Mellon Foundation “Call for Concepts”

2022 Mellon Foundation Horizontal


The Mellon Foundation Higher Learning Program seeks to support inquiry into issues of vital social, cultural, and historical import, and has issued a new “Call for Concepts” inviting ideas for research and/or curricular projects focused on any of the following three themes:

  • Civic Engagement and Voting Rights
  • Race and Racialization in the United States
  • Social Justice and the Literary Imagination

Grants may be for $250,000–$500,000 over a duration of up to three years. The University of Minnesota may submit only three applications, and the Institute for Advanced Study will coordinate the University’s internal review and selection process.


Overview of Process & Deadlines

Detailed registration and applications instructions are below. 

  • Part 1: Registration / deadline: April 18, 2022
    Register with IAS and Mellon Foundation; IAS selects three concepts by April 25
  • Part 2: Application / deadline: May 16, 2022
    Three concepts move forward and submit application to Mellon Foundation
  • Part 3: Proposal / deadline: November or December 2022
    Finalists notified by Mellon Foundation in mid-September and develop final proposals for submission



  • The PI should be a tenure-track or tenured faculty member or dean in a program or department in the humanities or humanistic social sciences.

  • Architecture (historical or theoretical), Musicology, Performance Studies, and others at the U of M that might fall into a professional college, yet may incorporate humanities-based perspectives and methodologies, are included.



Detailed Instructions

Part 1: Registration

Deadline: April 18, 2022 at 11:59 p.m.

step 1: register with the ias
  1. Register with the IAS via InfoReady Review
  2. Select one of the three Mellon-specified project topics for your project
  3. Provide approximately 300 words summarizing your ideas for a potential project, the activities, purpose and goals, and potential impact
  4. Provide a list of the people, institutions, and/or organizations that might be involved
  5. Download the document provided by the IAS. This document includes the information you will need for Step 2 of your project registration (the Mellon registration).
Step 2: Register with Mellon
  1. Register with Mellon here.
    Information about Mellon registration can be found at the bottom of page 3 in the Higher Learning Call for Concepts Guidelines Document.
  2. Use the information provided by the IAS in step 1 to complete the Mellon registration.

Step 3: Notification BY the IAS

A selection committee convened by the IAS will choose three concepts to be submitted to the Mellon Foundation. Notification will be sent by April 25, 2022.

Part 2: Application

Deadline: May 16, 2022 at 2:00 p.m. CT
Application requirements can be found on page 4 of the Higher Learning Call for Concepts Guidelines Document.

Step 1

Develop a 1,000 word application statement, draft budget, and brief (100 word) budget justification by May 11 to send to the President for endorsement letter.

Step 2

Finalize application statement, complete application form, and submit application through the Mellon Foundation’s Fluxx portal by May 16, 2022 at 2:00 p.m. CT.