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Mellon Graduate Program in Community-Engaged Scholarship

Each year a dozen Mellon Fellows are selected from incoming and current graduate students in humanities and arts programs to participate in an interdisciplinary graduate certificate program in community engaged scholarship. Those graduate students are joined by four faculty members and four community leaders who work with the graduate students as mentors and co-educators for two years.

An initiative of Tulane’s Office of the Provost and School of Liberal Arts, the graduate certificate in community engaged scholarship was launched in 2017 in conjunction with a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The program’s goal is to provide graduate students a distinctive educational experience that allows them to connect their disciplines to new communities and to work with those communities to develop cutting-edge, civically informed, ethically grounded, community-engaged scholarship.

The program begins in the fall with a cohort retreat aimed at learning about the practices surrounding community-engaged scholarship. During the following two semesters, two one-credit courses build on our conversations with theories, methods, and examples of community-engaged scholarship. These courses are designed to be rigorous but not onerous—they are set up to allow graduate students to take them in addition to their regular course loads without slowing progress toward their graduate degrees.

In addition to coursework, Mellon Graduate Fellows pursue projects in community-engaged scholarship. These projects resonate with graduate students’ personal and scholarly interests and are grounded in a sustained collaboration with a community partner. Graduate Fellows are provided a stipend and budget for their projects that includes compensation for community partners, additional mentors, travel, and supplies.

During the final semester of the two-year certificate program, graduate fellows work with their cohort to reflect upon, evaluate, and develop next steps for their community-engaged projects as part of a third one-hour course which culminates in the production of a portfolio and a public presentation during a student-planned symposium. Along the way students will also take three graduate courses designated as having a community engaged component.

Mellon Fellows receive $4000 stipends each year (in addition to any departmental stipends they may be receiving). Applicants must be students in participating graduate programs in Tulane’s School of Liberal Arts. Incoming MA and MFA students are eligible to apply as are incoming, first-, or second-year students in Ph.D. programs. Applicants must plan to be in New Orleans during the fall and spring semesters over the next two years and be able to participate fully in Mellon seminars, meetings, and events. Applicants must be available to meet on Tuesdays from 6:30-8:00 pm during those four semesters for Mellon Program seminars and cohort meetings. Completing the Graduate Certificate and receiving funding requires attending and participating in all Mellon Programming.
Mellow Graduate Fellow Application Cover Sheet
Academic Information
Recommender's Name and email is required for this application to be complete.
Required Materials for Submission

How can community engaged scholarship contribute to creative and collaborative practices that benefit diverse publics and communities? How does community engagement connect with your overall graduate work? How do you hope your engaged scholarship will enrich your academic work, thesis, dissertation, etc.?

A brief note of support from the Tulane Graduate Director of your Department is required for this application to be complete. Please have that individual email a one paragraph note to Ryan McBride at

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