UC Underrepresented Scholars Fellowship, 2024-25

The UC Underrepresented Scholars Fellowship Program is an intercampus faculty mentoring program serving the ten campuses of the University of California. Our fellowship program pairs junior and mid-career applicants from the humanities and qualitative social sciences with their desired senior mentors from other UC campuses. The aim is to build spaces of support, to share best practices and challenges, and to respond to unspoken expectations in the academy. In addition to providing mentorship training, the program facilitates monthly one-on-one meetings, provides quarterly professionalization workshops based on the needs and preferences of the group, and brings mentors and mentees from all cohorts together for an annual in-person event. Mentors and mentees each receive $1,500 in research funds as well as travel costs for meetings at UCHRI on the UC Irvine campus.

Open to all faculty at the University of California, this program aims to enhance campus climate, retention, and faculty success by connecting scholars across the system who are attuned to the needs, interests, and experiences of underrepresented and underserved communities and their contributions to the university. Applicants will be selected based on their ability to demonstrate one or more of the following:

  • Navigation of one or more barriers, on behalf of themselves or others, such as being a first-generation college student, growing up in an underserved geographic area or community, and overcoming linguistic, structural, or cultural challenges
  • Demonstrated research regarding or service in underserved and systems impacted communities

This program is funded by and supports the goals of the Advancing Faculty Diversity Program run by the Office of the Vice Provost of Academic Personnel and Programs at UCOP: “Building on organizational change research, [AFD] projects have contributed to the recruitment of diverse scholars, enhanced faculty commitment to diversity and promoted an equitable academic culture for all faculty.”

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

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. Previous programming 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 junior/mid-career scholars with senior scholar-mentors from UC campuses other than their own. 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 2024 and throughout 2025, the fellowship cohort will engage in monthly 1:1 mentor meetings and quarterly cohort webinars in order to discuss the issues most important to them. UCHRI will convene two in-person meetings of the fellowship, potentially connecting current fellows with the previous year’s fellows as well. Quarterly check-ins will help ensure that program insights are recorded in order to establish best practices for future groups. Building upon the first three years, this fourth 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. Participants will be asked to respond to surveys administered by UCHRI to help shape future iterations of the fellowship program.

Application Details

  • Personal Bio (250 words or less)
  • Statement of purpose (1,000 words max)
    • 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.

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.