School of Social Science Receives Major Grant from Andrew W. Mellon Foundation

The Institute for Advanced Study has received a seven-year $500,000 grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to support a Summer Program in Social Science, which will be led by Didier Fassin, James D. Wolfensohn Professor in the School of Social Science.

The program, which will launch in summer 2018, is designed to draw together early career-scholars from Africa, the Middle East, and Latin America in an effort to enrich and expand the realm of the social sciences through the confrontation of different intellectual traditions and perspectives; to facilitate and enhance the dialogue between various scientific disciplines and communities; and to strengthen international networks across continents.

Fassin commented, “The Mellon Foundation’s generous support of our School’s initiative will allow us to extend and consolidate the early success we have achieved in our current pilot program, designed to bring together scholars from Latin America, Africa, and the Middle East in the spirit of a global politics of knowledge.”

Regarding the grant, Saleem Badat, Program Director for International Higher Education and Strategic Projects at the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, said, “The Foundation is very pleased to support the Institute for Advanced Study’s promising new program. Beyond enhancing knowledge production by early-career Global South scholars, and creating greater connections between them, we hope that the Summer Program in Social Science will also contribute to boosting the representation of social scientists from the Global South among fellows in the regular programs of the Institute for Advanced Study.”

The grant will allow for three cohorts of twenty selected scholars to participate in two-year summer sessions. During the first year, the Institute will host an intensive two-week session, with a one-week session occurring the following year at collaborating institutions in Africa and Latin America, with continuous communication among the scholars throughout the two-year period. For the first cycle of the program, the Institute plans to partner with the Wits Institute for Social and Economic Research at the University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa and the Universidad Nacional de Colombia in Bogotá.

The Summer Program in Social Science is inspired by experiences drawn from a similar project that Fassin is presently leading in collaboration with the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales in Paris and the Swedish Collegium in Uppsala. For more information on Fassin’s current project, see


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