:

  1. Research statement
  2. Personal statement
  3. Signed authorization and release form. This allows the UCLA Financial Aid and Scholarships office to share information with the Undergraduate Research Centers and award you a scholarship.
  4. Letter of recommendation from your faculty mentor. Be sure to ask you faculty mentor early and provide him or her with the MMUF Letter of Recommendation Form .

Please view the Application Instructions. If you have any questions or would like to schedule an individual appointment with a Graduate Research Mentor to discuss your project and application, please contact the Undergraduate Research Center.

The Undergraduate Research Center also hosts informational workshops on the MMUF program. Click here and select “Scholarship Workshops” for a list of scheduled workshops.

Incomplete applications will not be reviewed. All materials must be submitted by the November 15 deadline.

Undergraduate Research Center –
Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences
A334 Murphy Hall
Monday through Friday 8:30am – 4:30pm
Tel: 310.825.2935
Fax: 310.267.5515
urhass@college.ucla.edu

STUDENT PROFILES

view Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellows (page under construction)

PROGRAM DETAILS

Please see below for additional details about the Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship (MMUF) program.

CONDUCTING RESEARCH

MMUF prepares students for an academic career by beginning research now. Many students have never formally conducted research before entering the program. Applicants should show superb scholarly promise in a Mellon-designated field and a proposed research project that can be pursued with the close guidance of a faculty mentor. 

GRADUATE STUDY

MMUF aims to diversify the professoriate. To accomplish this goal, MMUF prepares undergraduates for graduate school in Mellon-designated fields and provides benefits for fellows during their time as undergraduates, graduate students, and junior faculty. Applicants should have a strong interest in entering a PhD program and a career in the professoriate. The MMUF program provides GRE preparation and other professional development opportunities. 

TRANSFER STUDENTS

Transfer students are eligible and encouraged to apply. All applicants must have a letter of recommendation from the UCLA faculty member who has agreed to mentor their MMUF project. However, transfer students (and all applicants) may also submit additional letters of recommendation, including those from community colleges. Similar to all applicants, transfer students apply for the program in November, receive a decision in December, and begin as fellows in January. As the program is a two-year program, only first-year transfer students and transfer students who plan to stay for the duration of the two-year program are eligible.

APPLICATION PROCESS

  1. Review eligibility, program requirements, and application instructions. Contact the Undergraduate Research Center if you would like to discuss your project and any questions with a Graduate Research Mentor.
  2. Complete the application by November 15. Please ask your faculty mentor to submit a letter of recommendation for you by November 15 as well. Incomplete applications will not be reviewed.
  3. The UCLA MMUF committee will contact you in late December regarding your application to the program.

APPLICANT SELECTION

The MMUF program incoming cohort size is five undergraduate students (for a total of ten undergraduate students participating in the program each academic year). Please do not let this number discourage you from applying! If you do not apply, you won’t have the chance to participate in the program. Because the program is competitive, however, we strongly encourage you to apply for other undergraduate research programs as well, including the Undergraduate Research Fellows Program, the McNair Research Scholars program, and the Undergraduate Research Scholars Program

SUMMER RESEARCH

The summer after their first year of the fellowship, all MMUF fellows are required to participate in a summer research program (such as Leadership Alliance, the Summer Research Opportunities Program, the University of Chicago MMUF programat another college or university, unless there are extenuating circumstances. In addition to providing research training and graduate school preparation, these summer research programs allow you to make valuable connections with faculty, graduate students, and undergraduates at other institutions. We encourage new fellows to look at summer program opportunities soon after beginning the fellowship, as application deadlines often occur in late January to early February. Fellows are also required to conduct research during their second summer in the program, although they do not need to be in a formal research program. 

GRADUATE SCHOOL APPLICATIONS

MMUF students automatically receive fee waivers to apply to UCLA for graduate study. Fee waivers and reductions are available at many other institutions by advanced request. Contact the school(s) to which you are applying to inquire.

POST-GRADUATION BENEFITS

Mellon Mays Gap Assistance: Fellows who do not apply to graduate school during their second year of the fellowship can apply for assistance in the gap year(s) between undergraduate education and graduate education. Click here for more information.

Loan repayment: Fellows entering PhD programs in Mellon-designated fields within 39 months of graduation from their undergraduate institutions are eligible for repayment for their undergraduate loans up to a maximum of $10,000.

Access to MMUF graduate student resources: MMUF partners with the Social Science Resource Council (SSRC) to provide the SSRC-Mellon Mays Graduate Initiatives Program. Grants include:

  • Dissertation Completion Grants (up to $2,500 once during PhD)
  • Predoctoral Research Development Grants (up to $3,000 once during PhD)
  • Graduate Studies Enhancement Grants (up to $1,500 annually during PhD)

Each fellow may receive a maximum of $5,000 in Graduate Studies Enhancement and Predoctoral Research Development funds. Dissertation Completion Grant funds do not apply toward this total. Learn more here.

The SSRC-Mellon Mays Graduate Initiatives Program also offers additional resources, including:

  • Gradate Student Summer Conferences
  • Proposal Writing and Dissertation Development Seminars
  • Dissertation Writing Retreats
  • Regional Lecture Series
  • Ph.D. Professional Development Conferences
  • Seminars on preparing for the professoriate