Mellon Humanities Faculty Fellows

In 2015, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation awarded UC Irvine’s School of Humanities a $2.7 million grant to pilot a major initiative to transform graduate education by streamlining the process for obtaining the Ph.D. degree and launching humanities scholars into professional careers. Commonly referred to as the “5+2” program, this model for graduate education allows students to complete the dissertation in five years, followed by up to two years as a Mellon Humanities Faculty Fellow (MHFF).

All Humanities students who complete their degrees by the spring quarter of their fifth year and have a demonstrated record of strong scholarship and teaching are eligible to apply for an MHFF position. Faculty Fellows teach four courses; this teaching load affords Faculty Fellows the time to pursue their scholarship and prepare their dissertations for publication. In addition, Faculty Fellows are provided with $1,000 each year to support research-related activities, assistance in publication and job application, and guidance in pedagogy.

All Faculty Fellows are hired as Assistant Adjunct Professors at 67% time with full benefits. The appointment period begins July 1 and ends June 30. As of July 1, 2019, the compensation for this appointment is $47,436.00. The call for applications is circulated as early as the Winter quarter each academic year. For questions regarding the application process, please contact Geneva Lopez-Sandoval.

Frequently Asked Questions

• How many classes will I be teaching as a Faculty Fellow?

Normally four courses over three quarters.

• Are Faculty Fellows guaranteed a teaching position within their home department/program?

Teaching in the home department/program depends entirely on that department/program being able to demonstrate pedagogical need for an additional faculty member.

• How is my work monitored as a Faculty Fellow?

A three-person mentoring committee will be established on your behalf, consisting of a faculty academic advisor (usually your dissertation advisor but not required to be so), the director of Humanities Core, and the Associate Dean of Curriculum and Student Services. The committee will meet with the students at the end of each quarter to discuss progress made according to the research plan.

• What other responsibilities or commitments will I have as a Faculty Fellow?

Principal responsibilities are teaching and pursuing your scholarship. As with all faculty appointments some service duties are involved, but these should remain quite undemanding.

• Do Faculty Fellows receive health benefits?

As employees of UCI: yes. Benefits will be selected by the Faculty Fellow during the onboarding process.

• Do Faculty Fellows receive housing?

Since they have completed their Ph.D.s, Faculty Fellows lose access to UCI graduate student housing. The campus has recently increased its rental housing for beginning professors, but it is not yet clear to us how accessible these apartments will become for MHFFs. Our existing MHFFs have found suitable housing in the surrounding community.

• Am I automatically guaranteed a second year appointment as a Faculty Fellow?

No. Faculty Fellow appointments are renewed on a yearly basis. Reappointment follows the same procedure as the initial appointment.

• How does a Faculty Fellow appointment prepare appointees for the job market?

The Humanities Center has designed, and will continue to expand, an extensive set of professionalization workshops, on such topics as how to get articles and books accepted for publication, how to apply for academic and non-academic jobs, and how to use digital resources effectively. Students admitted into the 5+2 program will also have access to a week-long Summer Pedagogical Institute, which will have participants consider distinct pedagogies (classroom, writing, disciplinary, interdisciplinary, and digital pedagogies) and how these approaches relate to one another, to your individual research, to the institution in which you teach, and to your professional goals.