IUPLR/UIC Mellon Fellows Program

Fellows posing together for a photo
Inter-University Program for Latino Research and the University of Illinois-Chicago
Academic Level
Issue Area
Support Services
Key Personnel
Program Focus


The IUPLR/UIC Mellon is a Ph.D. dissertation completion fellowship that mentors, supports, and professionalizes an annual national cohort of humanities-based doctoral candidates specializing in Latino Studies. Its mission is to strengthen the field of Latino Studies by building a growing network of early- career academics, researchers, and professionals.

Program Description

The IUPLR/UIC Mellon Fellows Program began as an initiative to increase the number of Latino scholars and advance dissertations and research in Latino Studies. Through a multi-faceted approach, the program has accelerated fellows’ time to degree completion, prepared them professionally, expanded their networks, and equipped them with long-term research and writing strategies.

The program is organized around four guiding practices: 1) financial support; 2) creating a supportive environment through mentoring, cohorts, and structure; 3) writing support; and 4) professionalization. In addition to the monetary award, cohorts benefit from a supportive network of staff, mentors, and alumni. The writing program offers the structure, accountability, and encouragement needed to become more confident and productive writers who can balance the demands of an academic career. We prepare the fellows for the job market through a series of workshops and ongoing consulting through the job market season.


  • In all cases, the program shortened the time to degree by helping doctoral candidates maintain a dissertation writing schedule.
  • As of 2021, 95% of our alumni have graduated with their PhDs; the remaining two doctoral candidates are set to defend their dissertations this year.
  • As of 2021, we have a 0% attrition rate which we attribute in large part to their participation in the program.
  • Approximately 77% of fellows have full-time work, which is significantly higher than the 59% average. The most recent cohort (not in these calculations) has already received two tenure-track offers.

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