College of Humanities

Mellon Early Career Scholars Programme 2022

Call for Applications 2022

(Closing date: Friday, 29 October 2021)


The College of Humanities at UKZN is committed to nurturing new generations of South African/African scholars in order to strengthen research, teaching and community engagement and build the intellectual leadership that is indispensable for democracy and development. The College of Humanities successfully applied for and received an award from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation for a Humanities Early Career Scholars Programme.

The five-year grant will support UKZN Humanities early career scholars by providing them the opportunities to conduct research, supervise postgraduate students, undertake post-doctoral studies, attend conferences, and enhance their research, writing and supervision expertise as part of developing their academic careers.

The Fellowship

Successful applicants will be supported in the following ways:

  • Award of an Early Career Research Fellowship that will provide teaching relief for one semester through funding for replacement teaching costs. Replacement costs will be as per official UKZN rates.
  • Award of an Early Career Research Grant to undertake writing and publication.
  • Early Career Development Activities related to writing and publishing and supervising higher degrees candidates.
  • Support to attend conferences in order to present their work and establish scholarly and publishing networks.
  • Early Career Postdoctoral Fellowships. Beyond the six-month Research Fellowship, it could be necessary to provide postdoctoral opportunities to select staff with PhD’s to undertake research and writing for a longer duration or for the purposes of working on a monograph.
  • Student Scholarships. In order to facilitate staff development and progression, competitively recruited Masters and/or Doctoral students will be attached to the Early Career Research Fellows.
  • Provision of mentors who will support the successful applicant to build their academic careers and to navigate the university terrain.


The Mellon Humanities early career scholars award is targeted at academics in the Humanities and Humanistic Social Sciences who are black South Africans, employed on a full time, permanent basis), possess a PhD, received their PhD’s less than 10 years ago and have an emerging and/or sustained track record of publishing.  

To be eligible, applicants must:

  • Be black South African citizens.
  • Be born ideally after the 1st of January 1981 or after 1 January 1976.
  • Be employed on a full time, permanent basis at UKZN.
  • Have received their PhD’s less than 10 years ago.
  • Possess a doctoral degree from any recognised higher education institution awarded after the 1 January 2011.
  • Have an emerging and/or sustained track record of publishing.  

In selecting applicants, consideration will be given to gender representation, diversity of disciplines and participation in previous or current research projects.

Unfortunately, given the mission of the donor, scholars working in basic education, law, economics, criminology, development studies, quantitative political science are not eligible. 


  • Application deadline: 31 October 2021
  • Selection:  by 30 November 2021


Please address any enquiries to:

Prof. Saleem Badat, Research Professor, College of Humanities

Email: or

Tel: 078 771 1989

Applications (see the accompanying Application Form)

Applications should be sent to Ms. Nokuphiwa Mbhele, Committee Officer, College of Humanities: