Undergraduate Research Scholarships
The Center for Undergraduate Research - Humanities, Arts & Social Sciences administers scholarships which support entry-level and advanced undergraduate research experiences and conference presentations. Undergraduate research programs offer UCLA students the opportunity to collaborate individually with faculty members and develop research skills and expertise in their disciplines. In November and June, the Center solicits applications for the following research scholarships:
- Undergraduate Research Fellows Program (URFP)
- Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship Program
- McNair Research Scholars Program
- Psychology Research Opportunities Programs (PROPS)
- Undergraduate Research Scholars Program (URSP)
- College Honors Research Scholarship Program
- Scholarships for Summer Research
- Travel Grants
If you have questions, please contact:
Undergraduate Research Center - North
Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences
A334 Murphy Hall
Monday through Friday 8:30am - 4:30pm
Undergraduate Research Fellows Program (URFP): Deadline November 30
The Undergraduate Research Fellows Program (URFP) is directed through the Office of the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education and administered by the Undergraduate Research Center - Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences. The URFP scholarship supports students doing entry-level research for Winter and Spring quarters. URFP recipients can receive a scholarship of up to $2,000.
You must have a Faculty Mentor that is listed for SRP. Please CHECK FIRST. You can find this out by trying to create a contract for SRP and looking to see if the faculty is listed. If they are not in the SRP list you will need to submit a Faculty Participation form. Visit this link for the form and instructions.
- 2.5 GPA or higher
- While financial need is not required, some awards are for students with established financial need.
If you are selected for URFP, your requirements are:
- Enroll in a minimum of 12 units and Course 99 Student Research Program or 199/198/196 Departmental Research; winter and spring quarters.
- Enroll in HC 101A, the Student Research Forum Winter Quarter. Students already enrolled in HC101A for the upcoming Winter quarter will be given special consideration.
- Submit a brief summary of your research project at the end of Spring quarter, or present your research at Powell Poster Day in May 2014.
The application includes two written components. The first is a research proposal (7000 characters limit including spaces), which introduces the reader to the scope, importance and methodology of your research. The proposal should reflect the specific instructions available on the URC research proposal guidelines handout.
The second component is the personal statement (3500 characters limit including spaces). The personal statement is an important part of your application package. It allows you to articulate to the faculty committee your personal experiences as a student and person. This essay is meant to place your academic record into the context of your opportunities and obstacles. Your statement should briefly describe how receiving the URFP Scholarship with impact your short- and long-term goals. This is also your change to describe any special circumstances (i.e., personal, academic, financial hardship) which you feel are relevant to your application.
Further Application Guidelines:
- The URFP application is on-line only
- Please compose your documents in advance on a word-processor, then cut and paste them into the appropriate text box in the survey/application
- The on-line form does not support italics, bold or greek symbols. You cannot submit any figures or other files. Please use text only.
To access the URFP application:
- Log into MyUCLA and click on the "survey" link
- Select the "Undergraduate Research Fellows Program (URFP)" link
Students can also access the application at the following direct link:
Please note: It takes a few seconds to load the page where you will be inputting your Research Proposal and Personal Statement. Please be patient.
After your application has been submitted, you should receive a notification email indicating that your application is currently under review. We will be contacting you during the first week of the Winter Quarter to inform you of the status of your application.
Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship Program: Deadline November 15
The Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship (MMUF) is a two-year program designed for outstanding students in the humanities who intend to pursue a PhD and a career in the academy. The chief goal of the program, funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, is to diversify the professoriate by increasing the number of faculty from underrepresented groups and also of those with a demonstrated commitment to eradicating racial disparities in higher education.
Mellon Mays Fellows work closely with faculty advisers and graduate mentors to design and carry out independent research projects. Fellows are also encouraged to complete an honors thesis in their home departments, where available. Regular meetings and a variety of other workshops and seminars offer additional opportunities for professional development. Students are required to take a course in Research Methods (HC101I) as well as enroll in MMUF specific research seminars. The program also offers Fellows preparation to take the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) and to complete graduate school applications.
The program is named in honor of Dr. Benjamin E. Mays (1894-1984), educator, scholar, college president and civil rights activist.
Students interested in applying for the Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship must meet the following criteria:
- Junior level standing (at least 90 units), and a Spring or Summer 2015 Degree Expected Date
- Minimum 3.25 GPA (earned at UCLA), transfer students are eligible to apply.
- US citizenship or permanent resident status
- Commitment to research and intention to enroll in a PhD program
- Superb scholarly promise in a major that includes work in one of the following Mellon-designated fields at UCLA:
- Anthropology and Archaeology
- Area/Cultural/Ethnic/Gender Studies
- Art History
- Geography and Population Studies
- English/Comparative Literature
- Film, Cinema and Media Studies (theoretical focus)
- Musicology and Ethnomusicology
- Foreign Languages and Literatures
- Performance Studies (theoretical focus)
- Philosophy and Political Theory
- Religion and Theology
- Theater (non-performance focus)
- Interdisciplinary Studies: Interdisciplinary areas of study may be eligible if they have one or more Mellon field at their core.
McNair Research Scholars Program: Deadline November 4
The McNair Research Scholars Program is a two-year research intensive program that prepares undergraduate students who are interested in pursuing a Ph.D. in the humanities or social sciences, to apply to, and excel in, the best graduate school programs in the country. Each year, the program maintains a cohort of 28 juniors and seniors from a variety of disciplines in the Social Sciences and Humanities. The UCLA McNair Program particularly attracts young scholars who are committed to social change and who use scholarship and research as a means to achieve social justice. McNair Research Scholars complete a comprehensive and rigorous two-year academic program under the supervision of the Program Director, the Assistant Director, and at least two Graduate Mentors, which includes research experiences in the Student Research Program (SRP), McNair Summer Research Institute, and senior research projects.
In order to be eligible for the program, students must meet one of the following criteria:
- Be a low-income and first generation college student (i.e. neither parent has earned a bachelor's degree in any country); OR
- Be a member of an underrepresented group within graduate education
- Be a United States citizen or permanent resident
- Be a UCLA undergraduate student majoring in the humanities or social sciences
- Be a third-year or a transfer student who has completed between 90 and 175 units by Fall of the application year
- Demonstrate academic potential for graduate study
- Be available during the McNair Summer Research Institute (typically Summer Session A)
Please note: This program is not open to students intending to pursue professional degrees such as business, management, medicine, dentistry, veterinary, medicine, or law.
Students in the McNair Research Scholars Program are required to apply to URSP to continue their scholarship in year 2. For more information on program requirements and application instructions, see link.
Psychology Research Opportunities Programs (PROPS): Deadline in Mid-October
PROPS is a two-quarter program that provides a variety of opportunities. PROPS scholars receive a scholarship, attend weekly seminars on topics related to graduate study, research in psychology and career options, work closely with a faculty mentor conducting and presenting research in psychology, and receive guidance on graduate school applications.
To be eligible for PROPS, students must
- have sophomore, junior, or senior standing
- be a Psychology, Psychobiology, or Cognitive Science major or pre-major
- have completed introductory psychology, statistics (Psych 100A), research methods (Psych 100B), and at least one upper division Psychology class taken at UCLA or another UC campus
- have an overall GPA of 2.7 or higher at UCLA and a GPA of 3.0 or higher in the major
- be a member of an underrepresented group (i.e. students who have demonstrated financial need, are first generation college students,etc.). American Indian, Black/African American, and Latino/a students are strongly encouraged to apply.
For more information on program requirements and applications instructions, see link.
The Undergraduate Research Scholars Program (URSP) - Deadline June 15
The Undergraduate Research Scholars Program (URSP) is directed through the Office of the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education and administered by the Undergraduate Research Center - Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences.
The URSP Scholarship is awarded to juniors and seniors who have a strong commitment to research, and who are completing a departmental honors thesis or a comprehensive 199 project during their junior or senior year. A comprehensive independent research project is an upper-division research project associated with enrollment in a departmental 199, 198 or 196 for 3 quarters. This project must be completed under the mentorship of a UCLA faculty member.
- Junior level standing or higher (at least 90 units but no more than 175 units by the upcoming Fall quarter)
- 3.25 GPA or higher
- Commitment to completing a departmental honors thesis or comprehensive research project.
- A letter of recommendation from your faculty mentor(s).
Applications for the URSP are available by April 1st each year. The URSP application is available on MyUCLA. The application is available under "Surveys" in your Features menu, or by clicking the Survey icon in the middle of your home page.
- Enroll in a minimum of 12 units each quarter.
- Conduct research for three quarters as part of a 199, 198 or 196 course and complete a departmental honors thesis or comprehensive research project
- Present your findings at UCLA's Powell Undergraduate Research Week
- Write and submit a departmental honors thesis or comprehensive research paper
- Submit a summary of your work and a photo for an online profile
- Write a thank you note to the donor that supported your research
The online application for the following academic year is scheduled to open in April. Documents required for the application include:
- Research Statement: The most important document in your application is your research proposal (no more than 7,000 characters), which introduces the reader to the scope, importance and methodology of your research. The proposal should reflect the specific instructions available on the My.UCLA survey.
- Personal Statement (no more than 3,500 characters)
- Statement of Previous Undergraduate Research Experience (if applicable)
- Academic Plan (i.e. study list)
- Letter of recommendation from your faculty research mentor addressed to:
Dr. Patricia Turner
Office of the Provost and Deans
College of Letters and Science
and emailed by the faculty member (PREFERRED):
or dropped off at:
Undergraduate Research Center - Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences):
A334 Murphy Hall
Los Angeles, CA 9009
It is the student's responsibility to ensure that the faculty letter is received by the Undergraduate Research Center by the June 15th deadline. Please be sure to contact your faculty mentor EARLY to ensure that the letter is submitted on time on your behalf.
Incomplete applications will not be reviewed; make sure that you have submitted all application components by the June 15 deadline.
If you are currently receiving financial aid:The Undergraduate Research Scholarship will be part of your overall financial aid package. This means that if you receive an award, the Financial Aid office will adjust your financial aid package to ensure that you do not exceed your financial aid eligibility. If such an adjustment is made, loans and work-study award are reduced first, prior to grant or other scholarship reductions.
College Honors Research Scholarship Program: Deadline in Early April
The College Honors Research Scholarship Program supports undergraduate research by Honors students. Recipients of scholarships are expected to be in attendance at UCLA for the entire academic year. You will be notified by Honors if you qualify for this scholarship and if you are also required to apply for the Undergraduate Research Scholars Program (URSP). If you have questions, please see the Honors Scholarships website and/or contact the Honors College program advisors.
Scholarships for Summer Research
The URFP survey reopens each Spring to allow students to apply for summer funding. Below are two opportunities planned for summer 2014.
Asian American Studies Center Stanley Kwok Lau and Dora Wong Lau Scholarship for Chinese American History
more information coming soon
Center for Jewish Studies Sarah and Eugene Zinn Memorial Scholarship for Holocaust Studies and Social Justice - Deadline May 1
The Sarah and Eugene Zinn Memorial Scholarship supports programs of study, internships or research projects that apply the knowledge of the Jewish experience, and especially the lessons of the Holocaust, to contemporary society and social justice issues. This support is made possible by a gift to the UCLA College of Letters and Science by siblings Harry Zinn and Helene Zinn, and their friends and family, in memory of their parents, Sarah and Eugene Zinn. For more information on program requirements, see here.
Undergraduate Travel Grants
Travel Grants are awarded on a competitive basis to students who have had an abstract accepted for a poster or paper presentation at a regional or national conference. A maximum of $300 may be awarded per student. The Travel Grant may be used to cover airfare or mileage, hotel costs, etc.
This award is a reimbursement award only; you arrange and purchase your travel prior to the conference, and the Travel Grant reimburses you after the conference. Before applying for a Travel Grant, please review the Undergraduate Research Center Student Travel reimbursement guidelines. These guidelines explain allowable expenses, receipts you will need, and documentation you will need to provide.
Please note that expenses will only be reimbursed when original receipts are submitted. Travel Grant applications must be submitted within the academic year in which the travel expenses were incurred in order to be processed.
Travel Grant Application
To apply for a Travel Grant, please submit the Travel Grant Application Pre-Approval Form at least one month prior to your departure date. Travel Grant Application Pre-Approval Forms can be downloaded here.
Return all documents and direct questions to:
URC-Humanites, Arts and Social Sciences
A334 Murphy Hall
Monday through Friday 8:00am - 4:30pm