Mellon Confounding Problems Undergraduate Research Grants

Confounding Problems Grants assist undergraduate students in pursuing research related to so-called confounding (or wicked) problems. These are large-scale problems that resist any simple solution — and that concern us as citizens as well as scholars. The expression has been used primarily in the sciences and social sciences to describe problems or issues that have multiple causes and no single answers, such as a quick technological fix or a central authority to solve them. 

Examples include (but are not limited to): 

  • Issues of race, identity and security
  • Migration and borders
  • Climate change and adaptation
  • Gentrification and urban renewal
  • Diversity on campus
  • The state of the liberal arts

Grants support both original student research and travel to present that research at academic conferences. 

Confounding Problems Grants are supported by a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Mellon Confounding Problems Student Research Grants 

These grants offer funds for students to conduct research in areas related to confounding problems. These funds may be used for travel with humanities and arts faculty to archives, museums, performance centers or field sites. They may also be used for any materials necessary for work at these sites. Each applicant must have a sponsoring faculty member whose primary field is in the arts or humanities. 

Award amount: Up to $2,500 per student award

Application deadline: Applications accepted on a rolling basis beginning in late September

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Mellon Confounding Problems Student Conference Travel Grants

These grants offer funds for students to travel to present research on the theme of confounding problems at conferences, either jointly with professors or independently. Each applicant must have a sponsoring faculty member whose primary field is in the arts or humanities (and who may also be eligible for travel funds). 

Award amount: Up to $2,000 per student award, with a potential $2,000 for an accompanying faculty member

Application deadline: Applications accepted on a rolling basis beginning in late September

Apply