Africana Studies Undergraduate Fellowship

The Africana Studies Program is excited to announce the creation of several undergraduate fellowships designed to prepare juniors and seniors for experiences in the academy beyond their undergraduate careers. By providing hands-on experience and effective and sustained one-on-one mentorship, the Africana Studies Undergraduate Fellowship program is designed to address pipeline issues by supporting promising undergraduates from underrepresented backgrounds with interests in academic careers along the trajectory from college through the PhD (or for those with an interest in the creative and performing arts the MFA).

Undergraduate fellows will be paired with faculty mentors whose research interests align with their own. During the course of the fellowship, undergraduate fellows will receive a $2,500 stipend (fall/spring) to work as research assistants for their faculty mentors. Meanwhile, faculty mentors commit to providing personal mentorship. For example, they might create opportunities their undergraduate fellow to observe interviews with the subject’s permission, to attend a professional talk or conference, to provide assistance during a research trip, or to meet colleagues from other universities, etc. In other words, this is a reciprocal relationship in which mentors are expected to create opportunities for their undergraduate fellows.

During the course of the fellowship, the faculty mentor and the fellow will also complete a writing intensive or independent study together with the objective of producing a polished piece of writing (or the equivalent) that can be used as a sample for graduate school applications. Mentors are also expected to provide advising about selecting graduate programs appropriate for their undergraduate fellow's research interests and in putting together a competitive application package.

While mentors will provide one-on-one advising to their individual mentees, the Africana Studies Program will cultivate relationships among the undergraduate fellows as a cohort through informal events and formal such as dinners for all the undergraduate fellows and their mentors, research funding and graduate school application workshops, and works-in-progress talks for student research projects.

We encourage applicants from any discipline whose research interests connect to Africana Studies. We welcome applications from students who have already connected with a faculty member with whom they would like to work and from those who are interested but would need to be paired with a faculty member. All students are welcome to apply although applications from African American, Latino/a/x, Native American, and other underrepresented minorities are especially encouraged and preference is given to Africana Studies majors and minors.

Fellowship Highlights:

  • $2,500 stipend in exchange for serving as a research assistant to your faculty mentor for the academic year, fall and spring
  • Unique opportunities created for you by your faculty mentor; for example, attending conferences or talks, providing assistance during research trips, introductions to colleagues with shared research institutions at other institutions, etc.
  • Independent study or writing intensive supervised by your faculty mentor to help produce a polished writing sample (or equivalent) for graduate school applications
  • One-on-one guidance about graduate school selection and application preparation

Fellowship Requirements:

  • Demonstrated interest in Africana Studies (such as having taken multiple courses that count for Africana Studies Program credit). Preference will be given to Africana Studies majors and minors.
  • A minimum 2.7 cumulative GPA.
  • Name an email of a faculty reference, preferably an Africana Studies faculty member or someone who has taught you/supervised your research on Africana Studies material. No formal letters are required, but we may contact your referee for an informal recommendation.
  • Optional writing sample.
  • This year's application is open to current sophomores and juniors (i.e. rising juniors and seniors) with the expectation that rising juniors will continue to be involved with the program in their senior year. Rising seniors will be expected to complete their independent study/writing intensive in fall 2022 or seek Africana Studies Director approval for an exception to this rule.
  • Be in good standing with the University Office of Student Conduct.
  • Once selected, you must attend an onboarding/orientation meeting.

Africana Studies Undergraduate Fellowship Application

Africana Studies Faculty

Visit our Faculty page to see who is teaching and who you could connect with on pursuing a fellowship with.

Have a question or need any help regarding any of our programs? Contact us Africana Studies at