Call for Proposals, 2017-18

Friday, May 5, 2017
by ashkuda

Funding Opportunities for Courses, Programs, and Research

The Princeton-Mellon Initiative is pleased to announce a newly expanded program for 2017-2020. Building on our previous theme, Cities of the Americas: Architecture, Society, Policy, and Culture, the next phase of the program will incorporate a comparative study of urbanism and architecture along South-North, East-West, and South-South lines. We will also have an increased emphasis on the porous boundaries between built and natural environments. This comparative frame will enrich our understanding of how designers and societies respond to changing environmental conditions, in the past, present, and future.

As we begin our second three-year grant period, the Princeton Mellon-Initiative is excited to announce collaborative opportunities for Princeton students and faculty:

Course Support

The Princeton-Mellon Initiative supports interdisciplinary courses on the built environment and/or on intersections between urban and natural landscapes as they pertain to cities. We encourage pedagogy that foregrounds the development of visual and environmental literacy, including the analysis of artifacts and data, as well as close analyses of materials including historical sources, architecture, or literature. Mellon courses emphasize interdisciplinary work and often culminate in tangible, collaborative projects that forward our understanding of urban phenomena. Concrete outputs may include exhibitions, design proposals, films, policy reports, urban critiques, creative writing projects, performed theater/arts productions, digital or web-based platforms, conferences or workshops, and more.

In particular, we seek to support courses to be taught jointly by faculty from diverse departments and schools within the university. Four types of support are available:

  • New Courses: The Princeton-Mellon Initiative welcomes proposals for new courses, either fully developed or in formation. Our program staff can assist with matching faculty with team teaching partners and in developing courses that fit the themes of the initiative.
  • Team Teaching Opportunities: We welcome interest from faculty interested in team-teaching existing sponsored courses, including URB 300 (Urban Studies Research Seminar, with Aaron Shkuda).
  • Course Development Awards: Awards of up to $7,500 per faculty member are available in order to support the development of new interdisciplinary courses on urban studies, architecture, and the natural and/or built environment. Ideally, these courses should combine interdisciplinary, inquiry-driven teaching in the humanities with concrete, project-based outcomes.
  • Travel/Enhancement Support: Grants of up to $5,000 are available to support course travel and other enhancements (including but not limited to guest speakers, exhibitions, skill-building workshops, curated walking tours, etc.)

To submit a proposal:

  • For a new course please send a generally developed course proposal of 1-2 pages, including names of teaching faculty, and a description of the topic areas and course structure, with particular attention to the way in which the proposal makes innovative use of studio teaching or collaborative models.
  • For a course enhancement please email provide a one-page description of the program, a detailed budget, and additional sources of funding
  • To express general interest in team teaching next year or beyond please email Aaron Shkuda
  • All emails should be sent to

Course proposals will be accepted on a rolling basis
Deadline for course enhancements is September 22, 2017 (Second Week of Fall)


Research Forum: The bi-weekly Princeton-Mellon Research Forum on the Urban Environment will continue to be at the core of the initiative. We welcome proposals from faculty and/or graduate students to develop a semester or yearlong series of dynamic conversations between invited guests and members of the Princeton community. For past themes, and programs, please visit

Forum facilitators are responsible for developing a theme, inviting guests and moderators, and working with speakers to create conversation formats. Princeton-Mellon staff book travel, catering, and handles other logistics. Forum organizers receive up to $3,000 support for their research.

Works in Progress Sessions: The Princeton-Mellon initiative holds periodic sessions in which faculty, fellows, and graduate students share works in development in an informal setting. We seek graduate students interested in organizing works in progress sessions for the 2017-18 academic year. Responsibilities include recruiting participants and organizing dates.

We can offer up to $2,000 research support to the organizers.

Other Events: As always, we welcome proposals for events from faculty and students. Please contact Aaron Shkuda ( with any ideas and/or proposals.

To submit a proposal:

  • To curate a Research Forum series please send a one-page proposal including theme, proposed speakers, length, and co-organizers (if applicable).
  • To lead the Works in Progress Series please send a one-page paragraph expression of interest and a current CV.

All applications should be sent to

Deadline for fall leadership applications is May 26, 2017
Event proposals will be accepted on a rolling basis

Research Support

The Princeton-Mellon Initiative is pleased to be able to provide grants of up to $2,500 to support research projects that address the city from collaborative and interdisciplinary perspectives. Funds can be used for travel, materials, or other relevant research expenses.

To submit a proposal: please send a one page description of the project and a separate statement of 1-2 paragraphs detailing how the project relates to the goals of the Princeton-Mellon Initiative in Architecture, Urbanism, and Humanities.

Deadline for fall applications is September 22, 2017
Deadline for spring applications February 16, 2018

Proposals or questions should be sent to Aaron Shkuda (