The Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship (MMUF) works to increase diversity in higher education by providing promising undergraduates from underrepresented backgrounds two years of mentoring and preparation for a PhD program.
The MMUF Program has four seminal components:
- Research: The MMUF program is, first and foremost, a research program. As future academics, MMUF fellows require a thorough understanding of the principles and methods of academic research and a firm confidence in the practice of it; thus the MMUF program is designed to give undergraduate fellows intensive and ongoing research experience, beginning at an earlier point in their careers than is typical for most college undergraduates. During his or her undergraduate years, each MMUF fellow is expected to conduct an individual research project under the guidance of a faculty mentor, culminating in a final thesis paper or presentation during the senior year.
- Engagement in an academic culture: Fellows meet regularly with other Fellows, graduate students, and faculty for forums, colloquia, and other activities.
- Mentoring: Each Bowdoin Mellon fellow is paired with a faculty mentor, whom s/he is expected to meet with on a regular basis. Fellows work with their mentors to develop their scholarly interests into research directions and projects. As mentors, faculty members have the knowledge and responsibility to demystify the formal and informal aspects of conducting research, applying to graduate school, competing effectively once in a graduate program, earning the doctorate and pursuing faculty careers.
- Financial support: Fellows who remain in good standing with the program receive a stipend for each of the two summers of their fellowship and for each semester of their junior and senior years. Additionally Fellows who enroll in an eligible Ph.D. program within three years of graduating from Bowdoin may receive up to $10,000 in undergraduate loan repayment from the Mellon Foundation.