Want to be considered for a Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship (MMUF)?  We invite you to complete the online eligibility and interest form. This will help us determine if MMUF is right for you.

If invited to apply, you will receive an application for the program.

Complete the Interest and Eligibility Form

The 2019 cohort of the Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship at Oberlin College has been selected, and the application period is closed. 


Application Process

Students considered for a Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship will receive an application via email for the program. Please review the following procedures to ensure that your application is complete. 

Application Form

Complete the attached form. You and your proposed faculty mentor must each type your own name in the relevant fields at the bottom of the form as an electronic signature, or, when you have finished filling in the other fields, select the “Developer” tab above, click the “Protect Form” button to turn off fields, and add an electronic signature.

Personal Statement of Purpose

A personal purpose statement (up to 500 words) addressing your commitment to the aims of the MMUF program as indicated in the mission statement above. How have your experiences in college been shaped by underrepresentation of certain groups in academia? What are your goals for the future? In what particular ways do you hope to change higher education by way of those goals? What is your understanding and interpretation of the life and legacy of Dr. Benjamin Mays, after whom the program is named? How is the work that you want to do, in your research and in your life, in conversation with the values he espoused?

Research Proposal

A research proposal (up to 500 words) clearly addressing:

  • the purpose of the project
  • why you are interested in this research

  • what methods you plan to use and why those methods are appropriate for your research aims
  • what preparation or skills you have that make you well suited for this research, and what you hope to learn
  • what you intend to produce during each of the two years of the program
  • a detailed work plan that includes a schedule of how your research will be divided over two summers and two academic years, and what you may need (supplies, books, travel, etc.) to complete that research successfully

  • whom you have selected to be your faculty mentor and how that selection aligns with your proposed research.

Writing Sample

A sample of your strongest academic writing (up to 1,500 words or five, double-spaced pages). The writing may contain creative elements, as long as it also demonstrates analysis and argumentation with a thesis statement and supporting evidence.

The writing sample need not be on the same topic as your proposed MMUF research, and there is no need to write anything new. Instead, you can use a clean copy (without instructor’s comments) of something you already submitted for a class.

Unofficial Transcript

Include your current unofficial transcript from PRESTO/OberView saved as a PDF.

Proposed Mentor Statement

A letter from your proposed MMUF faculty mentor clearly addressing all of the following:

  • the soundness of the proposed research project
  • the field(s) and/or discipline(s) in which the proposed research project is located
  • what contributions the applicant's research stands to make to the field(s) and/or discipline(s)
  • why the proposed faculty mentor is interested in working with this student
  • the proposed faculty mentor's travel or leave plans for the entire period summer 2019-spring 2021
  • the proposed faculty mentor's plans for ensuring that the student receives uninterrupted mentorship, should the mentor be away from campus or on leave during any portion of that time

Faculty/Staff Recommendations

Two letters of recommendation.
Recommenders should be members of the college or conservatory faculty or staff who know you and your academic work well enough to comment in an informed way on your potential for independent research and ultimately for an academic career.

If the proposed faculty mentor of your research project fits that description, she or he should be one of your recommenders. In addition to sharing thoughts about you as a student or advisee, the proposed faculty mentor should address the soundness of your proposed project, how that project aligns with the faculty member's own interests or expertise, and how the faculty member will meet her or his commitment to mentoring you over the course of two years (including addressing any time she or he anticipates spending on leave or away from campus during that period).

Peer Recommendation (Optional)

One letter of recommendation from a peer—not necessarily at Oberlin—who can comment on your intellectual curiosity and how you work both alone and in groups.

Personal Interview

After receiving your completed application, we will contact you to schedule an interview.