Mellon Faculty Career Enhancement Fellowship
  • Program Overview
  • Applicant Information
  • Academic Information
  • Doctoral Degree Information
  • Senior Faculty Mentor
  • References
  • Personal Statement
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Mellon Faculty Career Enhancement Fellowship $40,000 Award

In 2004, the American Indian College Fund (the College Fund) and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation established the Faculty Career Enhancement Fellowship to increase and retain the number of credentialed, diverse, and underrepresented faculty at the nation’s more than thirty tribal colleges and universities (TCUs).

This fellowship provides current TCU faculty who are in the final stages of completing a terminal degree program and are recognized as “All But Dissertation” (ABD) with a one-year award of $40,000 to complete their dissertation and requirements for graduation.


All applicants must meet the following requirements:

  • Be a current faculty member teaching at a TCU that is accredited for higher education and a full member of the American Indian Higher Education Consortium
  • Be actively enrolled in an accredited doctoral degree program
  • Have completed course work, been advanced to doctoral candidacy and considered “All But Dissertation” (ABD) by June 30, 2018
  • Have a specific plan to complete all requirements for graduation within one year of being awarded the fellowship
  • Agree to remain as faculty for at least two years at a TCU after completion of degree
  • Designate a senior faculty mentor, such as a dissertation chair or committee member, to provide academic support throughout the fellowship year
  • Agree to participate in a summer Research Convening and a winter writing retreat (expenses paid)
  • Agree to allow AICF access to your student enrollment and degree attainment information through the National Student Clearinghouse database

Mellon Fellowship Guidelines

These prestigious and highly competitive awards offer substantial financial and mentoring support to selected Mellon Fellows. All fields of study are eligible, though preference is given to the humanities and humanistic social sciences. Applicants must have approval from their TCU President to take the necessary time to complete their doctorate degree within the one-year term of the Mellon Fellowship. This requires applicants to negotiate release or flex time from their usual teaching and administrative duties at their TCUs prior to beginning the fellowship program.

Payments are disbursed four times over the one-year term of the Mellon Fellowship. Prior to disbursement, each Mellon Fellow and their advisor/mentor must submit a report detailing activities and satisfactory progress toward completion of the degree program and Mellon Fellowship goals. The final quarter of the $40,000 award is paid upon proof that requirements have been met for graduation and the degree will be conferred. This generally means certification of a successful dissertation defense and filing of papers for graduation.

The Mellon Faculty Enhancement Fellowship may not be renewed or extended beyond a six-month leeway to meet extraordinary circumstances.

To be considered, complete applications must include all of the above items.

Mellon Faculty Enhancement Fellowship Selection Process

Fellowship applications are evaluated and ranked by a committee of senior scholars from a variety of academic disciplines. The committee evaluates applications on the following criteria:

  • Academic competence of the applicant
  • Capable of completing degree within the established one-year time frame
  • Potential of applicant’s doctoral achievement and research to strengthen teaching, curriculum, program development, research, and leadership at the TCU
  • Demonstrated commitment of applicant to American Indian higher education and TCU scholarship
  • Demonstrated persistent and respectful engagement with communities served by the TCU
Application and all required supplemental documentation should be submitted directly to the American Indian College Fund online or by email or U.S. mail. Send by email in PDF format to or by U.S. Mail to Cathy Noland, Faculty Development Program Officer, Mellon Faculty Enhancement Fellowship Program, American Indian College Fund, 8333 Greenwood Blvd., Denver, CO 80221. To meet the deadline, please arrange for transcripts, certification letters, and references to be written in advance to ensure they arrive by the deadline. Contact the Program Officer for any assistance needed in completing the application.

Applications must be received at the American Indian College Fund by May 1, 2020 at 11:59 pm MST.

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