Skip to Content

Mellon History Teaching Fellowships in Landscape Studies

Available to current faculty position holders in universities or other postsecondary educational institutions. Provide an opportunity to focus on landscape history pedagogy through the development of syllabi or course materials. Awards are for a semester or academic year. Apply by December 1.

The information below refers to our 2021–2022, award cycle which is now closed. We will provide updated information regarding programming in late spring.

Applicant FAQ

Garden and Landscape Studies at Dumbarton Oaks has received a major award from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation for an interdisciplinary program in urban landscape studies titled “Democracy and the Urban Landscape.”

Dumbarton Oaks, affiliated with the Harvard Faculty of Arts and Sciences, is one of the few institutions in the world with a program devoted to garden and landscape studies. The Mellon Fellowships are intended to expand significantly the opportunities offered by the institution to study the history and future of urban landscapes through the lenses of democracy, race, identity, and difference. To further this work Dumbarton Oaks is offering two categories of Fellowships: Urban Landscape Fellowships and History Teaching Fellowships. For both categories we seek candidates with a demonstrated capacity for cross-disciplinary scholarship and/or teaching. Preference will be given to candidates with final degrees such as a PhD or MLA. See here for a listing of former Mellon Fellows in Urban Landscape Studies and their projects.

History Teaching Fellowships in Landscape Studies applicants must currently hold a faculty position in a university or other secondary educational institution. These fellowships are meant as an opportunity to focus on landscape history pedagogy through the development of syllabi or course materials. They are designed to allow the fellows the time and library collections to support efforts to expand and enrich the content of landscape history courses and/or the inclusion of such materials in courses offered in the arts and humanities by offering narratives of the ways in which race, identity, and difference have been inscribed into urban landscapes. Projects might include designing a new course or developing new or alternative course materials focused on primary sources that explore questions of race, identity, and difference. Fellows would be encouraged to explore the civic and public landscapes of Washington DC as source materials and as a way of encouraging place-based teaching and learning.  Fellows might also engage digital tools as a means to engage alternative methods of research, scholarship, and teaching. All materials developed would be made available to scholars teaching landscape history by request.


Fellowships will be awarded for the academic year (September 13, 2021, to May 13, 2022) or for one term, either the fall term (September 13, 2020, to January 7, 2022), or spring term (January 24 to May 13, 2022). During this time, recipients are expected to be in residence at Dumbarton Oaks and to devote themselves full-time to their research projects without undertaking other major activities.

History Teaching Fellows will receive a stipend in the amount of $17,500 per semester; lunch on weekdays; and the health insurance contribution from Dumbarton Oaks. Fellows will also be offered a housing allowance (up to $3,000/month); successful applicants from the greater Washington metropolitan area will not be offered a housing allowance. Fellows may also be offered reimbursement for travel expenses directly associated with taking up the fellowship (lowest available economy airfare, rail travel, or mileage if less than the equivalent economy airfare), up to a maximum of $1,100 for domestic travel or $1,600 for international travel, if support cannot be obtained from other sources. Reimbursement of visa fees is provided for Fellows, but not for dependents. Dumbarton Oaks anticipates that sabbatical salary or funds from other sources may supplement awards. Fellows may hold other grants with the knowledge and permission of both the grantors and Dumbarton Oaks.


Field Research Fund

Additional travel funds, for travel up to one month, are available to Mellon Fellows to conduct field research directly related to the fellowship project before or after the period of the fellowship. Each fellow may request up to $5,000. A supplemental application is required, which should be uploaded, as a separate attachment, in section 8 of the online application. The request, which may be in narrative form, should explain the location, timing, and purpose of the proposed field research, the anticipated outcomes, the relation to the larger fellowship project, and the preparation and suitability of the applicant for the proposed research. Proposals should also include a preliminary budget and schedule of work. They will be evaluated on criteria including suitability and clarity of the research objectives, the relevance to the fellowship project, the feasibility of the budget and schedule, and the potential contribution to the field of urban landscape studies. 

Funding may be used only to cover direct costs for which original documentation must be submitted at the conclusion of the project. Examples of eligible expenses include transportation (excluding students), meals, housing, vehicle rental, workmen’s wages, and technical analysis (as part of the overall project). Grants are not normally made for the purchase of computers or other equipment, or to cover the salaries of the principal investigators. Funds can only be disbursed to individuals, not academic or other institutions, and only on a reimbursement basis upon submission of receipts. A single reimbursement will be made at the conclusion of all travel and after submission of a final report (due no later than June 10), which should include a brief narrative (up to 500 words) about the outcomes of the travel along with a final accounting.


For non-U.S. citizens, Dumbarton Oaks provides J-1 visas for the term of the Fellowship appointment, as part of our U.S. Department of State-designated Exchange Visitor Program. Please be advised that scholars who have been in the United States with J status within the past 12 months may not qualify for a Dumbarton Oaks J-1 visa unless they were in the United States for a total time of less than six months. These individuals and all other non-U.S. citizens are strongly urged to check their prospective visa status for the requested period of the Fellowship prior to submitting an application.

To Apply

Please read and follow the online instructions. Applications, to be written in English, must be submitted electronically by December 1. Three letters of recommendation are required for all applicants. Late applications will not be accepted. Awards are normally announced in March. An external committee of scholars and practitioners in related fields decide the awards. Individuals currently affiliated with Dumbarton Oaks are not eligible for the fellowship program. Please note that five years must elapse between the end of a Dumbarton Oaks Fellowship term and appointment to a Mellon Fellowship. Three years must elapse between the end of a Summer Fellowship term and appointment to a Mellon Fellowship.

Any questions related to the Mellon Fellowship Program or to the suitability of proposed fellowship applications should be directed to For questions about applications or visas, please contact the Manager of Academic Programs at


Image courtesy the Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division, fsa 8b21739.