Elevating the knowledge that informs more complete and accurate narratives of the human experience and lays the foundation for more just and equitable futures.

Through the Higher Learning program, the Mellon Foundation makes grants with the objective of amplifying perspectives and contributions that have been marginalized within the conventional scholarly record, and that promote the realization of a more socially just world. We call this objective multivocality, and this commitment is at the core of MMUF.  

This MMUF program is named after Dr. Benjamin E. Mays, educator, college president, and civil rights activist, and it is underwritten by a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Applicants must be U.S. citizens or permanent resident aliens.

Student applicants to MMUF will be evaluated on the basis of their prior coursework, their plans for a major, and their potential to bring historically marginalized or underrepresented perspectives to the academy, including by producing scholarly research that reflects and satisfies the above-stated goal of the Higher Learning program.  

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; social movements and mass mobilizations; the transatlantic slave trade; settler colonial societies; and literary accounts of agency, subjectivity, and community. While it is not required that student applicants work within the above or related rubrics, preference may be given to applicants who do.

The Fellowship allows students to work on paid research projects during the academic year and to pursue full-time research during the summers between sophomore and junior years and between junior and senior years. The program also provides some assistance with student loans.

Application Dates and Deadlines

Mellon Mays & Edward A. Bouchet Information Session
Mellon Mays & Edward A. Bouchet Information Session
Mellon Mays & Edward A. Bouchet Information Session
Mellon Mays & Edward A. Bouchet Application Deadline

Eligible Fields of Study

To be eligible for selection as an MMUF fellow, students must be planning to study one or more of the below fields:

  • Anthropology and Archaeology
  • Area/Cultural/Ethnic/Gender Studies
  • Art History
  • Classics
  • English
  • Film, Cinema and Media Studies (theoretical focus)
  • Foreign Languages and Literatures
  • Geography and Population Studies
  • History
  • Linguistics
  • Literature
  • Musicology, Ethnomusicology and Music Theory
  • Performance Studies (theoretical focus)
  • Philosophy and Political Theory
  • Religion and Theology
  • Sociology
  • Theater (theoretical focus)

Application Requirements

The following documents must be received by the application deadline.

  • A short application, which includes two essays
  • Two letters of recommendation, one of which should be from a classroom instructor at Yale College
  • Writing sample (limit 10 pages; not restricted to your current or intended major/area of interest)
  • An unofficial copy of your Yale College transcript
  • A completed Faculty Mentor Assignment Form


Navigate to the Poorvu Center FGLI Student Resources page to see the full suite of resources available via The Academic Strategies Program at the Poorvu Center for students applying to the Mellon-Mays & Bouchet Program this spring:

Students applying to Mellon Mays and Edward A. Bouchet are also strongly encouraged to apply for the following national summer programs:


Adi Kumar

Coordinator, Mellon Mays and Bouchet Undergraduate Fellowship Program
Get in Touch

Devin Williams

Coordinator, Mellon Mays and Bouchet Undergraduate Fellowship Program
Get in Touch