In December 2012, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation awarded Trinity University a $600,000 five-year grant to build collaborative research opportunities for students and faculty in the Arts and Humanities. The Mellon Initiative at Trinity devoted these funds to programming in undergraduate research, including the Mellon Summer Undergraduate Research Fellows (SURFs) and Mellon Institutes, and towards opportunities in faculty curriculum development.  

In March 2018, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation awarded Trinity University a second five-year grant, this one for $800,000. The second grant aims to build upon the successes of the original grant by developing opportunities for more of Trinity's students to participate in high-impact undergraduate research experiences. This will be accomplished by integrating high-impact research experiences in lower-division courses, creating and teaching Arts and Humanities labs during the academic year, encouraging faculty to develop regional research projects that involve undergraduate researchers, and increasing the number of summer research opportunities for Trinity students. Each of these new initiatives create concrete ways that the Mellon Initiative is actively working to create an inclusive and diverse program that reaches every Trinity student.

As a program, the Mellon Initiative strives to:

  1. Expand the number of opportunities for students to participate in high-impact research experiences in the Arts and Humanities at Trinity. 
  2. Integrate high-impact research experiences into Trinity’s Arts and Humanities curriculum, especially in lower-division courses.
  3. Create and support undergraduate summer research projects in the Arts and Humanities. 
  4. Create a diverse and inclusive community of undergraduate researchers in the Arts and Humanities.
  5. Develop pedagogical expertise in undergraduate research mentorship and inclusion among Trinity faculty.