Mellon Foundation Awards $2 Million to Brown University

Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island, has announced a $2 million grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation in support of a new six-year program that will enable Ph.D. students to pursue a master's degree in a secondary field while completing their doctoral studies.

Initially available to graduate students from any humanities or humanistic social science department, the program will provide twenty-four participants with a sixth year of full financial support and health insurance while they complete their degrees. As part of a larger Open Graduate program that will have an inaugural cohort of forty-eight students, the initiative will give doctoral students the opportunity to pursue a master's degree in a different discipline and enable other doctoral students to pursue a master's degree in a humanities or humanistic social science field.

While graduate students at Brown already have the latitude to pursue interdisciplinary studies, Graduate School dean Peter Weber says the initiative will broaden students' education, help prepare them for the demands of the current job market, and catalyze new interdisciplinary pursuits. The first cohort will be selected in time for the start of the 2012-13 academic year.

"We envision an institutional transformation where a large number of students engage in multidisciplinary intellectual discourse, imparting Brown's uniquely open education onto our graduate students," said Weber. "We hope this new approach will establish a distinctive identity for Brown at the graduate level and attract exceptionally able and innovative students who seek an alternative to the more bounded forms of doctoral training."

"Graduate School to Launch 'Open Graduate Programs' With $2M Mellon Grant." Brown University Press Release 10/05/2011.