Skip to main content
Subscribe to E-news

Next Stop: The Professoriate

Mellon Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowships help prepare Ph.D. holders for faculty jobs.

Next Stop: The Professoriate

Daniela Bleichmar credits an Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship for smoothing her transition from graduate student to assistant professor at USC College.

The fellowship gave Bleichmar the opportunity to conduct research at the respected USC-Huntington Early Modern Studies Institute, while teaching part time in the College’s art history department.

Now an assistant professor of art history and of Spanish and Portuguese, Bleichmar was pleased to learn that another group of recent Ph.D. recipients selected from throughout the world will benefit from a new round of Mellon Foundation fellowships at the College.

The $872,000 grant will fund eight, two-year postdoctoral fellowships in the humanities and humanistic social sciences over five years. The fellowships will enable the young scholars to gain experience teaching, while doing original scholarly work at the College’s most distinguished centers and institutes.

In addition, the Mellon Foundation awarded a $650,000, three-year grant to the USC-Huntington Early Modern Studies Institute, which is headed by Peter Mancall, professor of history. That grant — the second the institute has received from the foundation — will enable the institute’s senior scholars to continue to focus on the defining features of the period from 1450 to 1850.

The two grants total more than $1.5 million.

“We are so excited that we got these grants,” said Hazel Breen, the College’s associate director of development, corporate and foundation relations. “It proves that the Mellon Foundation believes in our programs here at the College. And it’s a testament to Peter Mancall’s work that his Early Modern Studies grant was renewed. It’s a show of approval.”

The institutes receiving the postdoctoral fellowships include the College’s Project for Premodern Japan Studies and the Shoah Foundation Institute for Visual History and Education.

Bleichmar said the Mellon fellowships provide a tremendous boost to a young scholar’s career.

“For me, the fellowship was life-changing,” she said. “It was incredibly valuable. It’s a huge luxury for postdocs to get a chance to work on developing their teaching skills while also having more time for their own research and publications. It makes an enormous difference.”