Below you will find information on eligibility, info sessions, and the link to our application hosted on Slideroom. Be sure to read our guidelines and suggestions for how to prepare a competitive application.

MMUF Eligibility Requirements

The Mellon Mays Undergraduate Research Fellowship is part of the Higher Learning program of the Mellon Foundation. The Mellon Foundation is committed to bolstering research and academic endeavors that are aimed at shaping more accurate depictions of the human experience and establishing the groundwork for fairer and more equitable futures. Consistent with this commitment, the Mellon Foundation amplifies perspectives that have been marginalized within the traditional scholarly landscape, working towards the realization of a socially just world. The Mellon Foundation refers to this goal as ‘multivocality,’ and it forms the foundational principle of MMUF.

The Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship is open to applicants of all demographic backgrounds. Applicants 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. Students should reflect on how their life experiences and academic research contribute to a more diverse academy and satisfy the commitments stated above. 

Some research themes and rubrics that may satisfy this goal include, but are not limited to, the following: historical and contemporary treatments of race/racialization and racial formation; intersectional experience and analysis; gender and sexuality; indigenous history and culture; questions about diaspora; coloniality and decolonization; the carceral state; migration and immigration; urban inequalities and ethnographies; social movements and mass mobilizations; the transatlantic slave trade; settler colonial societies; racial disparities and outcomes; and literary and philosophical accounts of agency, subjectivity, and community, among other areas.

Should your research focus deviate from the outlined guidelines yet you remain interested in the fellowship, kindly arrange a meeting with Elise LaRose via to discuss your topic further.

Applicants Must: 

  • Be a sophomore at the time of application 
  • Be a US citizen, permanent resident, or DACA Recipient
  • Intend to pursue a research-based degree (Ph.D.) in one or more of these eligible fields of study:
    • Anthropology and archaeology
    • Area/cultural/ethnic/gender studies
    • Art history
    • Classics
    • Geography and population studies
    • English
    • Film, cinema, and media studies
    • Musicology, ethnomusicology, and music theory
    • Foreign languages and literatures
    • History
    • Linguistics
    • Literature
    • Performance studies 
    • Philosophy and Political Theory
    • Religion and theology
    • Sociology
    • Theater
    • Interdisciplinary studies: Interdisciplinary areas of study may be eligible in they have one or more eligible fields at their core, but must be approved by the MMUF director, Elise LaRose. Please note that interdisciplinary education graduate programs, even those that incorporate one or more eligible fields, are not eligible for MMUF graduate benefits.

For mor information on MMUF Eligibility consult

Selection Criteria 

  • Interest in pursuing graduate education, especially a Ph.D., in an eligible discipline of the humanities or humanistic social sciences
  • Activities and leadership that reflect an interest in social justice issues and the promotion of multivocality
  • Availability for full and enthusiastic participation in all aspects of the MMUF program, including attendance at conferences and regular meetings
  • Response to a short essay prompt about how the applicant’s life experiences and academic goals would contribute to furthering the goal of a diverse academy

Potential for serving as a mentor and teacher for a wide variety of students

2024 Information Sessions

*** To attend the following sessions, please fill out this form the day before the info session you will attend to receive the Zoom link.*** If you do not see a time that fits your schedule needs, write to Elise LaRose at to set up a meeting.

  • Sunday, January 7 at 12pm CT
  • Wednesday, February 7 at 12pm CT
  • Wednesday, February 21 at 5:15pm CT
  • Thursday, March 7 at 5:15pm CT

Deadline and Application

The deadline to apply is April 15th. Please ensure you have read all the information on this page before applying below. A PDF version of the application is also available below for viewing and download.

Additional Information

  • Concerning the MMUF Summer Research Training Program: If you are a UChicago student admitted to the MMUF, you are automatically admitted to the MMUF Summer Research Training Program (SRTP). You do not need to complete the application for the SRTP, so make sure you are completing the correct application. Completing the SRTP is an expectation for all UChicago students admitted to the MMUF. 
  • Interest: If you are a UChicago undergraduate interested in applying to be a Mellon Mays Fellow, please email Elise LaRose here.
  • View the printable application brochure here.
  • Again, please address any questions that you may have about the application to Elise LaRose. You are encouraged to make an appointment by emailing