UNCF Member Colleges and Universities

Allen University
Columbia, SC

Benedict College
Columbia, SC

Bennett College for Women
Greensboro, NC

Bethune-Cookman University
Daytona Beach, FL

Claflin University
Orangeburg, SC

Clark Atlanta University
Atlanta, GA

Dillard University
New Orleans, LA

Edward Waters College
Jacksonville, FL

Fisk University
Nashville, TN

Florida Memorial University
Miami, FL

Hampton University
Hampton, VA

Huston-Tillotson University
Austin, TX

Interdenominational Theological Center
Atlanta, GA

Jarvis Christian College
Hawkins, TX

Johnson C. Smith University
Charlotte, NC

Lane College
Jackson, TN

LeMoyne-Owen College
Memphis, TN

Livingstone College
Salisbury, NC

Miles College
Birmingham, AL

Morehouse College
Atlanta, GA

Morris College
Sumter, SC

Oakwood College
Huntsville, AL

Paine College
Augusta, GA

Philander Smith College
Little Rock, AR

Rust College
Holly Springs, MS

Saint Augustine's College
Raleigh, NC

Shaw University
Raleigh, NC

Spelman College
Atlanta, GA

Stillman College
Tuscaloosa, AL

Talladega College
Talladega, AL

Texas College
Tyler, TX

Tougaloo College
Tougaloo, MS

Tuskegee University
Tuskegee, AL

Virginia Union University
Richmond, VA

Voorhees College
Denmark, SC

Wilberforce University
Wilberforce, OH

Wiley College
Marshall, TX

Xavier University
New Orleans, LA

UNCF/Mellon Undergraduate and Faculty Programs

Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship

Program Purpose

The Undergraduate Fellowship Program aims to increase the number of talented, intellectually engaged undergraduates who choose to enroll in Ph.D. programs in the humanities, designated sciences and social science disciplines. This program is interested in students at the sophomore level who have a serious interest in pursuing the Ph.D. and becoming college professors in one of the Mellon designated fields. Fellows work closely with a faculty mentor representing their scholarly field, participate in a summer institute, sharpen their research, writing and presentation skills and receive semester and summer stipends to assist with costs related to research and graduate school preparation.


Applicants must be majoring in a Mellon Designated Field of study. Students with interests outside of the Mellon Designated fields are not eligible.Interested students must be nominated by the chief academic officer or UNCF/Mellon Programs campus coordinator at their institutions.Applicants must complete the UNCF/Mellon Undergraduate Fellowship Application (applications will not be accepted via email or fax.)Applicants must be completing the sophomore year and entering the junior year; must have at least a 3.2 GPA.Applicants must be committed to a career as a college professor and must intend to complete their undergraduate studies at a UNCF school.Applicant must be a citizen or permanent resident of the US.

Summer Institute

If selected, fellows will be required to participate in the UNCF/Mellon Programs Summer Institute during the month of June. The Summer Institute, also known as Academic “Boot camp”, is held annually at Emory University and hosts fellows from UNCF institutions, Emory University and the University of Cape Town. The Institute provides Fellows with an opportunity to sharpen their research, writing and presentation skills. In addition, students learn the value of Interdisciplinary research and graduate study and gain a better appreciation of scholarly research as well as post-secondary teaching.


The Mentorship that the UNCF/Mellon Undergraduate Fellowship Program provides is the cornerstone of the program. The mentor represents the fellow’s academic disciplinary area. In addition to helping students design and coordinate independent research projects, mentors assist fellows with identifying primary source materials and help fellows to identify potential graduate schools. Mentors are encouraged to develop close working relationships with their fellows, and they are required to attend an annual conference and to submit annual reports.Continue to find out more about the Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship Two-Year Mentorship.



Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship Two-Year Mentorship

The faculty mentor is a central figure in the Mellon May Undergraduate Fellowship Program.  A mentor works with a fellow from the time the fellow receives the award until graduation.  The mentor has four general responsibilities.


  • First, the mentor is to help the fellow prepare for graduate school. This may involve helping the fellow identify useful sources of information or directing the fellow to a person on campus who maintains files on graduate programs.
  • Second, the mentor is responsible for overseeing the fellow’s research project. The project should acquaint the fellow with the procedures that scholars follow in a selected discipline. The project should not duplicate the work required in a course, nor should it interfere with the fellow’s academic progress.
  • Third, the mentor provides opportunities for the fellow to develop teaching skills through practice teaching.
  • Fourth, the mentor is to be the connection between the UNCF/Mellon Programs and the fellow. The mentor is also responsible for assisting the fellow with the preparation of reports needed by the program.



a)    Assist the fellow in selecting courses; serve essentially as a faculty advisor to the fellow
 b)    Help the fellow identify an area of interest and the programs that exist in that field
 c)    Aid the fellow in compiling information on graduate departments and fellowship programs
 d)    Ensure that the fellow keeps track of deadlines for programs and any applicable examinations, e.g. the
 Graduate Record Examination
 e)    Discuss with the fellow the nature of graduate study 




a)    Assist the fellow in conceiving a project, planning it, and carrying in out
 b)    Schedule regular periods of contact for review of the project
 c)    Evaluate the project
 d)    Assist fellow with the development of a scholarly bibliography and reading list related to the selected topic 




a)  Allow the fellow to tutor a class, present a lecture, or develop a section of class
 b)    Create opportunities for the fellow to observe the mentor’s teaching strategies
 c)   Discuss various roles and responsibilities of faculty members 




a)    Maintain information on the requirements of the Program
 b)    Inform the Director and/or Campus Coordinator of any questions or problems that arise from Program
 c)    Alert the Director and/or Campus Coordinator of changes in the fellow’s status
 d)    Assist the Program in monitoring the progress of the fellow and in evaluating activities
 e)    Attend the UNCF/Mellon Mentors and Coordinators’ Conference, scheduled for early-to mid October
 f)    Submit a progress report during the course of the academic year
 g)    Submit a final report at the end of that year 


Mentors receive semester stipends for their services.


Faculty Career Enhancement Programs

The Faculty Career Enhancement Program is comprised of the following three components:

-  The Faculty International Seminar
 -  The Faculty Teaching and Learning Institutes
 -  The Faculty Residency Program

Combined, these programs work to enhance the status of UNCF institutions by expanding the scholarship portfolios of faculty and creating opportunities for institutional and faculty transformation.


The International Faculty Seminar

Program Purpose

The International Seminar provides junior and senior faculty at UNCF member colleges and universities with an opportunity to enhance their teaching and/or scholarship in an international setting. The seminars are designed to promote meaningful links between teaching and research, to create a community of inquiry across cultures, disciplines and institutions within the historical and cultural context of the African Diaspora and to provide effective models of interdisciplinary teaching and scholarship.

Locations for the International Seminar have included the Goree Institute in Dakar, Senegal, the University of Ghana in Kumasi, the University of Cape Town in Cape Town, South Africa and various institutions in Salvador, Bahia, Brazil.


The award covers the expenses associated with participation in the Mellon Faculty Seminar. The award covers a round-trip airline ticket as well as ground transportation in the host county, private room and board during the seminar, a book allowance to purchase required reading materials for the seminar and a book allowance for course development and research.

Participants also benefit from enhancing their understanding of their fields, enriching their teaching and presenting their research upon return.

Click here for a complete list of the Faculty Seminar locations, topics and facilitators.


Faculty Teaching and Learning Institutes

Program Purpose

The Teaching and Learning Institutes were established to create opportunities for UNCF faculty to come together through workshops, seminars and/or mini-conferences to share strategies, scholarship and “best practices” that help to strengthen the teaching and learning environment. Selected institutions sponsor an Institute at their home campuses and invite UNCF faculty from other institutions to participate. Funding may be used to support travel, stipends and other instructional costs associated with the successful execution of the Institute.


The Program creates opportunities for faculty to come together and learn from each other for the purpose of strengthening the teaching and learning environments at their home institutions. Upon return to their home campuses, faculty are able to share strategies, techniques and readings that will help to enhance teaching and learning. One of the greatest outcomes of the Teaching and Learning Institutes has been the development of faculty alliances across UNCF campuses.

Click here for a list of Teaching & Learning Institutes that have been funded in the past


Faculty Residency Program

Program Purpose

The Faculty Residency Program provides an opportunity for selected UNCF faculty members to take up to a semester away from their home institution to complete or begin a scholarly project. The Programs office helps to facilitate residencies at selected sites including Harvard University’s W.E.B. DuBois Institute, New York University and Emory University’s James Weldon Johnson Institute for Advanced Interdisciplinary Study. Proposed international sites include the University of the Western Cape in South Africa and the Steve Biko Institute in Salvador, Bahia, Brazil. Tenured and tenure track faculty may identify their own choice of research site which will be subject to approval by the Programs office.


This program assists UNCF institutions as they create opportunities for their faculty to refresh their scholarship in order to strengthen their institutions. The program increases scholarship opportunities for UNCF faculty representing Mellon-designated disciplines to pursue residency programs at major universities, research centers and/or laboratories or field stations.

Designated Fields of Study
All participants in UNCF/Mellon Programs must either be pursuing degrees in or teaching in Mellon Designated fields in the Humanities, Sciences or the Social Sciences. Scholarship in all its forms is valuable; however, it is important to stress that students and faculty with interests in Law, Medicine, Engineering, Journalism, Elementary and Secondary Education or other professional degree programs are not eligible for these programs.  

Mellon Designated Fields of Study:

  • Anthropology and Archaeology
  • Area/Cultural/Ethnic/Gender Studies
  • Art History
  • Classics
  • Geography and Population Studies
  • English
  • Film, Cinema and Media Studies (theoretical focus)
  • Musicology and Ethnomusicology
  • Foreign Languages and Literatures
  • History
  • Linguistics
  • Literature
  • Performance Studies (theoretical focus)
  • Philosophy and Political Theory
  • Religion and Theology
  • Sociology
  • Theater (non-performance focus)
  • Interdisciplinary Studies: Interdisciplinary areas of study may be eligible if they have one or more Mellon fields at their core


Interdisciplinary Studies: Interdisciplinary areas of study may be eligible if they have one or more Mellon fields at their core; MMUF program coordinators should please consult with Mellon Foundation program staff before selecting students in such areas to participate in MMUF.



UNCF/Mellon Programs Partners

Andrew W. Mellon Foundation

The Foundation’s grantmaking philosophy is to build, strengthen and sustain institutions and their core capacities, rather than be a source for narrowly defined projects. As such, they develop thoughtful, long-term collaborations with grant recipients and invest sufficient funds for an extended period to accomplish the purpose at hand and achieve meaningful results.

Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship

The fundamental objectives of MMUF are to reduce, over time, the serious underrepresentation on faculties of individuals from minority groups, as well as to address the consequences of these racial disparities for the educational system itself and for the larger society that it serves. These goals can be achieved both by increasing the number of students from underrepresented minority groups who pursue PhDs and by supporting the pursuit of PhDs by students who may not come from underrepresented minority groups but have demonstrated a commitment to the goals of MMUF. The MMUF program is designed to encourage fellows to enter PhD programs that prepare students for professorial careers; it is not intended to support students who intend to go to medical school, law school, or other professional schools.

United Negro College Fund

UNCF envisions a nation where all Americans have equal access to a college education that prepares them for rich intellectual lives, competitive and fulfilling careers, engaged citizenship and service to our nation
UNCF's mission is to build a robust and nationally-recognized pipeline of under-represented students who, because of UNCF support, become highly-qualified college graduates and to ensure that our network of member institutions is a respected model of best practice in moving students to and through college.

Institute for Recruitment of Teachers

The Phillips Academy Institute for Recruitment of Teachers (IRT) addresses the lack of diversity in the nation's teaching faculties by recruiting outstanding students of color and other scholars committed to diversity, counseling them through the graduate school application process, and advocating for sufficient funding for advanced study. Since 1990, the IRT has built a national consortium of colleges and universities that are eager to enroll IRT students to diversify their graduate student bodies and to expand the pipeline of educators to teach, counsel, and administrate in American schools, colleges, and universities. IRT urges its students to earn their advanced degrees and teaching credentials before they launch their educational careers.

Social Science Research Council – Mellon Mays Graduate Initiatives Program

Funded by grants from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Graduate Initiatives Program aims to transform the academy by eradicating racial disparities on the faculties at colleges and universities in the United States and South Africa. To that end, the Program provides support for scholars from all backgrounds with a demonstrated commitment to this goal through a predoctoral research grant opportunity and an integrated cycle of program activities intended to enhance the success of Mellon Mays Fellows at key moments in their careers. 350 fellows have completed a doctoral degree and over 500 are in progress.

James Weldon Johnson Institute for Advanced Interdisciplinary Studies

Established in 2007 to honor the memory and achievements of James Weldon Johnson, the mission of the James Weldon Johnson Institute for Advanced Interdisciplinary Studies is to foster new scholarship, teaching, and public dialogue that focuses upon the origins, evolution, and legacy of the modern civil rights movement from 1905 to the present. The Johnson Institute is also committed to the investigation of the impact of the modern civil rights movement upon other social movements in the United States and abroad.