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Central Valley Graduate Fellowship

The UC Merced Central Valley Fellowship is intended for doctoral students who have advanced to candidacy, attended High School in the Central Valley, and whose research will benefit the California Central Valley. The California Central Valley encompasses all or parts of 18 counties: Butte, Colusa, Glenn, Kern, Fresno, Kings, Madera, Merced, Placer, San Joaquin, Sacramento, Shasta, Solano, Stanislaus, Sutter, Tehama, Tulare, Yuba, and Yola. A list of cities that are eligible can be found here:

This award is intended to assist Ph.D. students with the completion of their degree. It will provide students with a one semester fellowship, including tuition and fees. It will be expected that the awardee will present their work to the donor by the end of the academic year. The donor may be provided the awardee’s application information.

Eligibility Requirements & Standards

  • Must be a Ph.D. student who has advanced to candidacy prior to receipt of the award.
  • Must be a U.S. citizen, permanent resident, or AB540 student.
  • Must demonstrate satisfactory progress toward degree, have a minimum 3.0 GPA in their graduate studies at UC Merced, and be enrolled in 12 units during the award period.
  • Must have attended High School in the Central Valley.
  • Must be conducting dissertation research that will be of benefit to residents of the Central Valley.


  • Recipients will receive a one semester (Fall or Spring) fellowship of up to $12,500 plus payment of Graduate Fees (Resident Tuition, Student Services Fee and Health Services Fee), excluding Campus Based Fees.

Student Loan Impact

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

Application, Nomination & Review Procedures

  • Each graduate group offering a doctoral degree is eligible to nominate up to two Ph.D. students.  Nominations must be submitted by the Graduate Group Chair to and must include the following:
    • Student's CV.
    • A brief 200 word statement highlighting the student's qualifications.
    • Include the preferred term of support (Fall or Spring) and the faculty advisor clearly identified.
  • Students do not apply directly. 
  • Review criteria are consistent with the eligibility requirements above, the academic qualifications of the nominees, and the extent to which their research will benefit the Central Valley. Final award decisions will be made by the Graduate Dean.

* 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.


Nomination Deadline

Apirl 16, 2020

Central Valley Graduate Fellow 2019/20

Kathryn Daniels

Chia Thao
Public Health