International Higher Education and Strategic Projects Program Grants

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation

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Grant amount: Up to US $750,000

Deadline: Rolling

Applicant type: Nonprofit

Funding uses: Research, Project / Program, Education / Outreach

Location of project: Anywhere in the world

Location of residency: Anywhere in the world

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About this funder:



Strong systems of higher education and cultural institutions are essential to building and sustaining viable polities and societies in emerging as well as more established regions of the globe.

Mission and Goals

The Foundation's promising experience in South Africa justifies targeted extension of that program's work to other countries or regions where the Foundation's commitment to the humanities, the arts, and higher education could contribute to stabilizing fragile democracies, and create favorable conditions for their participation in global networks of research and culture.  In its initial phase of development, the International Higher Education program will stress partnerships with institutions already supported by the Foundation, especially on issues of global grand challenges.

The program's overarching purpose is to help these institutions become durable and capable of contributing to social cohesion, as well as to assist them in constructing educational systems that serve the interests of society at large.  In order to bolster the capacities of academic and cultural institutions and of the people working within them, the program will provide professional and financial resources in support of teaching, learning, scholarship, and effective scholarly communication, and will encourage its grantees to find ways to share the benefits of this work with the public at large.

Given the fundamental imperatives of meeting basic needs such as clean air, water, energy, food, and health, providing for environmental sustainability, and creating equitable societies in the face of deepening inequality, it is clear that the Foundation's ongoing support for the arts and humanities will necessitate an integrative engagement with scholars in all academic disciplines—first and foremost with the social sciences, but in the spirit of liberal education extending to the natural sciences and technology as well.  The program encourages proposals that are attentive to the common challenges facing humanity and to the need for interdisciplinary and international scholarly collaboration oriented toward trans-hemispheric or global solutions.

New areas and strengthened emphases will include:

  • Programs that engage scholars in all academic disciplines in the joint study of core problems affecting their own societies
  • Initiatives that mobilize humanistic scholars and artists to participate in interdisciplinary and international collaboration on grand challenge questions
  • Projects that share the benefits of teaching, learning, and research in the humanities and the arts with the public
  • Coordination of international grantmaking across all program areas in order to heighten the salience of global contexts to all our grantmaking

You can learn more about this opportunity by visiting the funder's website.


  • Eligible applicants:
    • Organizations in the United States that have been determined by the IRS to be 501(c)(3) charities
      • Includes universities, museums, libraries, and performing arts organizations that pursue scholarly, cultural, and charitable missions
    • Organizations outside the United States that are equivalent to US public charities
      • A non-US organization without a 501(c)(3) ruling from the IRS should be prepared to demonstrate its capacity to receive Foundation funds, either through determination by counsel that it is the equivalent of a US public charity or by other means of qualification.
    • The Foundation, at its discretion, may make restricted grants to organizations without such an equivalency determination, including to domestic for-profit organizations and foreign entities. 


  • Ineligible applicants:
    • Individuals
  • Ineligible costs:
    • Endowment management fees
    • Student tuition
    • Library acquisitions
    • K–12 initiatives
    • Overhead
    • Indirect costs
    • Capital costs (construction, renovation, equipment)