ICGC-Mellon Scholar Fellowships

The ICGC-Mellon Scholar Fellowships are a collaborative program of the Interdisciplinary Center for the Study of Global Change (ICGC) and the Center for Humanities Research (CHR) at the University of the Western Cape (UWC) in Cape Town, South Africa, funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the University of Minnesota.

ICGC-Mellon Scholar Fellowships support graduate students whose research interests emphasize humanistic and interpretive social science perspectives. In addition, this fellowship is particularly relevant for students who expect to conduct a portion of their dissertation research in South Africa or the southern Africa region and would benefit from time at the University of the Western Cape.

Nominees should have backgrounds and interests that identify them as outstanding students who are clearly committed to the interdisciplinary study of the Global South in the context of global change. We encourage nomination of exceptionally capable students especially—but not only—from the Global South, particularly Africa, and communities of color in the U.S. 

Award Description

Awards vary in amount, duration, and format for the first year of study. Transportation costs to Minnesota are not covered. The student's home department typically guarantees support in the form of 50% teaching or research assistantships in the second and third years of study, and tuition and health insurance benefits for four years.

Upon successful completion of all coursework, and of oral and written doctoral qualifying examinations, research year support is provided through a combination of ICGC dissertation research support and/or home department research support.

ICGC-Mellon Scholar Fellowships are underwritten by a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation that supports our collaborative graduate education and research partnership with the Centre for Humanities Research (CHR) at the University of the Western Cape (UWC) in South Africa. Mellon Scholar awards require students to make connections with the academic community at our partner center (the CHR). ICGC organizes joint activities annually that are a good opportunity to develop this connection (e.g., an annual Winter School). In addition, ICGC provides a research year fellowship that could enable you to spend some time at the University of the Western Cape depending upon your research plans. Finally, scholars from the Centre for Humanities Research are regularly in residence at ICGC. These visiting scholars provide another way to form scholarly linkages with the University of the Western Cape. Please consult with ICGC Director Karen Brown on these possibilities.

As an integral part of their award, all fellowship recipients participate in the interdisciplinary seminars offered each year by ICGC and designed specifically for them. ICGC Scholars are required to enroll in these courses for credit; the courses partially fulfill requirements for the PhD Minor in Development Studies and Social Change. Students have the opportunity to present their own research and interests in informal seminars and also meet in weekly gatherings with other ICGC Scholars and faculty as well as to participate in ICGC research and scholarly activities.


To be considered for an ICGC-Mellon Scholar Fellowship, applicants must:

  • Hold at least a bachelor’s degree
  • Have applied and been admitted to a graduate or professional degree program at the Twin Cities campus of the University of Minnesota in at least one of the following doctoral programs:
    • College of Biological Sciences
    • College of Education and Human Development
    • College of Food, Agriculture, and Natural Resource Sciences
    • College of Liberal Arts
    • School of Public Health
    • Humphrey School of Public Affairs
  • Receive a nomination for these fellowships by the program, department, or college in which they will be enrolled

In reviewing nominees, ICGC gives priority to demonstrated academic excellence and commitment to the issues of the Global South and disadvantaged communities.

Application Process