What is a Fellowship?

The Mellon Foundation and the University of Chicago share a fundamental commitment to the advancement of the arts on campus as fundamental modes of inquiry, experience, and communication, and we are delighted to support the University in the creation of an innovative fellowship program that is based on this premise. We are all eager to see what unexpected and inspired work these new collaborations will generate, and the impact they will have on campus and well beyond.

About the Fellowship Program

The Gray Center’s signature initiative is the Andrew Mellon Collaborative Fellowship for Arts Practice and Scholarship program, designed to foster intensive and experimental collaborations between artists and scholars. 

We seek proposals that team artists and scholars (one [or more] of whom will be a visiting fellow; the other one [or more], a University collaborator) for a collaborative project that encompasses research, creative production, and teaching. Fellowship awards fall between $40-60K and are customized to each project.

We anticipate that one-quarter residencies will be the norm; however, residencies could encompass a longer time-span if the nature of the collaboration warrants. (Similarly, certain fellows might be in residence for shorter but intensive multi-week stays of sufficient duration to enable meaningful collaboration.) No route of inquiry (except the conventional and predictable!) will be ruled out; the program is not limited to the humanities nor to the realm of high culture. The collaboration is not limited to only two participants; larger teams are welcome.

Each residency will include a formal (but not necessarily a conventional) pedagogical component, such as (but not limited to) a for-credit course or seminar, ideally for graduate and undergraduate students, led jointly by the Visiting Fellow and university collaborator. Residencies will include a public component that would, ideally, model the innovative structures and aspirations that characterize the Collaborative Fellowships program, such as (but not limited to) a practicum, symposium, presentation, performance, and/or exhibition, as appropriate.

This fellowship program seeks to attract artistic and scholarly collaborators of the highest caliber at any stage of professional development, ranging from emerging leaders to recognized figures.  Visiting fellows will receive a temporary salary (as well as housing, travel, etc.).  Funds are available for related project expenses (e.g., production/commissioning costs, publication/web costs, events, exhibitions, special facility needs for the practitioner, etc.).  In addition, in order to facilitate these collaborations, the university collaborator will also be eligible for appropriate support (e.g., teaching or research assistant, research/project/course funds, etc.).

Click here to learn about the fellowship application process.