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Skidmore College
Center for Leadership, Teaching and Learning (CLTL)

Mellon Grant Summer Research Collaboration

Grant Information

The Mellon Grant Faculty Student Summer Research Collaboration Program is a competitive grant program that supports or employs anti-racist inquiry broadly, and/or Black Studies methods and pedagogies specifically, funded by the Mellon Foundation. The program enables Skidmore faculty and students to engage in significant projects during the summer. The project should be closely related to the student’s and faculty member's curricular, pedagogical, scholarly or creative interests and should be planned and executed by the student and faculty member working together. Projects should ensure good student learning outcomes.

  • May be collaborative but could also include other kinds of mentoring experiences
  • May advance the research agenda of the faculty member
  • May be student-initiated

The project should be defined in such a way as to permit completion of a substantial portion of the project by the end of the research period. Participants in this summer research program are expected to work from campus for the duration of the program. However, if remote off-site work is required, a project may involve time spent at another location (e.g., as part of field work for data collection purposes). In this case, the proposal must include a rationale for this special request.

Faculty-student partners on each project will give an oral report on the planned project, explaining goals and methods, early in the period; participate in a discussion about the Faculty Student Summer Research Program in early July; and submit a final report, demonstration, poster, exhibition or other appropriate activity on progress and achievements at the close.

  1. We expect to fund faculty collaboration with one or two students. The project rationale should clearly articulate the role each student will play in the project. Students are expected to work part-time on the project, up to 20 hours per week.
  2. Each student participant will receive one stipend (depending on the number of project weeks), up to $4,000 maximum. Faculty supervising a Faculty Student Summer Research Project will receive a stipend of $3,500 for a 10-week project or $1,750 for a 5-week project.
  3. Students are permitted to submit only one proposal for a 10-week session. They may apply for back-to-back 5-week sessions (one first session and one second session) provided they have a different faculty sponsor for each. These 5-week proposals will be considered independent of one another. Each student participant on a 10-week program will be paid $4,000 or $2,000 for the 5-week program. All students will receive free room and board on Skidmore's campus for the period of the grant. Because the program emphasizes the sharing of ideas and experiences, students are strongly urged to live on campus. In exceptional circumstances, students may be granted permission by the Steering Committee to live off campus (in such cases the students will have to provide for their own housing, and no additional living stipend will be offered). Whether living on or off campus, students are expected to participate in all Faculty/Student Research group activities.
  4. Faculty will have access to travel funds for themselves and students (not more than $1500).
  5. Faculty may also request funds from FDC (e.g., ad hoc, travel to read) to pay for the costs of travel to conferences where faculty/student teams will report the results of their research or further costs of printed publication. The FDC budget for such costs is limited, and faculty are urged to use departmental funds as well to help pay for their costs. Students may request support from Student Opportunity Funds.
Application Procedure

Africana Studies Faculty Student Summer Research Awards are highly competitive and funding is limited. Faculty and students wishing to participate in the Summer Research Program should submit an application to the Steering Committee by Monday, Jan 23, 2023. The Committee will communicate its recommendations for funded proposals to faculty sponsors before Monday, Jan 30, 2023. Faculty sponsors will then notify student collaborators of the recommendations for funding of their project. If a student collaborator is subsequently unable to participate in the approved project, faculty may petition the Steering Committee to request the funding of an alternative student. Faculty sponsors must confirm their student collaborators and their intentions to pursue the project via email to the Steering Committee by Friday, March 3, 2023. Failure to adhere to these deadlines may result in a revocation of grant funding.

The application should consist of the following clearly marked components (one application for each student):

  1. The names of the student and faculty member. Indicate if either has participated in the Faculty Student Summer Research Program before, and if so, when.
  2. The title of the project.
  3. A description of the project (600 words maximum) written in a fashion comprehensible to non-specialists, including the relevance of the project to the mission of the grant and Africana Studies at Skidmore: a focus on issues of racism and racial justice, racialized systems of power, colonization and decolonization, and intersecting oppressions, engaging with the experiences of Black folks in North America and/or the African diaspora. 
  4. A statement written by the faculty member providing a description of the working relationship with the proposed student and how the experience benefits the student's educational, professional, and/or creative goals; a justification for the requested grant period and information regarding external funding. If working with multiple students, the faculty member should rank order them (in case all students on the project cannot be funded).
  5. A statement of the goals, proposed activities, and format of the final outcome (e.g., journal article, exhibit, website, conference presentation, etc.).
  6. An itemized budget listing the costs of equipment and supplies needed to complete the project.
  7. Proposals that involve human subjects or the use of human tissues are subject to the requirements of the College’s Institutional Review Board (IRB). IRB guidelines, FAQs, and forms are available at: . Proposals that involve the use of vertebrate animals are subject to the requirements of the College’s Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC). IACUC guidelines and forms are available by contacting the IACUC Chair. IRB and IACUC approvals are not a prerequisite to submitting a Faculty Student Summer Research Grant but are required prior to the commencement of the research.
  8. Signatures of both the faculty and student applicants.
  9. If faculty are submitting more than one proposed project, the faculty member should rank order them (in case both projects cannot be funded).
Criteria for Selection
  1. These are highly competitive awards and funding is limited. Each proposal will be judged on the merits of the project, its feasibility, the clarity of presentation and the nature of student learning.
  2. Projects that have the potential for generating continuing work of an intellectually stimulating nature after the grant period has ended will be favored.
  3. Where proposals are equivalent in merit, selection of proposals will favor distribution of grants across the largest possible number of disciplines.
  4. Where proposals are equivalent in merit, projects that support diversity and inclusion either in subject matter or participating personnel will be favored.
  5. Projects will be selected by the Africana Studies Steering Committee.
  1. Other summer commitments that either the student or the faculty member may have must not interfere with the demands of this program. Students will not be supported to stay on campus beyond the grant period for which they have been funded.
  2. Applications need to specify the grant period.
  3. Faculty-student teams are expected to be present for the group sessions for the final reports unless prior arrangements have been made with the program coordinator for the Faculty Student Summer Research Program when the awards are accepted. Participating teams will be given a schedule of expected dates for session participation.
  4. All financial documentation and itemized receipts need to be submitted to the Steering Committee by the end of the summer program. Expenditures must be in support of the project goals.  
  5. All materials and/or equipment purchased with the aid of grant funding become the property of Skidmore College when the funded project is completed.
  6. A final report is required from both the student and the faculty member. Presentation at the final meeting will constitute the final report. However, if a final presentation is not made at the final meeting, a written final report must be submitted by the student and the faculty member to the Steering Committee by September 15 immediately following the summer the research project occurred. Failure to file a final report may result in advances being treated as taxable income and will disqualify participants from future grant opportunities. The final report, submitted online, will consist of the following:
    1. An itemized expense form and receipts for expenditures that supported the work of the project.
    2. A brief written summary of the research completed during the grant period.


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