Mentored Research Award

UC Berkeley is committed to recognizing and rewarding graduate student’s contributions to diversifying the academy during their graduate careers and beyond. The purpose of this fellowship award is to assist diverse doctoral students in acquiring sophisticated research skills by working under faculty mentorship on their own pre-dissertation research. Fellows will receive a $20,000 stipend plus payment of in-state fees.

NOTE: The Mentored Research Awards are for doctoral students in academic programs only. Professional programs are not eligible. Preference will be given to nominees who have not received other major fellowships.

To be eligible:

  • Student must have U.S. citizenship or permanent residency. The student may be undocumented (AB540, Non-AB540).
  • Student must be making adequate academic progress towards their degree, as certified by their adviser.
  • Student must be in an academic doctoral degree program.

Selection will be based on one or more of the following criteria:

  • Preference will be given to nominees who have not advanced to candidacy and have not received other major fellowships.
  • Experience of situations or conditions which were an impediment to advancing to graduate study, such as the absence of a family member who attended college; matriculation at a school or schools with poor financial or curricular support; having a physical or learning disability; or having worked long hours while attending school; or
  • Academic research interests focusing on cultural, societal or educational problems as they affect educationally disadvantaged segments of society; or
  • Evidence of an intention to use the doctoral degree toward serving educationally underrepresented segments of society

Additional criteria to be considered:

  • Research interests focusing on underserved populations and understanding issues of racial or gender inequalities
  • Academic service advancing equitable access to higher education for women and racial minorities in the fields where they are underrepresented
  • Evidence of an intention to use the doctoral degree toward serving marginalized and underrepresented populations

Faculty Mentor Responsibilities:

  • Discuss academic issues
  • Network on behalf of the fellow
  • Write letters of recommendation
  • Advise on the fellow’s dissertation plans
  • Assist the fellow avoid academic obstacles

APPLICATION PROCESS (TWO-STEP process which includes a NOMINATION by the student’s DEPARTMENT):

Student Nominee

  1. Inquire with your department regarding its internal competition for attaining a nomination.
  2. If you are selected by your department as a nominee, you will receive an email inviting you to submit an online application. Applications must be submitted by the stated deadline. 

Department Nominator

  1. Submit your student nomination(s) via the GSAO Slate Portal. Students will receive an invitation to apply within 90 minutes of submission of the form. Please keep in mind that the student will need additional time to complete and submit their application by the deadline.
  2. Upload letters of support from the Department Chair and the student’s faculty adviser.
    Letters can be provided in one of two ways:
    1. Via the Slate nomination form at the time of nomination
    2. After the nomination is submitted, locate the student’s record in Slate and upload letters directly to the student’s application. Please select Fellowship Nomination Memo for the Department Chair's letter and Fellowship Supporting Letter for the Faculty Mentor's letter.

Application must include:

From Student Nominee

  • Personal Statement which addresses how the nominee’s background, including financial need, fits within the criteria
  • Statement of Academic Research which describes the student’s academic progress to date, the proposed research project, how the research project is critical to the student’s academic career, and the ways in which a Mentored Research Award will help the student achieve their goals
  • Unofficial graduate transcript(s)

From Department (to be submitted via online nomination/Slate)

  • A letter from the Department Chair supporting the nomination and confirming the nominee’s eligibility. This letter must also be signed by the department’s Equity Adviser.
  • A letter from the Faculty Mentor describing the plans for mentoring the student and past successful experiences in mentoring

For more information, contact Gina Farales Blanco by phone at (510) 642-7739 or by email at ginablanco@berkeley.edu.

Contact Us

Gina Farales Blanco
Fellowships Administrator
Phone: (510) 642-7739