UC Berkeley ISSI (Institute for the Study of Societal Issues) Graduate Fellows Program

The Graduate Fellows Program (GFP) provides Berkeley doctoral students with an interdisciplinary, intergenerational, and inclusive environment for research and training. In addition to receiving monthly stipends, Graduate Fellows enjoy access to a rich array of activities that promote mentoring relations with faculty, collaboration with peers, and the exchange of ideas with a broad audience of academic and community leaders.

The Institute for the Study of Societal Issues serves as the research and teaching base for the Graduate Fellows Program. Fellows attend a weekly two-hour in-person seminar in which they receive practical training in theory, methods, and policy work. The core emphasis is on field research and the production of scholarly work geared towards a broad understanding of the patterns of social change in the structures, social practices, and culture of U.S. cities.

Only registered UC Berkeley doctoral students who have completed at least three years of graduate study by May 2023 are eligible for this program. The deadline to apply is April 3. While it is not a firm requirement, most of the Fellows have passed their qualifying exams prior to entering the program.

Fellows must be in residence in the Bay Area in order to participate in weekly in-person meetings during each semester.

The GFP is committed to diversity in graduate education and the academy more broadly.  Students from groups historically underrepresented in higher education (such as African American, Native American and Latinx/Chicana/o) are especially encouraged to apply. We are looking for applicants

  • with the potential to bring to their academic research the critical perspective that comes from their understanding of the experiences of groups historically underrepresented in U.S. higher education or underserved by academic research;
  • who need the additional training and mentoring offered by our program; and
  • who are committed to doing research to advance social justice or social change.


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