Mellon Scholarly Careers Initiative (MSCI)

The University of Chicago was recently awarded a $3 million, 5-year grant beginning in 2019 from the Mellon Foundation for an initiative intended to extend the range and influence of PhD education in humanities and humanistic social sciences. The Mellon Scholarly Careers Initiative (MSCI) was conceived collaboratively by deans and faculty from the Humanities Division, Social Sciences Division, and Divinity School to include the following pillars:

  • Curricular Development – develop courses led by experts/professionals that teach professional skills beside those of specialized disciplines including public media; data literacy, visualization, and design; teaching and pedagogy; administrative, management, and leadership; editorial skills; and curatorial skills
  • Hands-on Professional Experience – provide opportunities for students to gain professional experience related to their research through paid internships and treks to explore diverse career trajectories
  • Postdoctoral Fellowships – partner with organizations inside and outside of the university on postdoctoral fellowships that would include both administrative and experience and teaching responsibilities

MSCI will overseen by an advisory board of faculty from the humanities and social sciences divisions, led by the grant’s co-principal investigators David Nirenberg, Dean of the Divinity School and the Deborah R. and Edgar D. Jannotta Distinguished Service Professor of Medieval History and Social Thought and and Jason Merchant, Vice Provost and the Lorna Puttkammer Straus Professor in Linguistics and the College. For questions about the grant, please contact Celeste Cruz-Carandang.

MSCI will also complement and further professionalization initiatives provided through UChicagoGRAD, an office recognized as an innovative national model for preparing graduate students and postdocs for success in academia, industry, nonprofit, and government.