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Andrew W. Mellon Grant

Application is currently open for summer projects. Deadline is MAy 3 at noon. apply here! 

In 1979 and 1983, the Trustees of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation gave grants to Dartmouth College to support student-initiated undergraduate research experiences in various fields relating to environmental and natural resource topics. We are fortunate that the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation appreciates the value of these experiences and has seen fit to support these opportunities in a unique way.

The fund underwrites student-initiated research projects rather than internships. Projects will not be given academic credit but may be related to an independent study, research project or senior thesis pending arrangement with the appropriate academic department. The committee expects students to have a faculty or staff advisor for each project and to submit a well-written documented report at the conclusion of the work.

Mellon Grants provide for room and board, travel, equipment and other project-related expenses. Costs for outside laboratory analysis and payment for work done by hired technicians or assistants will not be covered by this grant. Students may apply simultaneously for undergraduate grants available through other College centers. Students are also encouraged to work with the Financial Aid Office for assistance with planning for leave-term expenses.

Grant recipients will receive 90% of the approved budget in advance. The final 10% will be given upon receipt of two copies of the final report.


Preparing a Proposal

Proposals which have the best chance of approval are those which directly relate to an environmental issue/problem (where human or natural disturbances have potential to seriously alter or degrade the existing environment). Priority may be given to those projects which contribute to the solution of such a problem.

Application Deadlines

Proposals are considered the term preceding the one during which funding is needed.

Submit your application by email to

Your application will be distributed to the Mellon Grant Committee members for their review. 

Application Review

The Grant Committee meets once each term to consider proposals for the following term. If the Committee has follow up questions on an application, they will meet with the student. 

Decisions will be announced within two weeks of the committee meeting.

Criteria for Reviewing Applications

In reviewing application, the committee will consider:

  1. How well the project is related to the purpose of the grant (a student-initiated study with a direct relationship to an environmental issue/problem/solution).
  2. Feasibilty of the project within the timeline and the budget proposed, the methodology given, as well as the student's academic preparation.
  3. Clarity of objectives for a proposal of this nature.
  4. Quality of the presentation.
  5. Facilities and resources needed and resources available.
  6. Nature of the final report which the applicant will prepare upon completing the project.

The Mellon Grant Committee

A committee to award these funds to appropriate and worthy projects was established by President Kemeny. Currently, it consists of:

  • Professor Douglas Bolger, Environmental Studies Program
  • Professor Francis Magilligan, Geography
  • Associate Professor Ryan Calsbeek, Biological Sciences
  • Assistant Professor Caitlin Pries, Biological Sciences
  • Professor William D. Leavitt, Earth Sciences Department
  • The President of the Dartmouth Outing Club
  • The Chair(s) of the Environmental Studies Division of the DOC
  • Director, Outdoor Programs Office


The final report is due within two weeks following the term in which the project was funded. If the project spans more than one term or is part of a larger project, a preliminary report is required at that time. The preliminary report should describe all progress to-date and emphasize the project's relevance to environmental issues.

A copy of the final report should be submitted to the Director of Outdoor Programs; the Director will circulate it to committee members.


Questions? Email

Last Updated: 4/19/24