The Mellon Humanities Collaboratory provides an opportunity for emerging humanities students from community colleges across the country to participate in an intensive and innovative summer research experience through the Mellon Humanities for All program. Students design and develop research projects in the subject areas of:

  • History
  • History of Art
  • History of Science or Medicine
  • English
  • Media Studies
  • Modern Languages and Literatures
  • Philosophy
  • Classics
  • Religious Studies
  • Humanities tracks within interdisciplinary programs (e.g., East Asian Studies, American Studies, Gender Studies, etc.)

The Humanities Collaboratory was a pioneering pedagogical design created in 2017 with funding from the Mellon Foundation, the Leadership Alliance, and the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences. It innovates a highly scalable, student-centered approach to guiding independent research through peer modeling, moving beyond the one-to-one student/mentor model to develop undergraduates as subject experts.

With this model, the Collaboratory brings together students from different branches of humanities scholarship to work together constructively while pursuing individual research projects.

URSCA is hosting a series of virtual info sessions on the Humanities Collaboratory and our related summer program, PATHS. Please see our events calendar for more information and to register.


The Collaboratory requires an in-person residential commitment for 10 weeks, typically from late May through early August. Participants receive a competitive summer stipend of $6,000 plus round-trip travel to Baltimore, and are housed near the Johns Hopkins campus, in community with other summer researchers.

In addition to research, Collaboratory scholars participate in professional development workshops and community-building activities hosted by URSCA. They also present their work at the annual Hopkins Summer Research Symposium and/or at the Leadership Alliance National Symposium at the end of the summer.


  • Available in person for the entire duration of the program (typically late May through early August) 
  • U.S. citizen or U.S. permanent resident 
  • Undergraduate enrolled in a community college in the United States, Puerto Rico, or other U.S. territory and/or participant in the Leadership Alliance FYRE program
  • Majoring in a humanities discipline, or with a humanities focus in an interdisciplinary program or general studies track 
  • An interest in pursuing a Ph.D. 


Applications for the 2024 program are due on December 4, 2023.

The application consists of the following:

  • Personal information and educational data (current institution, major, GPA, etc.)
  • CV
  • Personal statement (1,000-word essay addressing why you are interested in the Humanities Collaboratory and how humanities research intersects with your future plans. Include anything else you feel has not been captured elsewhere in the application but is essential to our evaluation)
  • Writing sample (no longer than 10 pages; from a class that you feel best demonstrates your abilities as a scholar)
  • One letter of recommendation

Stories from the Collaboratory

Many of the Humanities Collaboratory participants are in the midst of mapping out their futures, and for them, the summer is a turning point. Read their stories to learn more about their unique research projects, what they learned during the 10 weeks, and what they plan to do next.

Videos from the Collaboratory

An Inside Look at the Humanities Collaboratory

Listen as students share the experiences, skills, and knowledge they’ve gained from the Humanities Collaboratory.