Internal Deadline
Sponsor Deadline
Posted: 4/18/2022

New Directions Fellowship

The Mellon New Directions Fellowship program provides support for exceptional faculty members in the humanities (broadly defined to include the arts, history, languages, area studies, and zones of such fields as anthropology and geography that bridge the humanities and social sciences) who received their doctorates between 2008 and 2014. Fellows will be expected to pursue systematic training and academic competencies outside their own distinctive fields in order to advance a cross-disciplinary research agenda.  This fellowship does not aim to facilitate short-term outcomes, such as completion of a book.  Rather, it is a longer-term investment in the scholar’s intellectual range and productivity.

Please note three changes to this year’s call:

  • Priority will be given to applications that manifest 1) a strong focus on issues of race, ethnicity, and migration, or 2) a focus on filling in the gaps left by more traditional narratives in the history of the Americas.
  • In an effort to recognize and address travel and access constraints related to the COVID-19 global pandemic, supplemental funds up to $15,000 will be available for scholars who require access to collections that have not yet been digitized and cataloged, or who require the paid support of a librarian or archivist to assist with research where collections are closed to outside visitors because of the pandemic. For example, payments from this supplement may be budgeted for library or special collections partners who would work closely with the New Directions fellow to identify and define archival or library collections that can be digitized and made  available for study by the fellow and—when feasible--to members of the general public.
  • All applicants should include a concise plan of no more than two paragraphs outlining alternative arrangements should research activities be constrained by the long-term continuation or a resurgence of the COVID-19 or other pandemic.

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has invited Duke University to nominate one candidate for its New Directions Fellowships. If you are interested, please respond by noon on August 12 to Carol Vorhaus, following the process detailed below.


  • Duke Internal Statement of Intent: noon, September 3, 2020
  • Mellon Foundation Submission Deadline: 5:00, September 25, 2020
Amount Description

The fellowships cover salary and fringe benefits for one academic year and two, two-month summers, as well as tuition or course fees associated with the fellows’ training programs and project related travel.   Most awards are between $200,000 and $250,000, with a cap of $300,000, and may be expended over a period not to exceed three full academic years.

Internal Nomination

Each candidate should provide a 750-1000 word statement briefly documenting his/her plans for future research and anticipated program of study this new work requires. The statement should provide an explanation of the overall significance of the proposed activities and how this new direction will build on an applicant’s current strengths, widen her/his intellectual horizons, and facilitate exciting new research vistas. If selected as Duke's nominee, the candidate will need to develop a longer version of this document (2000 words plus 300 word summary), also highlighting research accomplishments to date.  He/she will also need to arrange for a letter of appraisal from an informed senior colleague (e.g., department chair), a budget and budget narrative, and a CV no more than five pages in length in 12 pt. font.

  • Please submit your 750-1000 word statement via email to Amy Feistel no later than noon, September 3, 2020.  If you have any questions regarding the nomination process, you may contact Carol Vorhaus, Office of Corporate and Foundation Relations by email [] or by calling 919-681-1967.
  • Applicants should take care to write for a scholarly audience with a variety of disciplinary backgrounds and intellectual interests.
  • After the internal deadline, proposed nominations will be forwarded to a nominating committee.
  • All applicants will be informed of the committee's decision by September 9, 2020, and the chosen nominee will be given assistance from the nominating committee and the Office of Foundation Relations in preparing materials for submission to the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

The finalist will be required to submit his/her final proposal to Duke’s Office of Research Support no later than September 18, 2020 in order to meet the Foundation’s deadline of September 25, 2020.

Funding Type