What role does science play in influencing climate change beliefs among indigenous people? How did the United States conceive and execute its plan for post-World War II relief? And in what ways have movement, performance and subjectivity impacted the art of dance in Quebec? These are just some of the fascinating questions that have been explored by leading researchers at McGill University through the Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowship Program in the Humanities, established in 2008 thanks to the generosity of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
Now, the Foundation is renewing its support for this program with a new $1.5-million gift to nurture top-tier humanities scholars from around the world and improve their ability to conduct transformative research. The funding will allow McGill’s Faculty of Arts to offer a total of 12 two-year postdoctoral fellowships, each valued at $55,000, over the next six years.
“The humanities are central to McGill’s responsibility to cultivate the knowledge that gives meaning and substance to our lives, and these fellowships will greatly enhance our ability to support postdoctoral scholars in conducting research that is both transformative and at the forefront of creativity,” says Professor Christopher P. Manfredi, Dean of Arts.
“The value such individuals bring to McGill goes far beyond the dollar amount: in their important role as teachers and mentors, they motivate undergraduates, inspiring them to think independently and to pursue advanced study. They inspire their faculty supervisors, too, by contributing ideas and energy to ongoing research projects and scholarship.”
Since its inception at McGill, the Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowship Program has provided financial support and encouragement to 14 talented postdoctoral fellows. In addition to conducting research, recipients teach one undergraduate course per semester and participate in a seminar series with other postdoctoral and graduate fellows to discuss their experiences in the field.
The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, named for the prestigious American industrialist, is a non-profit organization based out of New York. It currently offers grants in five core areas: higher education and scholarship; scholarly communications and information technology; art history, conservation and museums; performing arts; and conservation and the environment.
Founded in Montreal, Quebec, in 1821, McGill is a leading Canadian post-secondary institution. It has two campuses, 11 faculties, 11 professional schools, 300 programs of study and some 39,000 students, including more than 9,300 graduate students. McGill attracts students from over 150 countries around the world, its 8,200 international students making up 21 per cent of the student body.