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Chancellor's Fellowship for Inclusive Excellence

As part of our campus goal to advance inclusive excellence, UC Merced is committed to the recruitment, admission, retention, and success of a diverse graduate student population. The Chancellor and Graduate Dean have established this predoctoral fellowship to recruit the highest caliber graduate applicants who will contribute to the diversity and inclusiveness of our academic community, especially in terms of the research and education of Black scholars. Looking forward, the fellowship also aims to identify and support students whose studies will contribute to the representation of Black scholars in academia and beyond.

The Chancellor’s Predoctoral Fellowship includes full fellowship support for the first and third years of study in a Ph.D. program, contingent on good academic standing by the Graduate Division. The fellowship also includes professional development support for awardees to learn the culture and conventions of their discipline, and of professional life in the academy.

The year-long fellowship must be part of an offer of admissions that includes a minimum of four years of full financial support, with the program or school committing two full years of support in addition to the fellowship. All support is contingent on the applicant enrolling in a Ph.D. program at UC Merced and staying in good academic standing for the duration of support. The nature of program/school support generally does not need to be specified in advance, but may include additional fellowships, or research and teaching assistantships.

Eligibility Requirements & Standards

  • All nominees must be Ph.D. applicants entering their first year of graduate study.
  • All Ph.D. applicants are eligible, regardless of citizenship.
  • All nominees must have a minimum 3.0 GPA in their undergraduate studies.
  • Recipients are expected to work closely with a faculty mentor identified by his/her Ph.D. program, who guides the Ph.D. student through the development of a curricular plan. The long term goal is to acquire skills and knowledge needed to advance to candidacy develop a dissertation topic, on the way to completion of a doctoral degree.
  • Graduate Division will track recipient progress towards doctoral degree, and job placement after degree completion. Faculty, staff, and students participating in these predoctoral fellowships must comply with all requests for information from the Graduate Division.

First & Third Years of Support

  • Up to three awards will be made each academic year.
  • Recipients will receive a fellowship of $25,002, paid monthly over a 9-month academic year period plus payment of Graduate Fees (Resident Tuition, Non-Resident Supplemental Tuition (if applicable), Student Services Fee, Health Services Fee, and Campus Based Fees), in their first and third years of study.
  • Recipients will also receive up to $2,000 to cover travel, registration and related costs for professional development activities during the tenure of the award. Please contact for more information.
  • Fellows are not permitted to hold employment while supported by the fellowship.

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 will reduce their student loan eligibility.  In most cases, full fellowships reduce student loan eligibility to zero.

Nomination & Review Procedures

  • Each graduate group offering a doctoral degree is eligible to nominate up to two Ph.D. applicants 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 the graduate group has an applicant pool of 50 or more students, they may nominate one additional Ph.D. applicant.
  • Graduate Groups should nominate applicants on the basis of academic merit and contribution to the diversity of the graduate program, and graduate population. Diversity may be broadly construed, but nominees are encouraged from cultural, linguistic, geographic, and socioeconomic backgrounds, especially as they relate to the underrepresentation of Black scholars. Examples include nominees from Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and those who will contribute to Black research and studies on campus, issues of social and environmental justice, and antiracist practices in research and teaching. In accordance with applicable state laws, applicants to the program may not be given preferential treatment on the basis of race, ethnicity, gender, religion or national origin.
  • 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 - Nominations submitted by the Graduate Group Chairs should include a brief description highlighting the nominee’s qualifications for the non-expert reviewer, plus any information not in the Ph.D. admissions applications that might help the review committee evaluate the nominees and their fellowship qualifications. Narratives must address how experiences, accomplishments, and points of view of the individual may contribute to diversity in the graduate program and population.
    • Second Review - Nominee admissions applications are provided to the review committee, and the committee then makes recommendations to the Graduate Division. Review criteria will include adherence to the fellowship guidelines, the academic qualifications of the nominee, the letters of recommendation, and the nominee's contributions to diversity.
    • Third Review - Final award decisions will be made by the Graduate Dean.

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



Admissions Application:
January 15

Graduate Group Nomination:
February 2