Categorized | Education

Native Hawaiian fellowship program accepting applications


The Mellon-Hawaii Doctoral and Postdoctoral Fellowship Program is now accepting applications for the 2014-15 academic year.

More information and application materials available at:

The application deadline is Feb. 28.

Entering its seventh year, the Mellon-Hawaii fellowship program was established in 2008 for Native Hawaiian scholars early in their academic careers and others who are committed to the advancement of knowledge about the Hawaiian natural and cultural environment, Hawaiian history, politics, and society.

The program is supported by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and Kamehameha Schools, and administered by The Kohala Center. The Kahiau Foundation joined in support in the academic years 2010-2011 and 2012-2013. The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation’s recent award of $500,000 will enable the fellowship program to support three additional cohorts of doctoral and postdoctoral fellows in the academic years 2014–2015, 2015–2016, and 2016–2017.

Applicants accepted to the program as doctoral fellows receive $45,000 in support to complete their dissertations before accepting their first academic posts. Postdoctoral fellows receive $55,000 in support to publish original research early in their academic careers.

In addition, the program provides fellows with opportunities to prepare presentations of their research; network with community leaders, mentors, and previous fellows; and meet academic publishers who may be interested in their work.

“We are delighted and honored to support the work of Hawaii’s finest thinkers and writers,” said Dr. Matthews Hamabata, executive director of The Kohala Center and senior support staff to the Mellon-Hawaii Fellowship Program. “The Mellon-Hawaii Fellows have successfully established themselves as intellectual and educational leaders from Hawaii — for Hawaii and the world.”

The current cohort of fellows includes Iokepa Casumbal-Salazar, doctoral candidate in the department of political science at University of Hawaii at Manoa (UH-Manoa); Eomailani Kukahiko, doctoral candidate in education at UH-Manoa; Bryan Kuwada, doctoral candidate in English at UH-Manoa; Kaiwipunikauikawekiu Lipe, doctoral candidate in education administration at UH-Manoa; and postdoctoral fellow Dr. Brandy Nalani McDougall, who earned her Ph.D. in English from UH-Manoa in 2011 and currently serves as an assistant professor of indigenous studies in the American Studies department at UH-Manoa.

The program extends far beyond Hawaii, however; the fellowship is open to qualified scholars from around the world.

Dr. Noelani Arista, assistant professor of Hawaiian history at UH-Manoa and a doctoral fellow in the program’s first cohort, completed her Ph.D. at Brandeis University in 2010 and was awarded the Allan Nevins Prize from the Society of American Historians the same year.

Dr. Oiwi Parker Jones, research fellow at Oxford University and a postdoctoral fellow in the program’s fourth cohort, completed his book manuscript, Hawaiian Phonology and Morphology, which is currently under review with Oxford University Press.

Dr. Keao NeSmith, an instructor at the Kawaihuelani Center for Hawaiian Language at UH-Manoa and a doctoral fellow in the program’s third cohort, completed his doctoral dissertation in applied linguistics in 2012 at the School of Maori and Pacific Development at University of Waikato in New Zealand, which also awarded him the Postgraduate Excellence Award in 2011.

Since its inception, 25 doctoral and postdoctoral scholars have been accepted to the program, with many subsequently receiving academic appointments or offers to have their manuscripts published.

“When future generations look back at the explosion of Hawaiian scholarship after the turn of the 21st century, they will be able to clearly see the impact of those who were funded by the Mellon-Hawaii program. This is no exaggeration,” said Dr. Noelani Goodyear-Kaopua, associate professor and undergraduate chair of the department of political science at UH-Manoa.

Goodyear-Kaopua, a Mellon-Hawaii postdoctoral fellow in the program’s third cohort, was promoted to associate professor with tenure immediately following her fellowship experience. She is the author of the book “The Seeds We Planted: Portraits of a Native Hawaiian Charter School,” published by University of Minnesota Press in 2013, and co-author of “Ea: A History of Hawaiian Movements for Life, Land and Sovereignty,” forthcoming from Duke University Press.

Award notifications will be made by April 4.

For further information, contact Cortney Hoffman at or (808) 887-6411.

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