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Schomburg-Mellon Humanities Summer Institute


The application process starts on September 13, 2017.
Deadline is February 18, 2018.

Schomburg-Mellon Humanities Summer Institute June 4 - July 13, 2018


The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation have created the Schomburg-Mellon Humanities Summer Institute to encourage minority students and others with an interest in African-American , African, and African Diasporan Studies to pursue  PhDs  in the humanities.

The program, which is open to U.S. citizens and permanent residents, offers a six-week session for ten undergraduate  rising seniors (juniors in spring 2018, entering their senior year in fall 2018, graduating in 2019).

Males and students from HBCUs are encouraged to apply.

The Institute, with the help of renowned scholars, will develop and nurture the students’ interest in the appropriate disciplines, and provide them with the requisite intellectual challenges and orientations needed to pursue humanities careers and to reach their full potential.

To apply click here 



  • Students entering their senior year in fall 2018
  • U.S. citizens or permanent residents
  • 3.0 GPA or higher
  • Demonstrated interest in Africa and the African Diaspora

If you do not meet ALL eligibility requirements your application will not be considered.

Program Details

  • Daily sessions, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. All sessions are mandatory
  • Seminars by distinguished scholars
  • Assigned readings
  • Research
  • $3,500 stipend. Students who are enrolled in the Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship Program are NOT eligible for the stipend. They are eligible for transportation and housing.
  • Out-of-state transportation costs covered
  • Free housing—at International House—and free meals

Theme: Exploring the Past, Reaching for the Future

The program mixes seminars and research. It invites students to explore how the past is influencing the present and how the present can shape the future.

The Institute is based on five main sub-themes: Identities, Challenges, Beliefs, Creativity, and Ethnic and Gender Studies. They will be explored from a variety of disciplines (including history, literature, religion, anthropology, sociology, cultural studies) and historical periods. The Fellows will have an opportunity to explore, among others, questions about identity, culture, arts, gender and sexuality, migrations, mental health, and criminal justice, and reflect on how they will affect the future. 

Our distinguished faculty includes Davarian Baldwin (Trinity College), Khiara Bridges (Boston University), LaShonda Barnett (Northwestern), Niky Finney (University of South Carolina), Joshua Guild (Princeton), Michael Jeffries (Wellesley), Natasha Lightfoot (Columbia), David Roediger (University of Kansas), and Craig Wilder (MIT).

Personal Project

Drawing upon the Schomburg Center’s extensive collections the students will prepare a research prospectus that could be the basis for their senior thesis or a major research paper.


  • Completed application form
  • Official academic transcript
  • Two letters of recommendation from faculty
  • Personal statement (450 words) and research statement (450 words)
  • Resume
  • Release form for food allergies
  • If you do not provide ALL required materials your application will not be considered

Applications deadline: February 18, 2018.

Selected students will be informed by email by April 5. Due to the volume of applications, personalized responses to all applicants are not possible. If you do not receive an email, please do not contact the program.


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