hope college  >  academic  >  mellon scholars   

Andrew W. Mellon Foundation
Scholars Program
in the Arts and Humanities
Hope College
Holland, MI 49422-9000


Summer Research Program Guidelines

Distinctive Features of the Mellon Scholars Summer Program:

To provide financial and intellectual support for students to undertake a substantial scholarly project in-residence during the summer, typically between their junior and senior years, though sophomores may apply. Unlike other research grants at Hope College, the student’s research agenda rather than the faculty member’s drives the Mellon Summer Fellowship. Mellon Scholars and their faculty mentors are expected to participate in the lunches and presentation venues for summer scholars that are sponsored by the Arts and Humanities Division. The summer project should produce results that can be presented by the end of the summer, and, in some cases, it may become the basis for a more ambitious junior or senior project. For rising seniors the summer research fellowship may be an opportunity to extend or refine a project that may serve as a sample of their research capabilities in applications to graduate programs.


To be submitted jointly by the student and his or her proposed faculty mentor by Thursday before the beginning of Spring Break to the Director of the Program for consideration by the Mellon Scholars Committee. The application should include, in no more than four pages, the following elements:

  1. A description of project
  2. The scope of the work to be undertaken
  3. The integration of technology, as appropriate
  4. Preparation for the project
  5. A plan for dissemination of the results
  6. The relevance of the project to the student’s academic program and professional plans
  7. budget, including hours to be worked and related expenses

The application should also include letters of support from the proposed faculty mentor and one other faculty member. The faculty mentor’s letter should assess the quality of the student’s application proposal (i.e., the value of the project, the feasibility of the work plan, and the student’s preparation for the project). The faculty mentor’s letter also should state how the project would relate to the mentor’s other summer activities and funding. Preference will be given to projects that integrate technology and enable online disseminationof results.

Funding Details and Expectations:

  1. Normally, the term of the funding is defined as 4 weeks for rising juniors and 8 weeks for rising seniors, though other arrangements may be proposed. The Mellon Scholars Program encourages faculty mentors and students to think creatively about how they might make use of support for mentoring and research during the summer.
  2. The total support for students may not exceed $4,000 and for faculty mentors may not exceed $1,000.
  3. The Mellon Scholars Committee need not allocate all summer fellowship funding if there is a shortage of appropriate projects; remaining funds may be held in reserve for subsequent summer fellowships, research-related travel and conferences for students, and funding for needed technology.
  4. Normally, Mellon Summer Fellows (students)are funded at a rate of $350 per 40-hour week ($8.75 per hour), plus expenses approved in advance by the Mellon Scholars Committee (or by the faculty mentor and director during the summer). The rate of funding is subject to adjustment according to institutional norms for student compensation.
  5. Mellon Summer Fellows may not undertake other employment, including service funded by Nyenhuis faculty-student collaborative grants, during the term of the project.
  6. Mellon Summer Fellows receive a 50% housing discount, subsidized by Hope College, during the term of the research project. Students are responsible for the other 50%.
  7. During the term of the fellowship, Summer Fellows and Faculty Mentors are expected to attend at least half of the Summer Research Mentoring Lunches and the Summer Research Showcase normally held at the beginning of the fall semester.
  8. Completed summer research projects will be placed in the student’s electronic portfolio for the Mellon Scholars Program and in the institutional repository for faculty and student research.
  9. Students and faculty mentors will complete the “Research Project Self Assessment and Faculty Self-Assessment of Student Work” at the end of the fellowship.
  10. Faculty mentors are compensated at a rate of $125 per week of involvement in the fellowship up to a maximum compensation of $1,000). They are expected to be available for individual meetings on a weekly basis and to provide timely support and feedback on projects. Faculty mentors are expected to be available locally for at least half of the term of the grant. Stipends are divided for shared mentoring arrangements (e.g. two mentors for one month provides a $250 stipend for each mentor).
Please direct any questions about Mellon Scholars Summer Research to the Director of the Program.