The Mission of the UNCF/Mellon Programs is to Transform the Academy by creating a pipeline of undergraduates who will pursue the Ph.D. with the sole intention of becoming faculty members. Our mission is to aid in the transformation of the Academy through the presence of a racially and ethnically diverse faculty whose scholarship and teaching represent diverse world views, appreciation for issues of social justice and who share a commitment to continuing to develop a pipeline of scholars of color to inhabit the halls of the Academy as students and faculty. In addition, the Programs aim to strengthen teaching and learning at UNCF institutions by creating opportunities for UNCF faculty to enhance their teaching and scholarship through the participation in Faculty Career Enhancement Opportunities that focus on comparative scholarship and analysis of selected topics and encourage collaboration with distinguished faculty within and outside of the UNCF consortium. Faculty Career Enhancement programs support the continued growth and development of UNCF faculty, and we aim to support initiatives that enhance the teaching and learning environment.

Our History

The UNCF/Mellon Programs were created in 1989 with a generous grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Designed with the goal of strengthening the number of qualified minority faculty within the Academy, these programs target undergraduates and faculty at the consortium of 37 UNCF institutions and Hampton University. * The Faculty/Doctoral Fellowship Program has been discontinued.

  • Mellon Mays Undergraduate
    Fellowship Program
  • Summer Internship
    Program for Ecology Research
  • Faculty Career Enhancement
  • Teaching and Learning
  • International
    Faculty Seminar
  • Faculty
    Residency Program


  • Sophomore level or above
  • GPA 3.2 and above
  • Intellectually engaged
  • PhD programs in humanities, designated sciences and social science diciplines
  • Interested in pursuing PhD in one of the Mellon designated fields
  • Must enter graduate school no later than 39 months after receiving undergraduate degree
  • Several resources available through the Social Science Research Council Mellon Initiative
  • Remember...once a fellow, always a fellow
  • International Faculty Seminar
  • Domestic Faculty Seminar
  • Faculty Residency Program
  • Teaching and Learning Institutes
  • Junior Faculty Development Grant

Our UNCF Institutions

There are 37 UNCF institutions plus Hampton Univerisity in the United States.