Creative Scholars Program

Mellon-Fronteridades Creative Scholars

The Mellon-Fronteridades Creative Scholars program seeks to expand border interdisciplinary scholarship and engagement with Arizona-Sonora border communities through the lens of the humanities, arts, and humanistic social sciences. This program supports the overarching goal of Fronteridades to address the gap in knowledge between the lived experience of the border and how the border is perceived by those without such personal experience. This program provides funding for students, postdoctoral scholars, professionals, artists, and local community members passionate about enriching understanding of the US-Mexico borderlands through community-based art or social justice projects (Cohort 1) or community-engaged research projects (Cohort 2).

Cohort 1 (application due Nov 29, 2019) will consist of three creative scholars based in the arts and community engagement, completing an arts- or community-based project between January-July 2020 (with optional 3-month extension). 

Click here for full Cohort 1 program details (PDF).

Click here to begin your application for Cohort 1.

Cohort 2 (request for proposals TBA Spring 2020) will consist of three creative scholars based in academic engagement, completing a research-based or scholarly project from August 2020 - April 2021.

Questions? See the FAQ below, or contact Program Coordinator Leona Davis at or 621-0599.


Mellon-Fronteridades Creative Scholars FAQs:

Any individual may apply, including students and staff at the University of Arizona, as well as those not affiliated with the University of Arizona. Qualified candidates must be eligible to work in the United States.

*Please note that UA students only will receive compensation through their UA Bursars account, and funds are applied to any outstanding account balance first.

Artists, community advocates, and those proposing an arts- and community-based project are encouraged to apply for Cohort 1. (Applications due Nov 29, 2019)

Students and academics interested in applying research-based or scholarly methods, including conducting a scholarly project in partnership with a community-based organization or community group, are encouraged to apply for Cohort 2. (Call for proposals TBA Spring 2020)

Still not sure? Ask the Confluencenter

Cohort 1 fellows will complete their projects from January 2020 - July 2020, with an optional three month extension. Cohort 2 fellows will complete their projects from August 2020 - April 2021.

Applications Open - September 30, 2019

Applications Close – Friday, Nov 29 at 12 midnight MST, 2019

Finalists Selected – December 13, 2019

Cohort 1 Begins – January 16, 2020

Proposed projects should culminate in at least one discernible outcome that benefits an Arizona-Sonora border community and promotes a unique public narrative of border life, and an associated final project report. Creative scholars will be expected to participate in other Confluencenter border-related activities throughout their appointment, potentially including curriculum development for the UA Border Lab initiative, and/or presentations at UA events.

Compensation - $18,600 is distributed over the project period. An additional $1,000 is awarded at the end of the term upon successfully completing the proposed project and submitting a final report. Please note these payments are considered taxable income.

Project funds- Up to $7,000 is available for approved project-related expenses.

Travel funds – Up to $3,500 is available for approved project-related travel.

Equipment – A camera, portable projector, and laptop will be available for project-related purposes. Confluencenter staff are committed to assisting with other equipment needs whenever possible.

Work/meeting space – Office space can be provided as needed for the project term.

Applications must be submitted via the online portal by Nov 29th at 12:00 am MST. Only complete applications submitted by the deadline will be considered. Email submissions will not be considered.

1. Cover letter (suggested length: 3 pages, 12 pt font, double spaced) describing:

a) The proposed project and its objectives, 

b) The community and community issue/need(s) the proposed project addresses, 

c) The artistic and community-based methods applicant plans to use to carry out the proposed project, 

d) How this project builds on previous experience as an artist or community advocate,

e) Other personnel, partnering organizations or groups that will be involved in the project,

f) Project plan including budget and timeline for completion.

2. Statement of community ethics (suggested length: 1-2 pages, 12 pt font, double-spaced) What is your approach and philosophy to working in community?

3. Resume
4. Three letters of recommendation (Must include letters from project partner organizations/groups, if applicable)
5. A sample of past work  

Applications will be evaluated by a selection committee composed of UA faculty and CCI staff.

*Neither CCI nor the selection committee discriminates on the basis of age, gender, race, ethnicity, physical disability, marital status, sexual orientation, religion, citizenship or immigration status, or political affiliation.

The committee will assess applications with reference to the following criteria:

  1. Clarity of vision and prospects for completion within the timeframe of the fellowship
  2. Prior experience, background, and/or capability of carrying out proposed activities
  3. Quality of application
  4. Level of creativity, novelty, or innovation of inquiry, methodology, or projected outcome

The selection committee will give preference to candidates who:

  1. Are active in border-focused research, art, and/or community engagement projects
  2. Propose projects benefitting the Ambos Nogales and/or Douglas-Agua Prieta communities
  3. Are from diverse backgrounds/minoritized groups
  4. Have lived experience in the borderlands
  5. Identify at least one community partner or collaborator, with letters of recommendation from identified partner(s)