Mellon Foundation “New Directions” Fellowship Internal Call for Applications

Syracuse University has been invited by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to nominate an eligible faculty member in the humanities and the humanistic social sciences, broadly conceived, for consideration for a Mellon New Directions Fellowship.


Candidates will be faculty members who were awarded doctorates within the last 6 to 12 years (2006 to 2012, inclusive) and whose research interests call for formal training in a discipline other than the one in which they are expert.

All applications for this opportunity (details below) are due by noon on Friday, September 7 via email to: As a final note, at this stage applicants do not need to access Mellon’s grant portal.


Best wishes,


Vivian M. May | Director, Humanities Center
Professor, Women’s & Gender Studies




Serious interdisciplinary research often requires established scholar-teachers to pursue formal substantive and methodological training in addition to the PhD. Mellon New Directions Fellowships assist faculty members in the humanities and humanistic social sciences who seek to acquire systematic training outside their own areas of special interest. The program is intended to enable scholars in the humanities to work on problems that interest them most, at an appropriately advanced level of sophistication. In addition to facilitating the work of individual faculty members, these awards should benefit scholarship in the humanities more generally by encouraging the highest standards in cross-disciplinary research.


Note: This fellowship does not aim to facilitate short-term outcomes, such as completion of a book. Rather, it is a longer-term investment in the scholar’s intellectual range and productivity.

Recipients: The Foundation has awarded New Directions Fellowships since 2002. View a complete list of recipients here.


Terms of the Awards

Candidates will be faculty members who were awarded doctorates within the last six to twelve years (2006 to 2012, inclusive) and whose research interests call for formal training in a discipline other than the one in which they are expert.

  • Such training may consist of coursework or other programs of organized study.
  • It may take place either at fellows’ home institutions or elsewhere, as appropriate.
  • Although it is anticipated that many fellows will seek to acquire deeper knowledge of other fields within the broadly defined sphere of the humanities and humanistic social sciences, proposals to study disciplines farther afield are eligible.


The principal criteria for selection are: 

  • the overall significance of the research,
  • the case for the importance of extra-disciplinary training for furthering the research,
  • the likely ability of the candidate to derive satisfactory results from the training program proposed, and
  • a well-developed plan for acquiring the necessary training within a reasonable period of time.


Fellows will receive: 

  • the equivalent of one academic year’s salary,
  • two summers of additional support, each at the equivalent to two-ninths of the previous academic year salary, and
  • tuition or course fees or equivalent direct costs associated with the fellows’ training programs.

To permit flexibility in meeting individual scholars’ needs, funds may be expended over a period not to exceed three full academic years following the date of the awardThe Foundation also expects the fellow’s home institution to use budgetary relief resulting from the award for academic purposes, preferably in the fellow’s department.


Mellon New Directions Internal Review Applicant Checklist

By noon on September 7, 2018, candidates should submit all of the following items via email to for full consideration:

  • Project summary of no more than 300 words (2,000 characters, with spaces).
  • Proposal of no more than 2,000 words (13,000 characters, with spaces), providing an explanation of the overall significance of the research being undertaken and how the proposed new direction will assist in the development of the field.
  • A budget, using the attached excel worksheet with 2 tabs/ pages.
    • Enter numerical info on the front page first. Then, on the 2nd page, your totals will show, but please enter your start dates for each applicable project year.
    • A special Budget Workshop will be held Monday, August 13 from 10-11:30am in Tolley 304, open to all interested applicants. Please make every effort to attend.


The budget should include items for salary & standard fringe benefits (including yearly increases), projected training costs, and project-related travel. Lodging may only be included for vital professional meetings and short site visits; fellows are expected to cover their housing costs during the periods when they receive salary support from the grant. Requests for housing supplements may be included in the proposed budget when the projected cost of living in the city where study is to be pursued exceeds substantially the costs incurred when the fellow is working at the home institution.

  • No overhead or indirect costs are permitted, and no funding for staging conferences, symposia, seminars, or events related to the project is allowed.
  • The Foundation assumes the need for equipment or research assistants will be met by the fellow’s home institution.
  • Final budgets commonly range from $175,000 to $250,000; the maximum is $300,000. Candidates should make every effort to base their estimated expenses on careful projections of all items in the grant budget.
  • Mellon may ask for budget adjustments to align with Foundation norms and they are unable to accommodate requests for changes to the total award after the grant is made. Thus, they advise candidates to seek assistance from experienced department and sponsored-research staff in preparing the budget submission.
  • A letter of recommendation (4a) from the candidate’s department chair or other senior colleague which should address the candidate’s preparation and the relationship of the “new direction” to the nominee’s research and pedagogy. An additional letter of recommendation may be submitted from a colleague in the new field, if appropriate: we strongly suggest you secure an additional letter to submit with your materials (4b).
  • A concise curriculum vitae, no more than five (5) pages in length.