2022 Schomburg-Mellon Humanities Summer Institute

Schomburg-Mellon Humanities Summer Institute: 

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.

While we are planning for an in-person summer institute this year, please note that the COVID-19 pandemic could render it such that we have to move to a virtual format.

The program, which is open to U.S. citizens and permanent residents, offers a six-week session for ten rising seniors (juniors in spring 2022, entering their senior year in fall 2022, graduating in 2023).

Students from HBCUs are encouraged to apply.

If you have any questions about the Schomburg-Mellon Humanities Summer Institute, please email schomburged@nypl.org,



  • Students entering their senior year in fall 2022
  • 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.

Application Requirements (All application materials must be received by March 25, 2022)

Completed Application Form:

  • Official academic transcripts must be received by March 25, 2022. Please have your college/university's registrar's office send your official transcript via email to schomburgmellon@gmail.com OR via postal mail to Schomburg-Mellon Institute - Schomburg Center-515 Malcolm X Blvd.- New York, NY 10037.
  • Two letters of recommendation from faculty members
  • Research statement (500 words)
  • Personal statement explaining why you want to pursue graduate studies in the humanities (500 words)
  • Resume

If you do not provide ALL required materials by the deadline of March 25, 2022, your application will not be considered.

Selected students will be informed via email by April 18, 2022.

Program Details

  • Required full day sessions (Monay -Friday) with breaks.
  • Morning seminars by distinguished scholars
  • Assigned readings
  • Research
  • $3,800 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.


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.

Institute fellows will explore a variety of disciplines (including history, literature, arts, religion, and cultural studies) and historical periods. The Fellows will have an opportunity to examine, among others, questions about identity, culture, arts, gender, migrations, mental health, and criminal justice, and reflect on how they will affect the future.

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. Projects that can make use of a particular collection at the Schomburg Center will be given greater consideration. The topic proposed in the application should be what the applicant will work on during the program.