ABOUT THE PROGRAM
Facebook Alumni Page: www.facebook.com/groups/iuplrmellonfellows This is where you can meet most of the Mellon fellows from previous cohorts. This is also where we post career opportunities and updates that are relevant to the entire cohort. Please send an invite request to join the group. If you're not on facebook, I suggest asking someone in your cohort to update you on the latest job postings.
2021-22 Program Website: www.iuplr-mfp.com This is our program-specific website where you will find resources, the program calendar, and access to your work files.
Jennifer Boles, Mellon Program Coordinator firstname.lastname@example.org The program coordinator, Jennifer Boles, designs and coordinates all aspects of the Mellon Program. She is there to help you and support you through the program.
Deanna Ledezma, Mellon Program Assistant email@example.com Deanna is a PhD candidate in the Art and Art History Program at UIC and an alum of the program. She will be working with us through the fall on various aspects of the program.
Albert Laguna, Mellon Professionalization Consultant firstname.lastname@example.org Albert organizes the professionalization workshops and serves as a consultant on all aspects of the job market throughout the fellowship year. You should reach out to him for all job market-related concerns.
Eve Ali Boles, OSSR Director email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org and Award Specialists Jessica Seno, email@example.com and Jasmine Bradford, firstname.lastname@example.org The Mellon grant is managed by Eve Ali Boles in the UIC Office of Social Science Research. This office is your contact for anything related to administration of the fellowship, travel, and/or finances. Please be attentive to correspondence from them. As a rule of thumb, if you have questions about your fellowship and you don't know who to contact, it's a good idea to email Jennifer first and she will try to direct you to the appropriate person.
Overview of the Program
Our main program goals in the service of our mission are to provide the space, time, and support to facilitate completion of your dissertation in a timely manner; achieve job market competency, confidence, and readiness; expand your academic network; and foster sustainable and healthy writing habits and that counter toxic mindsets and practices that are often associated with academia. We provide you with financial assistance, but that is only one element of a multi-faceted program that includes a series of virtual and in-person professionalization workshops, a rigorous writing program, a mentorship program, support at your home institution, the cultivation of a social network, and a fully-funded opportunity to present at a conference (depending on the public health situation).
By accepting the fellowship, you are required to participate in all facets of the program and treat it as your "job" for the upcoming year. You must attend all virtual and in-person workshops and participate in the professionalization, writing, and mentorship program, in addition to other requirements. Repeated failures to participate in one or more components of the program will result in us contacting your home institution to reevaluate your fellowship. If anything comes up at any time that prevents you from participating, you should contact the Program Coordinator immediately to let us know. Please review your cover letter or contact the Program Coordinator if you have any questions.
This program starts in late summer/early fall In service of our mission to build a strong and lasting intellectual community and network, we pair each fellow with a junior faculty mentor in their area of study and with recent experience on the job market. Your mentor is one of the most fulfilling aspects of the program. Mentors are chosen on the basis of their ability to enhance your research and writing and to help you prepare for the job market and academia. You will meet with them over the duration of the fellowship year, usually monthly or bimonthly. Sometimes you might want to share a draft of a chapter or article or you may want to have them look at your job documents or just talk you through any issues that come up. Mentors are given a modest honorarium for their participation in the program.
Choosing a mentor: You will be provided a form below to indicate your top three choices of mentors before June 1st. Research these carefully and speak to your advisors or center directors for help. The Mellon staff (Albert and/or Jennifer) is also happy to help you brainstorm. We require that mentors are junior faculty members (with some exceptions). Once you fill out the form, we will choose your mentor based on their availability and fit (none of your choices are guaranteed). We will then make arrangements for you to meet them in the late summer virtually and in person at the Fall Institute. You should reach out to them until the Program Coordinator has made all arrangements and has given you the go ahead.
The professionalization program supports you in our mission to increase job-market readiness and competency. You will work closely with our professionalization consultant Albert Laguna in the first six months of the fellowship program to learn about the job market, create a polished portfolio of documents, and to gain interviewing experience. This will start in July where you'll meet with him for a series of virtual workshops and one-on-one meetings and then again in the fall when we hopefully meet in person.
A central goal of the fellowship is to increase time to degree and cultivate sustainable practices for balancing personal lives with writing and the demands of academia. We have created a structured writing program based on a lot of research and experience that focuses on three tiers of creating a daily writing practice, planning, and accountability and support. The program will change as the year moves on, starting with learning more about your writing process, then practicing daily writing with regular check-ins and support, and then finally sharing your writing. We will have our first workshop in August and another one in September.