Academic Programs

Off-Campus Study

Scholars' Convocation

Visiting Faculty and Academic Speakers


Visiting Faculty and Academic Speakers Information


Academic Speakers- Request Form

Departments and concentrations may request up to $600 to fund academic speakers. These funds are accessed by filling out the request form (click on link above). We encourage departments and concentrations to collaborate and pool funds if they wish to bring in speakers requiring greater funding. Funds should be used to cover all costs of speakers including travel, meals, lodging, and honoraria.

Funding is available to support visits of recent alumni to give talks.


Alumni in the Classroom

The Alumni in the Classroom Program promotes alumni-student mentoring and provides the opportunity for faculty across disciplines to leverage alumni expertise in their classrooms. 

Faculty members may invite selected alumni to participate in course curricula.

The impact of these alumni partnerships is three-fold: 

·         Students develop a better understanding of the diverse contexts in which course content is valued and applied while learning how a liberal arts education prepares them for life after Grinnell;

·         Alumni have the opportunity to be welcomed back to campus while sharing their expertise with students;

·         Faculty members further enhance their connections with former students while gaining insight into how discipline-specific concepts and skills have enriched the personal and professional lives of our alumni.

The Alumni in the Classroom Program provides your guest’s travel, accommodations, and meals. Additional funds are available for approved events and meals with students and/or faculty.

The program coordinator will also assist with developing a proposal, planning a visit, and arranging other logistics. Funding will not exceed $2,000.00 per application.

Additional guests may be possible, if the budget allows. If you do not have alumni guests in mind, the alumni relations team can also provide assistance with identifying appropriate alumni for your classroom needs. Funding is limited only by a need for cross-divisional representation and the program’s annual budget.

Resources are limited and proposals will be considered on a first-come, first-served basis.

For more information, contact Angela Winburn at winburn[at]grinnell[dot]edu or by calling x9888.



Alumni Scholars Program

The Alumni Scholar Program is offered as funding allows. Alumni Scholars will be invited to the College to present their scholarship, to renew acquaintances with faculty, and to meet current students. Past nominations have been received from departments, concentrations, and other faculty groups.

Alumni Scholars should be persons of promise who have graduated from the College within the past 8-10 years and who have their graduate degrees in hand, or very nearly so. "Scholarship" can be defined rather broadly to include not just academic disciplines represented at Grinnell, but also fields such as law, engineering, performing arts, and librarianship.

A visit usually lasts two days and includes a public presentation by the scholar and one or more less formal meetings with students interested in learning about the Scholar's own path from Grinnell to the Scholar's present field of work or perhaps to discuss graduate programs. The Alumni Scholars fund covers the cost of these visits: an honorarium of $250, reasonable travel costs, and meals. Past visits have cost about $1,000 each.

If you have a nomination for an alumni scholar, please consult with your department or concentration first, and then contact Royce via email at wolf[at]math.grinnell[dot]edu. The short nomination statement should include the name of the alum, year graduated, what the alum has done after graduation, what the alum would do while on campus, and the approximate date of the visit.

Nominations will be reviewed as they are received in order to give sponsors flexibility for planning. However, visits should be proposed no later than the end of the third full week of classes in the spring.



Mellon Postdoctoral Fellows Program

The Mellon Postdoctoral Fellows program is supported by an endowment from Grinnell College and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation for fellowships in the humanities and humanistic social sciences.

Mellon Fellows are appointed for two years and teach two courses per year. Each Postdoctoral Fellow establishes a close, collaborative mentoring relationship with one faculty member. The courses taught must include at least one course each year that is regularly offered in the College curriculum. The other course can extend Grinnell's curriculum into new areas. The fellow's two courses in the second year may be used either to enable a course release for various purposes (MAP release, partial replacement of a faculty leave), to provide an opportunity for interdisciplinary teaching, or to otherwise expand the departmental offerings. The program is designed to benefit the Fellow through development of teaching skills and the opportunity to experience an educational environment that prizes excellence in undergraduate education, as well as providing time for Fellows to advance scholarly efforts and share those with students and faculty. The program correspondingly benefits departments by allowing a small increase in the number of course offerings and the opportunity to bring in contemporary perspectives from a recent Ph.D.

Intensive mentoring of the Postdoctoral Fellow is essential to a successful experience for the department and the Fellow. Normally a course release is accorded to the faculty mentor during the first year; this implies a commitment to mentoring of at least several hours each week. Team teaching of an existing course is an excellent way to inform this mentoring, and so Executive Council will give preference to strong proposals that include an experienced faculty member team teaching with the fellow, typically a course already in the curriculum. Both the faculty member and the fellow will receive a full course credit toward their teaching load for that class.

In most cases, the Fellow will also allow extra flexibility for departments. Department proposals should include the departmental needs that would be met by having a Postdoctoral Fellow (partial leave replacement, MAP course credit, enabling interdisciplinary teaching by existing faculty, etc.). To the extent possible, the department should identify the courses to be taught by the Postdoctoral Fellow. Finally, a formal description (ad copy) of the proposed position should be included ( under the Department Chair Resources section in the Position Templates Description Drawer). Please note that the Mellon Foundation stipulates that Postdoctoral Fellows must not be more than three years beyond receipt of the Ph.D.

The Mellon Postdoctoral Fellows Program may not be offered every year. When the Program allows, a call for proposals will be sent to department and concentration chairs in early fall.

Proposals are limited to two pages and are due in the Dean's Office by the first Friday in October. The Executive Council will consider these proposals at its subsequent meeting, rank them, and recommend whether to initiate a search in the area that has submitted the top-ranked proposal. If a search is approved, the College can begin shortly thereafter to advertise the Fellowship. Please feel welcome to contact the Associate Deans' or Grants office with any questions about this program.