Mellon Public Scholars Program

Call for Proposals: 2019 Mellon Public Scholars Program

Deadline: Thursday, January 3, 2019 at 5 pm

Information Sessions:

Tuesday, November 27 at 12:10 pm, Voorhies 228

Thursday, December 6 from 3:30-5:30 pm, US Bicycling Hall of Fame

Only Graduate Students are eligible for this grant, fellowship, or residency.

The UC Davis Humanities Institute invites applications from doctoral and MFA students in the arts, humanities, and humanistic social sciences to join the 2019 cohort of Mellon Public Scholars. This program introduces graduate students to the intellectual and practical aspects of identifying, addressing, and collaborating with members of a public through their scholarship. Twelve successful graduate student applicants will participate in a quarter-long, two-credit seminar in spring 2019. Each student will work with a faculty partner to develop a community-based research project and receive a $7,500 stipend (with the possibility of supplemental project funds) to support the project over summer 2019.

Because this program is intended to acknowledge and draw on the community-engaged scholarship of our faculty, faculty mentorship is an integral part of the summer projects. Applicants do not need to have a partner at the time of application. The Public Scholars Program encourages students to consider partners outside of their department as a way to broaden their interdisciplinary network. The role of the faculty partner includes: offering guidance as the student develops the community project, helping the student to develop individual goals for their project so that the experience can be integrated into their graduate training, and debriefing on outcomes of the project upon completion. Each faculty partner will receive a $2,000 award (i.e., as summer salary).

The Public Scholars Program invites applications that address the university’s commitment to diversity. This may include: public service towards increasing equitable access in fields where women and minorities are underrepresented; research focusing on underserved populations or understanding inequalities related to race, gender, disability or LGBTQI issues; and applicants who offer perspectives of groups historically underrepresented in higher education.

Pre-established and/or Original Projects

Applicants may choose to propose an original project (of their own) or be considered for a pre-established project with a community partner (listed below). Students may apply to either or both of these tracks. If applying to both, please submit a separate application for each. We ask that, if a student chooses to apply for an established project, she or he only apply for the one that best fits her or his interests and background. Please contact our program manager with questions rather than the host organizations directly.


Information Sessions

To answer questions and provide more details about the program, the UC Davis Humanities Institute will host an information session on Tuesday, November 27 at 12:10 p.m. in Voorhies 228 (DHI’s conference room). We encourage both faculty and students interested in the program to attend. Lunch and/or snacks provided. Please RSVP to Interim Mellon Public Scholars Program Manager, Samantha Snively, snsnively@ucdavis.edu.

Eligibility

We welcome doctoral and MFA students in the arts, humanities, and humanistic social sciences at any stage in their graduate training. Among the criteria for selection is the proposed project’s relevance to the humanities and arts, areas of particular interest to the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Anyone with an interest in public scholarship and community-engaged research is encouraged to apply, whether or not that interest is explicit in their dissertation research.

Application Materials

CV (2 pages max.): Please include contact information, academic department, relevant employment and service history, and academic accomplishments.

Proposal Narrative (3 single-spaced pages max., at least 11-point font): The narrative should address your interest in this program and your ability to plan and carry out an intellectually grounded, mutually beneficial arts- or humanities-based project with a community partner. Please discuss what role a faculty partner might play in this effort. If you have discussed this project with a potential faculty partner and/or community partner, please list them. If you are interested in working on one of the pre-established projects described below, outline your qualifications for that project. Each application should address your general suitability for the program and ability to carry out the project in question (please see criteria below for further guidelines).

Submission

To submit your proposal online, please go to http://dhi.ucdavis.edu/funding/ and complete the online application form. Proposals are due by 5:00 p.m. on January 3, 2019. Late submissions will not be considered. Scholars will be announced by early February. Please contact Interim Program Manager Samantha Snively (snsnively@ucdavis.edu) with any questions.

Application Review

Please keep in mind the following criteria when developing your proposals.

Criteria for Pre-established Projects with Community Partners:

  1. The impact and value of the applicant’s experience for the selected community partner, including personal, professional or academic backgrounds.
  2. The applicant’s potential to execute the work described, expressed as desire and/or track record. Examples: Volunteer work, internships, community organizing, and/or political activism.
  3. The intellectual foundation applied to the project. Examples: Placing an established project within a broader scholarly context such as environmental justice, gender studies, bioethics, or access to the arts.
  4. The significance for humanistic scholarship of the proposed approach to the established project. The humanities incorporate qualitative and artistic means to understand and communicate changing human experience.
  5. The applicant’s potential to contribute to the university’s commitment to diversity (including service, research, and perspective). Please refer to the third paragraph in this call.

Criteria for Original Projects:

  1. The impact and value of the applicant’s experience for a community partner, including personal, professional, or academic backgrounds.
  2. The applicant’s potential to execute community-engaged work, expressed as desire and/or track record. Examples: Volunteer work, internships, community organizing, and/or political activism.
  3. The intellectual foundation of the application. Examples: Placing a project within a broader scholarly context such as environmental justice, gender studies, bioethics, or access to the arts.
  4. The project’s significance for humanities scholarship. The humanities incorporate qualitative and artistic means to understand and communicate changing human experience.
  5. The feasibility and appropriateness of the proposed plan of work, including, when relevant, the soundness of the dissemination and access plans. Examples: A rough timeline for completion of the project. Plan for identifying and reaching intended audience.
  6. The applicant’s potential to contribute to the university’s commitment to diversity (including service, research, and perspective). Please refer to the third paragraph in this call.

Review and Selection Process:

An advisory board of faculty will use rubrics of the above criteria when evaluating applications. See the rubrics here. The advisory board will also consider factors in addition to the criteria above, such as the distribution of disciplines, project areas, and communities served. For pre-established projects, the community partner will choose from among finalists recommended by the advisory board.

2019 Established Projects with Community Partners

The projects below have been offered by DHI’s established partners. These are centered on a specific problem or objective (rather than a necessary skillset) in order to leave room for negotiation with the selected scholar. For questions about an established project, please contact Samantha Snively at snsnively@ucdavis.edu.

More detailed project descriptions are coming soon! See below for descriptions of our standing partnerships.

California Food Policy Advocates 

Location: Oakland, CA

Location in the Bay Area is a requirement for this position.

In a “post-fact” political climate, safety net advocacy must combine evidence-based policy making with compelling storytelling. California Food Policy Advocates are seasoned state and national policy advocates who work with contacts in community-based organizations in order to capture stories of overlooked hunger in the US and increase low-income Californians’ access to healthy food.

 

California Department of Education — Native American Model Curriculum

Location: Sacramento, CA

The California Department of Education is developing a Native American Model Curriculum, similar to the 2020 Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum. This guide will offer a flexible framework on which districts can build meaningful, interdisciplinary courses relevant to their students’ experiences.
 

 

California Arts Council 

Location: Sacramento, CA

The CA Arts Council (CAC) is a state agency dedicated to advancing California through the arts and creativity. One of the primary ways that it serves the arts and culture field is through its eleven competitive grant programs. The CAC has a standard evaluation process for all of its grant programs, and invites a Mellon Scholar to dive deeply into an evaluation of one of its grant programs, based on expertise and interest of the scholar. Potential projects could focus on: CAC’s arts education program, a creative placemaking grant program, or CAC’s support for rural and underserved communities.
 

 

 

 

California Humanities —  Infographic of Humanities Impact in California

Location: Oakland, CA


California Humanities is an independent non-profit partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities. To illustrate the rich landscape of humanities organizations and their work throughout the state, California Humanities seeks to elaborate on efforts to “map” existing networks of humanities-related organizations.

 

 

Center for Sacramento History 

Location: Sacramento, CA

In 1983, the Center for Sacramento History’s staff (CSH) worked with area scholars and representatives of community ethnic groups to create the Sacramento Ethnic Survey (SES).  The project investigated and outlined the historical development of twenty-two ethnic groups who played significant roles in the region’s history. The resulting collectionincludes written and oral histories, research files, slide shows, and approximately 3000 photographs. The collection received wide use in the creation of exhibits about the groups in the Sacramento History Museum.