Proposals sought for Mellon Foundaton’s Sawyer Seminars

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has invited the University of Wisconsin-Madison to submit proposals for one or two Sawyer Seminars. The Sawyer Seminars program provides support for comparative research on the historical and cultural sources of contemporary developments. The program aims to engage productive scholars in comparative inquiry. Each seminar normally meets for one year, and provides support for one postdoctoral fellow and for the dissertation research of two graduate students. The maximum grant award for each seminar is $175,000.

The principle criteria for the awards are: 1) the scholarly importance of the subject to be examined; 2) the central questions to be addressed; 3) the cases to be compared and the rationale for the comparisons selected; 4) the thematic “threads” that will run through the seminar; 5) the institution’s resources and suitability for the proposed seminar; and 6) the procedures used in selecting graduate and postdoctoral fellows.

Mellon will select approximately ten (10) Sawyer seminars by June 2010.

If you would like your proposal considered, please send your proposal information to Laurie Mayberry, 117 Bascom Hall, or via e-mail to The packet of information should contain the following materials:

1. A description of the proposed seminar, the theme, and a well-developed preliminary plan including the names and qualifications of the scholars who would ideally participate, and the procedures used to select the graduate and postdoctoral fellows. Limit the description to no more than eight pages.

2. The institution’s resources and suitability of the proposed seminar.

3. Budget.

4. A short version of the curriculum vitae (2 pages maximum) of the lead faculty initiator and, if appropriate, short versions of the curriculum vitas of the principal seminar organizers. In addition, provide a web link to the lead faculty’s full cv or provide this as an attachment.

Nomination materials are due in the Provost’s Office, 117 Bascom Hall, by January 4, 2010. A committee of senior faculty will review the proposals and select one or two to be forwarded to the Mellon Foundation.

Please see the attached document for further information. If you have any questions, please contact Laurie Mayberry at

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