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Colby will receive a $1.4-million grant to support the hiring of teaching/research fellows and the advance hiring of new tenure-track faculty members, President William D. Adams announced today.

The grant, from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, supports Colby’s innovative leadership in the professional development of scholars who have recently earned a Ph.D. and are interested in teaching in a liberal arts environment. Colby will use the grant to expand its opportunities for postdoctoral fellows to teach, to work with senior faculty members and to interact closely with students at one of the nation’s top undergraduate colleges.

Colby’s teaching/research program has been held up as a national model for preparing the next generation of college professors while giving Colby students unique opportunities to work with some of the country’s most promising young scholars. While many postdoctoral programs focus almost exclusively on research, Colby’s emphasizes teaching as well.

“Colby has had tremendous success integrating postdoctoral fellows into its liberal arts program for the benefit of the fellows and our students,” said Adams. “The Colby model is ideal for talented scholars who hope to spend their career at an institution such as this one. We are grateful for the Mellon Foundation’s support, which we expect will strengthen Colby’s educational program.

The award, which will be dispersed over four years, also will provide funding to hire new tenure-track faculty members early enough for them to learn from senior faculty members they are replacing. Usually new faculty members have been hired only after the professor they were to replace had left active teaching. The introduction of this overlap should produce smoother transitions and valuable mentoring.

Appointments under both programs will be made in areas that Colby deems to need such support. Some initial areas are likely to include classics, environmental studies, music, and women’s, gender, and sexuality studies.