Meliora Global Scholars Grants

Meliora Global Scholars grants are intended to promote international and primary research within graduate programs in the humanities at the University of Rochester. It has never been more important to think about the interconnected nature of our world, from climate and natural resources to trade and intellectual exchange, in the past as in the present. So too is it a crucial moment to stress the importance of primary and unpublished source material, elements of scholarly research that are the foundation of building new knowledge and promoting epistemic fidelity in the humanities. Graduate students are encouraged to apply for outside fellowships to this end. Nevertheless, these grants remain rare and highly competitive, particularly for short term research tasks. The Meliora Global Scholars Grant program is intended to fill this gap and to furnish accomplished graduate students with the opportunity to travel for in-situ primary and field research in a foreign country to expand their research horizons and provide crucial research support.


Applicants must be enrolled in one of the four doctoral programs in the humanities on River Campus: English, History, Philosophy and Visual and Cultural Studies and must have completed coursework by the time of proposed travel. Applicants must demonstrate reading competency in at least one relevant foreign language by way of a language examination provided by a qualified examiner (a UR faculty member or a faculty member fluent in the language in question at another research university). Applicants do not need to be ABD and applicants who have not begun writing their dissertations will be given preference. Applicants working in non-European languages are especially encouraged to apply.

Application Requirements

Applications are due Monday, October 2, 2023. Applications should be sent as a single PDF file by email to A successful application will include:

  • A Curriculum Vitae
  • A Short Research Prospectus (no longer than 750 words) outlining:
    • A description of the nature of the research to be conducted.
    • The methodology/methodologies to be employed.
    • For primary research: the name of the repositories to be consulted and a description of the relevant holdings.
    • A schedule of the research activities (no less than one month, no more than three).
  • A budget outlining all expenses including transportation, accommodations, a per diem for food, reproduction costs, and other relevant research expenses. Budgets should exhibit every best effort to minimize expenses and be appropriate to the strength of the local currency. Only applications within the range of $3,000 and $8,000 will be considered.
  • Language examination results. The language examination shall consist of a translation of an approximately 500-word passage in the relevant language to be chosen by the examiner. The student shall have two hours to complete the exam supervised. The student may bring a dictionary and a grammar guide to the exam, if desired, but may not bring any devices capable of an internet connection. The examiner shall assess the quality of the translation while also confirming that these testing conditions were met in a letter sent directly to
  • A letter of support from the applicant’s advisor or a faculty member familiar with the student’s work. This should be sent directly by the recommender to

Application Review

Applications will be reviewed by a committee formed by the director of the Humanities Center. Applicants should expect to hear results by Monday, October 16.


Successful applicants will receive grants in one lump sum and will be expected to present their findings in person at the the Work-In-Progress seminar of the Humanities Center shortly after their return to Rochester. All funds must be spent & processed by June 30, 2024. No other reporting will be required.