Internal Deadline
Sponsor Deadline
Posted: 4/1/2022

Call for Concept Papers: Mellon Foundation-- Focus on Civic Engagement and Voting Rights, Race and Racialization in the U.S., Social Justice and the Literary Imagination

The Mellon Foundation has announced a Call for Concepts (CFC) noting that they will particularly welcome concepts from institutions that are minority-serving institutions (MSIs) and/or have not received Mellon funding in the last five years.

We encourage interested Duke faculty who already have a partner at an MSI to submit from the MSI . If this isn’t possible, Duke will assess concepts based on their other merits.


We invite concept papers from faculty members that have strong relationships with an MSI and/or institutions that have not received Mellon funding in the last five years, and engage topics related to one of the three themes defined by Mellon:

  • issues of civic engagement and voting;
  • race and racialization in the United States; and
  • social justice and the literary imagination. 

More details on these themes available here

Institutions may submit up to three concepts total, with each submission consisting of an online application form and a project description of approximately 1,000 words. Projects should be achievable with grants of $250,000–$500,000, with durations of up to three years. Mellon will allocate up to $10 million for this competition; the final number of proposals selected will depend on the number and substance of the submissions.

The Mellon Higher Learning team will review all submissions and invite a small number of the most promising ones to be developed into full proposals for potential grant funding. Full proposal invitations will be issued during the summer of 2022, and final grant recommendations will be presented for consideration by Mellon’s board of trustees at its December 2022 meeting, for a January 1, 2023 start date. 


  • Registration Deadline: April 20, 2022

  • Duke Internal Deadline: April 27, 2022

  • Submission Deadline: May 16, 2022

More information here

Eligibility Requirements

All current Duke faculty members.

Internal Nomination

Duke sponsored applications will be reviewed by a committee of three and will be evaluated based on the fit with the particular themes and project-based foci that are articulated above. 

Anyone wishing to pursue nomination should submit the following materials as one PDF.

·      Project concept 1000 words;

·      Budget estimate and brief budget description

Please submit internal materials through My Research Proposal. (Code ILN)

Instructions for creating an account (if needed) and submitting your materials:




Funding Type