UC Underrepresented Scholars Fellowship, 2023-24

This multi-year fellowship program is designed to build a network of underrepresented scholars for professional mentorship and development across the UC system. This program is designed to support diverse junior scholars and mid-career faculty in a broad range of activities as they progress through the ranks. The aim is to build spaces of support, to share best practices and challenges, and to respond to unspoken expectations in the academy. Underrepresented academics across all registers and first-generation scholars often face unique obstacles to their professional advancement and often unrecognized potential to transformatively impact the university. Building upon a pilot program that began in 2021, we invite a new cohort of scholars to join the fellowship program.

Applications must be submitted online via Submittable by 11:59 PM (Pacific time) on the deadline date.

Program Details

With formative input from participants, this cross-campus mentorship fellowship addresses “invisible” or tacit aspects of faculty life not included in traditional training, which are nonetheless crucial for academic success. Examples of issues to be considered include: self-advocacy in retention and salary renegotiations, merit and promotion files, disproportionate teaching loads, securing funding and time for advancement, sabbatical and leave policies, committee service, applying for funding, preparing tenure files, book manuscript development, engaged scholarship, diversity work, advising graduate students, and extra-institutional interests and commitments. The pilot year of this fellowship also addressed topics like: the implicit curricula investments, literacies of funding, standing and positioning within one’s field, and transitioning into administrative positions.

UCHRI will connect young/mid-career scholars with senior scholar-mentors from UC campuses other than their own. The mentorship selection process will include the facilitation of one-on-one discussions between UCHRI and participants during July 2023 in order to identify appropriate mentors. Drawing upon participants’ own suggestions, as well as UCHRI’s extensive UC-wide networks, mentors will be chosen based on their capacities to contribute experiential knowledge in the following key areas: 1) Professional advancement and tenure, 2) Research and publishing, and 3) Balancing teaching, advising, and service work. Participants will have the opportunity to shape the foci of their meetings to the specific needs of the group.

Over the course of Fall 2023 and throughout 2024, the fellowship cohort will engage in monthly meetings and webinars in order to discuss the issues most important to them. Conditions permitting, UCHRI will convene at least one in-person meeting of the fellowship, potentially connecting current fellows with the previous year’s fellows as well. Individual, quarterly check-ins with UCHRI’s research grants manager will help ensure that program insights are recorded in order to establish best practices for future groups. Building upon the first two years, this third year of the program will connect a new cohort of scholars with one another, with mentors, and with the previous years’ participants. This program is meant to be expansive and supportive rather than burdensome, and thus does not require participants to produce a publication, public presentation, or any other tangible deliverable other than a brief report to help shape future iterations of the fellowship program. UCHRI will assist with the compilation of the final report if desired by the group.

Application Details

  • Personal Bio (250 words or less)
  • Statement of purpose (2,000 words maximum)
    • Describe your position within the academy as you experience it. Please feel free to share any relevant information about your personal background that has had an impact on your experience as a scholar.
    • Explain why you want to be a part of this mentoring program, and what specific mentoring needs you have.
    • What would be the most important 2-3 topics that you’d like the program to explore/address? (The following are suggestions only, please feel free to add your own):
      • How to advocate for yourself in retention and salary renegotiations
      • Merit and promotion files
      • Disproportionate teaching loads
      • Securing funding and time for advancement
      • Sabbatical and leave policies 
      • Committee service
      • Preparing tenure files
      • Peer review
      • Engaged scholarship
      • Diversity work
      • Teaching
      • Advising graduate students and writing letters of recommendation
    • What questions do you have about the program? 
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • List of ~2 names of potential faculty mentors on a UC campus other than your own, along with a brief explanation of why you’d like to work with this person.
    • UCHRI will draw from your suggestions and our UC-wide networks to select mentors, and will consult with awardees throughout the process to ensure a good fit.

For program related questions, please contact grants@hri.uci.edu.  Please include the name of the grant for which you need assistance.

For technical assistance, contact Submittable at support@submittable.com.