Mellon Foundation “Call for Concepts”

2022 Mellon Foundation Horizontal


Through its Higher Learning grantmaking area, the Mellon Foundation has announced a new “Call for Concepts.” This year’s call invites humanities-grounded ideas for research and curricular projects focused on any of three themes:

  • Cultures of U.S. Democracy
  • Environmental Justice Studies
  • Social Justice and Disciplinary Knowledge

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


Overview of Process & Deadlines

Detailed registration and applications instructions are below. 

  • Step 1: Register with the Mellon Foundation. Deadline: Thursday, November 30, 2023 at 2:00 pm CST
  • Step 2: Submit concept to the IAS. Deadline: Friday, January 12, 2024 at 11:59 pm CST. The IAS will select applications for submission to the Mellon Foundation and arrange for endorsement letters.
  • Step 3: Submit application to the Mellon Foundation. Deadline: Thursday, February 15, 2024 at 2:00 pm CST
  • Step 4: Submit proposal to the Mellon Foundation. Deadline: October or November 2024. Finalists will be invited by the Mellon Foundation in Summer 2024 to develop proposals for submission to the December 2024 Mellon Board meeting.



  • 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.
  • Faculty from the Duluth or Twin Cities campuses are eligible to apply as PI. The University of Minnesota may put forward no more than three applications per eligible system campus.
  • Architecture (historical or theoretical), Musicology, Performance Studies, Urban 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.