The fundamental objective of the national Mellon Mays Undergraduate program (MMUF) is to increase the number of minority students, and others with a demonstrated commitment to eradicating racial disparities, who will pursue PhDs in core fields in the arts and sciences. The program aims to reduce the serious underrepresentation on the faculties of individuals from certain minority groups, as well as to address the attendant educational consequences of these disparities. The program serves the related goals of structuring campus environments so that they will be more conducive to improved racial and ethnic relations, and of providing role models for all youth. MMUF aims to achieve its mission by identifying and supporting students of great promise and helping them to become scholars of the highest distinction.
Bryn Mawr College has participated in the MMUF program since its inception in 1988. In any given year, there are ten MMUF students at the College: five seniors and five juniors. Each fellow is awarded a stipend during the academic year that is disbursed in regular monthly payments. This stipend is intended to facilitate opportunities to engage in research with a faculty mentor by alleviating or eliminating the need to engage in additional paid employment. In exchange for the stipend, the Mellon Foundation expects fellows to conduct research for several hours per week during the academic year.