Mellon Postdoctoral Fellows Program
The Mellon Postdoctoral Fellows program is supported by an endowment from Grinnell College and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation for fellowships in the humanities and humanistic social sciences.
Mellon Fellows are appointed for two years and teach two courses per year. Each Postdoctoral Fellow establishes a close, collaborative mentoring relationship with one faculty member. The courses taught must include at least one course each year that is regularly offered in the College curriculum. The other course can extend Grinnell's curriculum into new areas. The fellow's two courses in the second year may be used either to enable a course release for various purposes (MAP release, partial replacement of a faculty leave), to provide an opportunity for interdisciplinary teaching, or to otherwise expand the departmental offerings. The program is designed to benefit the Fellow through development of teaching skills and the opportunity to experience an educational environment that prizes excellence in undergraduate education, as well as providing time for Fellows to advance scholarly efforts and share those with students and faculty. The program correspondingly benefits departments by allowing a small increase in the number of course offerings and the opportunity to bring in contemporary perspectives from a recent Ph.D.
Intensive mentoring of the Postdoctoral Fellow is essential to a successful experience for the department and the Fellow. Normally a course release is accorded to the faculty mentor during the first year; this implies a commitment to mentoring of at least several hours each week. Team teaching of an existing course is an excellent way to inform this mentoring, and so Executive Council will give preference to strong proposals that include an experienced faculty member team teaching with the fellow, typically a course already in the curriculum. Both the faculty member and the fellow will receive a full course credit toward their teaching load for that class.
In most cases, the Fellow will also allow extra flexibility for departments. Department proposals should include the departmental needs that would be met by having a Postdoctoral Fellow (partial leave replacement, MAP course credit, enabling interdisciplinary teaching by existing faculty, etc.). To the extent possible, the department should identify the courses to be taught by the Postdoctoral Fellow. Finally, a formal description (ad copy) of the proposed position should be included (template: http://www.grinnell.edu/offices/dean/chairinfo/facrecruit/desctemplate-0). Please note that the Mellon Foundation stipulates that Postdoctoral Fellows must not be more than three years beyond receipt of the Ph.D.
The Mellon Postdoctoral Fellows Program may not be offered every year. When the Program allows, a call for proposals will be sent to department and concentration chairs in early fall.
Proposals are limited to two pages and are due in the Dean's Office by the first Friday in October. The Executive Council will consider these proposals at its subsequent meeting, rank them, and recommend whether to initiate a search in the area that has submitted the top-ranked proposal. If a search is approved, the College can begin shortly thereafter to advertise the Fellowship. Please feel welcome to contact Associate Dean Mark Schneider with any questions about this program.