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Graduate Group Recruitment Fellowship

The Graduate Group Recruitment Fellowship (GGRF) is intended to recruit and support the best Ph.D. students with distinguished academic records.  The award provides an additional $5,000 to supplement the financial offer made by UC Merced to support the student in their first year of graduate education.

Eligibility Requirements & Standards

  • Ph.D. applicants entering their first year of graduate study.
  • All Ph.D. applicants are eligible, regardless of citizenship.
  • Undergraduate GPA above 3.0.
  • Must be offered with an offer of multi-year financial support.
  • Deferment of the award beyond the first year is not allowed.

Financial Support

  • It’s anticipated that between 15-20 fellowship awards will be made each academic year.
  • The $5,000 award is distributed as a $2,500 award each Fall and Spring semester.
  • Must be enrolled in 12 units before award will be disbursed.

Student Loan Impact

  • Per federal guidelines, all fellowship and tuition support is taken into consideration when determining student loan eligibility.  If the student will receive federal student loans during the same academic year as this award, please note that this award could, and most likely will, reduce their student loan eligibility.

Nomination & Review Procedures

  • Each graduate group offering a doctoral degree is eligible to nominate one Ph.D. applicant each year.  Any applicant meeting the criteria above is eligible; applicants do not need to apply. Graduate Group Chairs should submit their nominations directly to the Graduate Division.  If a nominee declines this offer of support, the graduate group may resubmit their nomination with an alternative Ph.D. applicant.  If the graduate group prefers, the alternative(s) may be submitted with the first nomination in a ranked format.
  • If the graduate group admits 20 or more doctoral students, they may nominate one additional Ph.D. applicant.  If two nominees are submitted, they must be ranked.
  • In addition, the Graduate Division prefers to receive a rank list whenever possible in case of declined offers.
  • This fellowship will follow a multiple step review process that considers all applicants.  Review criteria will include adherence to the fellowship guidelines, intellectual merit and academic qualifications of the applicant.
    • First Review - Graduate groups should nominate applicants based on a set of factors likely to predict success in graduate school, including but not limited to: undergraduate GPA, GRE scores, TOEFL score (if applicable), applicant’s research experience, strength of reference letters, writing sample (if applicable), quality of undergraduate institution.  Nominations submitted by the Graduate Group Chairs must include a brief description of the process and criteria that the graduate group used to choose the nominee(s).
    • Second Review - Final award decisions will be made by the Graduate Dean.  Once all awards have been made, a listing of the awardees for each graduate group will be provided to the Graduate Council.

* The Graduate Division reserves the right not to make an award in any given year for which a call for applications/nominations has been issued.



Currently Closed

Graduate Group Recruitment Fellows


Basharat Jahan
Biological Engineering & Small-Scale Technologies

Jessica Johnson 
Cognitive & Information Sciences 

Hung-Yu Tseng
Electrical Engineering & Computer Science

Vicky Espinoza
Environmental Systems 

Manuel Duenas
Interdisciplinary Humanities

Garima Panwar
Interdisciplinary Humanities

Jung Chen
Political Science 

Ana Simoes
Psychological Sciences 

Melissa Quesada

Jonathan Rice
Quantitative & Systems Biology

Pradyumna Lanka
Psychological Sciences

Jessica Wilson 
Quantitative & Systems Biology


Melissa Baker 
Political Science

Brandon Batzloff
Cognitive & Information Sciences

Samantha Bidwell
Chemistry & Chemical Biology

Robert Boria
Quantitative & Systems Biology

Christopher Michael Caskey
Interdisciplinary Humanities

Lisa Gong
Chemistry & Chemical Biology

Kuan-ying Kuo
Interdisciplinary Humanities

James Kupihea
Environmental Systems

Benigno Merlin
Social Sciences

Camen Andrew Royce

Cameron Smith
Cognitive & Information Sciences

Marcus Vadnais
Psychological Sciences

Ritwika Vallomparambath Panikkassery Sugasree

Xuan Wei
Biological Engineering & Small-Scale Technologies