Current Institutional Grants

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation is a vital partner in education with Grinnell College. The College's active grants from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation include the following:

Digital Bridges for Humanistic Inquiry - A creative collaboration between Grinnell College and the University of Iowa

Grinnell College and the University of Iowa share a $1.6 million grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to develop humanities-centered collaborations to expand the use of digital technology. This four-year project, launched in January 2015, supports collaboration between faculty, postdocs, graduate students, library faculty and staff, and information technology staff at both institutions.

Opportunities available through this grant include one-semester leaves for Grinnell faculty to conduct projects in the digital liberal arts while in residence at the University of Iowa's Obermann Center, funding for collaborations between Grinnell and UI faculty on digital projects, and funds for curricular innovation and faculty-student research. At Grinnell, the grant is overseen by Erik Simpson, Professor of English, and David Lopatto, Professor of Psychology and director of the Center for Teaching, Learning, and Assessment. More information on the Digital Bridges grant can be found on the Iowa Digital Bridges website.

Mellon-Mays Undergraduate Fellowships

Grinnell College is proud to be a Mellon-Mays Undergraduate Fellowship Institution. The primary goal of this program is to increase the number of minorities in faculty positions in higher education. The program serves to mentor and support student-fellows during their undergraduate education, preparing them for success as they continue into graduate school. Shanna Benjamin, associate professor of English and a former Mellon-Mays Undergraduate Fellow, directs Grinnell's MMUF program.

Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowships

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. Fellows are appointed for two years and teach two courses per year while receiving mentorship from a tenured faculty member and furthering their own research. Grinnell's previous Mellon Postdoctoral Fellows have gone on to tenure-track positions in liberal arts colleges and research institutions across the country. Departments interested in applying to host a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow can find further information on the Academic Affairs webpage.

Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI)

The Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) has significantly funded research and initiatives to increase students' development, persistence, and success in STEM fields of study at Grinnell. A series of HHMI grants have enabled us to improve our existing science curricula, add new programs in biological chemistry and neuroscience, provide authentic research experiences for students, and bolster our efforts to ensure that students from all backgrounds have the chance to excel in the sciences.

Grinnell's current $1 million Capstone award from HHMI, launched in 2012, focuses on the challenges facing second-year students, who often begin to question their commitment and "fit" in the scientific community. The grant will allow the College to provide a supportive context for second-year students, including a retreat, efforts to connect students to on-campus and national communities of scientists, and jobs for students that help them engage with faculty and senior students. The grant also supports curricular reform to increase the success of all students in intermediate-level science courses. 

Arthur Vining Davis Foundations

The Arthur Vining Davis Foundations have generously supported a number of initiatives at Grinnell, including the construction of teaching labs for inquiry-driven biology classes, an upgrade of the MathLAN, and a series of academic building renovations. Currently, a 2013 grant from the Foundations supports the strengthening and expansion of Grinnell's peer mentoring programs. These funds are being used for evaluating and growing existing programs, refining mentor selection and training, providing faculty and staff workshops, and the development of a peer mentoring space on the first floor of Burling Library. Funds have been used to encourage and foster sharing of information about peer mentoring among colleges and universities. The Arthur Vining Davis Foundations Peer Mentoring grant is administered by David Lopatto, professor of psychology and director of the Center for Teaching, Learning, and Assessment. 

Roy J. Carver Charitable Trust

Grinnell College received a grant from the Roy J. Carver Charitable Trust for the project, "Developing an Inquiry-Led Data Science Curriculum in the Digital Liberal Arts," to build a comprehensive curriculum in data science. Funds from the grant will allow faculty from multiple disciplines to develop new gateway and capstone courses in data science, while enriching data science content in existing courses across the sciences, social sciences, and humanities. Shonda Kuiper, professor of mathematics and statistics, is leading the project. 

The Teagle Foundation

A 2015 grant from the Teagle Foundation of New York is supporting a collaboration between Grinnell College, Albion College, DePauw University, Hope College, Lawrence University, and Wabash College (the Midwest Hybrid Learning Consortium). This project, "Hybrid Liberal Arts Network: High Touch Learning," provides collaboration and the creation of a program of hybrid courses to be shared within the network. Hybrid learning blends traditional strengths of member schools in high-quality engagement among students and professors in a diverse, immersive, and focused environment with the benefits of virtual, online communities. The grant provides support for pairs of faculty at MHLC institutions to work in pairs to develop linked hybrid courses, which could involve shared online modules, opportunities for each partner to share their specific expertise with students on both campuses, or other modes of hybridization that are appropriate for the course. This grant is administered by David Lopatto, professor of psychology and director of the Center for Teaching, Learning, and Assessment.

U.S. Department of Education - Fund for the Improvement of Post-Secondary Education

Bryn Mawr College and twelve partner institutions, including Grinnell College, are working toward strengthening students' mathematics skills to increase their persistence to complete a STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) degree by providing just-in-time, blended supplemental instruction in mathematics for students who struggle in gateway STEM courses. While all students will benefit from this project, the goal is to improve STEM degree completion by underrepresented, underprepared, and low-income students. The grant will support Grinnell faculty in developing programs tailored for Grinnell students' needs. Mark Schneider, professor of physics, is the local project coordinator of this grant at Grinnell College.


The Grinnell AmeriCorps Partnership is an extensive collaboration of local partners that will advance the community-wide Campaign for Grade Level Reading project and support for the Graduate Skills Gap initiative. Fourteen AmeriCorps members will be placed in local organizations to work on five key areas of the national Campaign for Grade Level Reading. These include preventing summer learning loss, prevention of chronic school absence, ensuring children are ready for school, healthy students, and encouraging greater parent engagement. Members will also provide infrastructure to community and volunteer engagement to advance early childhood literacy and assist with the community's Graduate Skills Gap pilot programming to provide the 'soft skills' of job readiness that employers seek in high school graduates. This project is led by Monica Chavez-Silva, director, and Melissa Strovers, program and communication manager of Grinnell College's Office of Community Enhancement and Engagement. For more information, go to the Grinnell AmeriCorps Partnership webpage.