$1.65M grant will provide "new level of interdisciplinarity"

Mellon Foundation grant will support the humanities

Dean Gregory Freeze

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has awarded the university a $1.65 million grant to support doctoral training in the humanities. The grant was received the same week as the ceremonial groundbreaking took place for the $22.5 million Mandel Center for the Humanities and the Mandel Humanities Quadrangle.

The grant will provide funding for doctoral students in their fifth or sixth year to complete their dissertations, thereby shortening the time to earn a degree—a major objective in doctoral programs. The grant also provides substantial support for dissertation research, providing critical supplements to doctoral fellowships to underwrite the additional costs of research and travel.

Additionally, in line with the Graduate School of Arts and Science’s commitment to promote interdisciplinarity, the grant supports two interdisciplinary seminars—one at the initial prospectus stage (when topics and methods are established) and a second capstone seminar that provides an interdisciplinary venue to critique chapters of dissertations in progress.

“We thank the Mellon Foundation for this generous grant, which will help Brandeis to train the next generation of scholars in the humanities,” said Adam Jaffe, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and the Fred C. Hecht Professor in Economics. “The grant will provide critical financial support for the students and raise the intellectual quality of their dissertations.”

“This grant will provide new funding for dissertation research, for advanced graduate students to complete their dissertations, and for a new level of interdisciplinarity in graduate education,” said Gregory Freeze, the dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences and the Victor and Gwendolyn Beinfield Professor of History.

The Mandel Center, made possible by a $22.5 million gift from the Cleveland-based Mandel Foundation (Jack; Joseph; Morton, P '73; and Trustee Barbara, P '73), is an effort to revitalize the study of liberal arts at Brandeis and other campuses around the country. The Mandel Quadrangle will physically link free-standing buildings located within the campus's humanities area. Construction is due to begin in spring 2009.

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