Graduate Council Diversity Fellowship


The University of California is committed to the full realization of its historic promise to recognize and nurture merit, talent, and achievement by supporting diversity and equal opportunity in its education, services, and administration, as well as research and creative activity. As the UC Board of Regents’ Diversity Statement puts it,

Diversity – a defining feature of California’s past, present, and future – refers to the variety of personal experiences, values, and worldviews that arise from differences of culture and circumstance…The pluralistic university can model a process of proposing and testing ideas through respectful, civil communication. Educational excellence that truly incorporates diversity thus can promote mutual respect and make possible the full, effective use of the talents and abilities of all to foster innovation and train future leadership.

The purpose of the Graduate Council Diversity Fellowship (GCDF) is to support graduate students from across the UCLA campus who exemplify values of diversity in their academic, professional, and service activities. The Fellowship is intended to support access to higher education for students who might otherwise find it difficult or impossible to successfully pursue graduate study.

Individuals from cultural, racial, linguistic, geographic, socioeconomic or otherwise challenging backgrounds that are currently underrepresented in graduate education are especially encouraged to participate in the program.

2020-2021 award description and requirements

The Graduate Council Diversity Fellowship is highly competitive. A total of only 15 full-year fellowships will be awarded for the 2020-21 academic year across all eligible master’s-level and doctoral programs.


  • The Fellowship is intended to provide financial support for full-time graduate study during the period of the award. It provides a $30,000 stipend along with coverage of in-state graduate tuition/fees and nonresident tuition if applicable for AY 2020-21.
  • Professional Degree Supplemental Tuition is not covered for any program that charges a PDST.
  • The Fellowship does not cover program fees (i.e., above the equivalent of the regular state-supported campus tuition and fees) for applicants from Self-Supporting Graduate Professional Degree Programs.
  • GCDF recipients must be enrolled full-time for the duration of the Fellowship (i.e., 12.0 units per quarter during the academic year).
  • Recipients may not accept the Graduate Division’s Graduate Research Mentorship or the Dissertation Year Fellowship during the GCDF year.
  • Recipients may not be employed by the University (e.g., GSR, TA, SR, or other appointments) at more than 25% time during the Fellowship year.

Eligibility criteria

  • Applicants must be currently-enrolled graduate/professional school students at UCLA, who will be in years 2, 3, or 4 of graduate study during the Fellowship period.
  • An applicant’s academic progress is expected to meet their program’s normative time-to-degree guidelines, as published by the Graduate Division (under statistics for each program profile)
  • Spring and Summer 2020 GCDF recipients are not eligible to apply for the AY 2020-21 Fellowships.
  • Students who already hold multi-year financial support packages that provide stipends plus fees/tuition remission (such as the Eugene V. Cota-Robles Fellowship or NSF fellowships) are not eligible to apply.
  • The Fellowship is open to UCLA students, including international students, in any graduate/professional programs except:
    • School of Dentistry: D.D.S.
    • School of Medicine: M.D.

application deadline

Application Deadline: Tuesday, May 5, 2020 at 11:59PM PST



In your statement, please address one or more of the following questions or issues. Your statement can be up to 500 words in length (approximately 1 page, single spaced, using 1-inch margins and 12-point font), and must discuss your contributions to diversity.

  • Are there educational, personal, cultural, economic, or social experiences that have shaped your academic journey? If so, how? Have any of these experiences provided unique perspective(s) that you would contribute to your program, field or profession?
  • Describe challenge(s) or barriers that you have faced in your pursuit of higher education. What motivated you to persist, and how did you overcome them? What is the evidence of your persistence, progress or success?
  • How have your life experiences and educational background informed your understanding of the barriers facing groups that are underrepresented in higher education?
  • How have you been actively engaged (e.g., through participation, employment, service, teaching, creative work, or other activities) in programs or activities focused on increasing participation by groups that have been historically underrepresented in higher education?
  • How does your scholarship, research, teaching, creative efforts, and/or community engagement during your graduate program advance diversity and equal opportunity in higher education, and at UCLA in particular?


Applicants must submit a professional resume or academic CV, depending on their programs, experience, or career goals. The resume or CV must conform to the templates/examples shown in UCLA’s Career Preparation Toolkit for Graduate Students and Postdoctoral Scholars (see pp. 33-35 for the professional resume and pp. 44-46 for the academic CV). The required sections of the document depend on whether it is a resume or a CV, but in all cases sections should follow the order and format appearing in the Toolkit with full information about the following items featured toward the top:

  • Educational qualifications, training, or degrees
  • Work, teaching, and/or research experience, including any important apprenticeship or internship positions
  • Publications, creative works, presentations or other works related to your professional or academic accomplishments
  • Fellowships, grants, awards, commissions, or other recognitions, including current support
  • Service: Community, volunteer, advocacy, or outreach experience, including positions of leadership and service to academic/professional organizations or societies

In addition, items within each section must appear in reverse-chronological order, that is, the most recent items are listed first, and subsequent items listed later, by date.


Applications must be submitted online, where applicants will be asked to:

  • Complete an online application form, and
  • Upload additional required materials as a single PDF file with the following file name format: Last name_First name_Attachments (ex. Bruin_Josie_Attachments)

These required materials include:

  1. A personal statement
  2. A current resume (for professional careers) or CV (for academic careers)
  3. The student’s unofficial UCLA graduate transcript
  4. Unofficial graduate transcripts from other institutions
  5. Unofficial undergraduate transcript(s)




Applications will be reviewed and assessed on the strength of three broad factors:

  • Evidence of the applicant’s academic progress, especially In response to challenges or barriers the student has encountered in the pursuit of higher education/graduate study, and the applicant’s persistence in overcoming them
  • The applicant’s personal experiences, commitments, and resilience, particularly as they have helped motivate the applicant’s own academic or professional interests, public/community service, or creative work
  • The applicant’s potential to shape or transform their programs, disciplines, communities, professions, or practices, as demonstrated by their effective engagement, mentorship, leadership, and/or advocacy, particularly for groups that are under-represented in higher education and the professions


If you have any questions about this fellowship or need assistance, please contact the Graduate Council Diversity Fellowship at [email protected]