Skip to Main Content

Graduate Council Diversity Fellowship


The University of California is committed to the full realization of its historic promise to recognize and nurture merit, talent, and achievement by supporting diversity and equal opportunity in its education, services, and administration, as well as research and creative activity. As the UC Board of Regents’ Diversity Statement puts it,

Diversity – a defining feature of California’s past, present, and future – refers to the variety of personal experiences, values, and worldviews that arise from differences of culture and circumstance…The pluralistic university can model a process of proposing and testing ideas through respectful, civil communication. Educational excellence that truly incorporates diversity thus can promote mutual respect and make possible the full, effective use of the talents and abilities of all to foster innovation and train future leadership.

The purpose of the Graduate Council Diversity Fellowship (GCDF) is to support graduate students from across the UCLA campus who exemplify values of diversity in their academic, professional, and service activities.

The Fellowship is intended to support access to higher education for students who might otherwise find it difficult or impossible to successfully pursue graduate study.

Individuals from cultural, racial, linguistic, geographic, socioeconomic or other diverse backgrounds that currently are underrepresented in graduate education are especially encouraged to apply.

2023-2024 Award Description and Requirements

The Graduate Council Diversity Fellowship is highly competitive. 15 full-year fellowships will be awarded for the 2023-24 academic year across all eligible master’s and doctoral programs.
  • The Fellowship provides financial support for full-time graduate study during the award year. It includes a $30,000 stipend along with coverage of in-state graduate tuition/fees and nonresident tuition if applicable for AY 2023-24. 
  • Professional Degree Supplemental Tuition is not covered.
  • The Fellowship does not cover program fees (i.e., above the equivalent of the regular state-supported campus tuition and fees) for Self-Supporting Graduate Professional Degree Programs.
  • GCDF recipients must enroll in full-time study for the duration of the Fellowship (i.e., 12.0 units per quarter during the academic year).
  • GCDF recipients in 2023-2024 may not receive other major fellowships that provide a stipend of $20,000 or more during the GCDF year (see "Eligibility Criteria" below). 
  • Recipients may not be employed by the University (e.g., GSR, TA, SR, or other appointments) at more than 50% time during the Fellowship year.

Eligibility Criteria

  • Applicants must be
    • Currently registered and enrolled graduate students at UCLA, including professional schools and international students, in any program except School of Dentistry: D.D.S. and School of Medicine: M.D.
    • Master's students who will be in year two of their studies during the Fellowship period or 
    • Doctoral students who will be in years two or three of their studies during the Fellowship period. 
  • An applicant’s academic progress is expected to meet their program’s normative time-to-degree guidelines as published by Graduate Division. However, applicants may discuss any issues that may have affected their time-to-degree in the Academic Progress Statement included with the application (see “Instructions for Preparing Application Materials” below).
  • Students are not eligible to apply if they
    • Previously received the Graduate Council Diversity Fellowship.
    • Hold major financial packages that provide a stipend of $20,000 or more in addition to fees/tuition remission (such as the Eugene V. Cota-Robles Fellowship or NSF fellowships). 
    • Received the Graduate Opportunity Fellowship. 



Instructions for Preparing Application Materials

Applicants must submit two statements: an academic statement and a personal statement. The academic statement is intended to be forward looking. The personal statement should describe how your experiences gave you unique perspectives.

Each statement may be up to 400 words in length (approximately 1 page, single spaced, using 1-inch margins and 12-point font); applications with statements that exceed the 400-word limit will not be reviewed.



In your academic statement, briefly describe your academic interests and/or research. Also, consider the following prompts:

  • How do your scholarship, research, teaching, creative efforts, and/or community engagement activities during your graduate program help advance diversity and equal opportunity in higher education broadly, and at UCLA in particular?
  • If applicable, describe your additional active engagement in programs or activities that foster participation by underrepresented and diverse groups in higher education and/or the community.

The personal statement should describe how your experiences gave you unique perspectives. Consider the following prompts:

  • What educational, personal, cultural, economic, or social experiences have shaped your academic journey, and how? Have any of these experiences given you unique perspectives that you bring to your program, field or profession?
  • Describe any challenge(s) or barriers that you have faced in your pursuit of higher education. How did you overcome these challenges? What motivated you to persist, and how have you demonstrated your persistence, progress or success?

Applicants must submit a brief statement (maximum 200 words) describing their time-to-degree progress in their respective academic programs, relative to the program’s norms or standards published with the program information on the Graduate Division website (see “Eligibility Criteria,” above). Students should note any particular difficulties or barriers that may have delayed their progress, progress that exceeds their program’s standard, and progress plans for the GCDF award year.


Applicants must submit a professional resume or academic CV, depending on their programs, experience, or career goals. The resume or CV must conform to the templates/examples shown in UCLA’s Career Preparation Toolkit for Graduate Students and Postdoctoral Scholars (see pp. 30-35 for the professional resume and pp. 41-46 for the academic CV). The required sections of the document depend on whether it is a resume or a CV, but in all cases sections should follow the order and format appearing in the Toolkit with full information about the following items featured toward the top:

  • Educational qualifications, training, or degrees
  • Work, teaching, and/or research experience, including any important apprenticeship or internship positions
  • Publications, creative works, presentations or other works related to your professional or academic accomplishments
  • Fellowships, grants, awards, commissions, or other recognitions, including current support
  • Service: Community, volunteer, advocacy, or outreach experience, including positions of leadership and service to academic/professional organizations or societies

In addition, items within each section must appear in reverse-chronological order, that is, the most recent items are listed first, and subsequent items listed later, by date.

Application Materials and Process

Applications must be submitted online using the Fellowship Application for Continuing Students 2023-24 form, which is the same application form for endowed fellowships open to continuing students, the Graduate Summer Research Mentorship Program, the Graduate Research Mentorship Program, and the Dissertation Year Fellowship.

Students will be asked to:

  • Complete the online application form, and
  • Upload required supplemental materials as a single PDF file in the order listed below: 
  1. An Academic Statement
  2. A Personal Statement
  3. An Academic Progress Statement
  4. A current resume (for professional careers) or CV (for academic careers)
  5. The student’s unofficial UCLA graduate transcript
  6. Unofficial graduate transcripts from other institutions, if applicable
  7. Unofficial undergraduate transcript(s)


Fellowship Application for Continuing Students 2023-24

To start a new fellowship application, click here. Right-click to open the page in a new tab. 
To update a current fellowship application, click here. Right-click to open the page in a new tab. 

Evaluation Criteria

Applications will be reviewed and assessed on the strength of three main factors:

  • Evidence of the applicant’s academic achievement and excellence
  • The applicant’s personal experiences, commitments, and resilience, particularly as they have helped motivate the applicant’s own academic or professional interests, public/community service, or creative work
  • The applicant’s potential to shape or transform their programs, disciplines, communities, professions, or practices, as demonstrated by their research, effective engagement, mentorship, leadership, and/or advocacy, particularly for groups that are under-represented in higher education and the professions

If you have any questions about the GCDF or need assistance, please contact the Graduate Council Diversity Fellowship staff at