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Northwestern became a participant in the Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship in 2008. Since the inception of the program, Northwestern has had 65 fellows. 

The goal of the Northwestern MMUF program is to develop and mentor undergraduates in the process of research and other important facets of academic life, thereby encouraging their interest in academic careers. 

What has MMUF enabled fellows to do at NU?

The Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship at Northwestern has provided funding and opportunities for our fellows to:

  • Network with NU faculty and graduate students
  • Participate in regional and national MMUF conferences
  • Present at national conferences
  • Attend private lectures
  • Participate in summer programming normally closed to Northwestern students
  • Travel internationally to complete independent research
  • Develop relationships with peers interested in graduate study

What are the benefits to becoming a fellow?

  • Financial Support for independent research
  • Summer Research opportunities
  • Summer Workshops
  • Mentoring
  • Biweekly meetings with MMUF fellows
  • Insight into the Graduate School application process
  • Frequent research roundtables
  • Unique social gatherings
  • Graduate application fee waivers
  • Undergraduate loan reimbursement

Program Timeline

Sophomore year, winter and spring term

  • MMUF application and selection process begins.
  • Fellowship is awarded.
  • Students select a faculty mentor for the upcoming summer.
  • Students attend an MMUF Orientation and Welcome Dinner.

Sophomore year and following summer

  • Students receive a summer stipend.
  • Students participate in a mandatory eight-week summer program (SROP) at Northwestern that includes faculty-supervised research, enrichment activities that prepare undergraduates for the fellowship (i.e., IRB presentations, writing workshops, research roundtables, etc.), and a research conference.
  • Students meet regularly with MMUF coordinators and the cohort to discuss their progress.

(Please note that students who have made alternate summer plans may still apply for the MMUF fellowship but must note this in their initial application.)

Junior and senior years

  • Students receive two stipends throughout the academic year, and one summer stipend between junior and senior year.
  • During the academic year, students will work and meet regularly with a faculty member on a research project.
  • Participate in biweekly meetings for current MMUF fellows in which students will present their ongoing research, and participate in Mellon organized activities that promote graduate school success and collaboration in the academic community.
  • Selected fellows will also be expected to participate in the Midwest Regional MMUF Conference, the Northwestern Undergraduate Research Symposium, and other relevant conferences.
  • Throughout their time in the fellowship, students are encouraged to seek out additional experiences, fellowships, abroad experiences, and conferences related to their research interests and may have access to additional funding for such purposes.

Senior year

  • Students should work on their senior thesis. Fellows are expected to submit their senior project/thesis for publication in the MMUF Journal.
  • Considering/applying for PhD programs.

Following graduation

  • Mellon fellows continue to receive graduate school application support and general mentoring upon their graduation from Northwestern.
  • Alumni are frequently invited back for programming and social events.

Fellows who enroll in a PhD program within 29 months of graduation are eligible for undergraduate loan reimbursement from the Mellon Foundation.