Andrew W. Mellon Faculty Fellowships

RISD Museum invites interested faculty to apply for Andrew W. Mellon Faculty Fellowships. Two fellowships are available in this cycle, one in the Museum’s Department of Prints, Drawings and Photographs and another that works inter-departmentally (Ancient Art, Costume and Textiles, and Decorative Arts and Design). The Mellon Faculty Fellowships are designed to engage faculty members from across disciplines in research, teaching, and public engagement through the Museum’s collection. During the two-year appointment, the Andrew W. Mellon Faculty Fellow will be resident in a curatorial department, with the expectation of learning the collection and conducting research related to it and to their area of expertise.

During the fellowship period, the Faculty Fellow will lead a workshop for colleagues in order to share research methods and results, as well as pedagogical approaches to teaching and learning with and from objects. Upon completion of the appointment, the Fellow will also make a presentation to staff and faculty about this work. A report on the results of the fellowship is additionally required.

Full- and part-time faculty members with a demonstrated interest in teaching and learning with objects are eligible to apply. Mellon Faculty Fellows who are part of the full-time faculty are released from teaching one course per year; part-time faculty members will receive a stipend. Fellows are expected to be resident in the curatorial department for a set schedule during the academic year, as determined by the Fellow and department curator. Fellows will receive a stipend of $6,000 for the two-year appointment ($3,000 per year). A committee composed of members of the Deans’ Council and Museum staff will select one Faculty Fellow annually.

Research should enhance the Faculty Fellow’s work and teaching practices, as well as the educational mission of the curatorial department and the Museum overall. Fellows should engage audiences in the academic community and beyond, to both broaden and deepen access to the collections.

Prints, Drawings, and Photographs

Fellows will also collaborate with faculty to select objects for their class visits, present collection pieces to visiting classes, and, during the department’s Open Hours, facilitate learning by students, faculty members, and members of the visiting public. As Open Hours are Wednesdays and Fridays from 10:00 am until 12:30 pm, one of those mornings should be available for the Fellowship.

Americas Research Initiative

Fellows collaborate with Museum staff (curatorial, education, conservation, registration) on the Americas Research Initiative, a partnered research program at the Museum that supports the multiyear study of areas of the collection that have received little to no attention with a particular focus on Mesoamerican and Native North American art and design up to the beginning of the 20th century. The fellow’s research would focus on these areas in the Departments of Ancient Art, Costume and Textiles and Decorative Arts and Design.

Application Requirements

1) A statement of interest (approx. 1000 words) describing:

  • The qualifications and experiences that will enable you to participate in the mission of the selected department, including evidence of your interest in teaching and learning with and from objects;
  • How the Mellon Faculty Fellowship will support your work and teaching practice, and the kind of research you envision during the Fellowship period;
  • What you intend to offer to the curatorial department, the academic community and the public.

2) You must complete a copy of the ‘Grant Supported Release Time Application‘ form, which can be downloaded from the application page once you have started your application. You must meet with your Department Head and Dean to discuss the your application and so that the departmental teaching resources can be adjusted if your application is successful. Note: While, this form can be filled out digitally, it must be signed by hand by both your Department Head and Dean. It should then be scanned and uploaded with you application. Applications submitted without this form will not be considered complete.


Patricia Barbeito, Interim Dean of Faculty

To apply:

Please use the Academic Affairs grant portal, which can be found here:

Note: Faculty members no longer have to submit a Notification to Submit an Application and may apply directly using the link above.

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