THE 2015-2017 UC LEADS APPLICATION CAN BE FOUND HERE

 

The University of California Leadership Excellence through Advanced Degrees (UC LEADS) program at UC Irvine offers educationally or economically disadvantaged sophomore students (or juniors planning on staying a complete fifth year) in science, technology, engineering or mathematics programs an opportunity to begin their research training at the very beginning of their junior year.  Students will work closely with faculty mentors and graduate students on research projects for a two-year period and participate in activities, events and workshops designed to help prepare students for graduate education.

UC LEADS seeks to serve the following objectives:

  • To increase diversity of graduate students in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) within the University of California.
  • To facilitate coordination among campuses to identify, encourage, mentor and train undergraduates of high potential, so as to increase their competitiveness for admission to University of California doctoral programs (i.e. Ph.D.).
  • To foster high quality candidates for University of California doctoral programs through faculty mentoring, experiential learning in summer research programs, and involvement in professional and scientific societies.
  • To prepare future leaders in industry, government, public service, and academia whose demographics reflect the growing diversity of California's population and to increase the diversity of student contributors to science, technology, engineering and mathematics disciplines.

Program Components

Undergraduate Mentorship Experience
Scholars are matched with UC faculty members, who serve as advisors and mentors. Mentors assist the scholars in developing and completing a plan of action. This plan includes research experiences, graduate school preparation and exploration, as well as attendance and participation at regional or national professional and scientific society meetings and conferences. Mentors also assist scholars with academic and research hurdles.

Academic Enrichment and Graduate Preparation Opportunities
Scholars have the opportunity to participate in academic enrichment programs that provide special training in areas critical to academic success. These programs include:

  • Two summer research experiences
  • Fellowship workshops
  • Preparation for the GRE
  • Scientific writing
  • Preparing academic presentations
  • Academic career planning
  • Development of specific research or research-related skills
  • Campus visits to other UC campuses
  • All UC LEADS Scholars are expected to participate in the annual "Research & Leadership Symposium". The event features:
    • Scientific and academic presentations by leaders in the STEM fields of study;
    • Opportunities for scholars to present and receive feedback on their individual work from faculty and graduate students;
    • Presentations about research opportunities at each UC campus to allow scholars to make informed decisions about their second summer placement;
    • Presentations about graduate programs of study within the University of California; and presentations by California industrial and governmental leaders.

Student Expectations

The UC LEADS program is a two-year program which includes two summer experiences and two academic year programs. Scholars are expected to complete the entire two-year program. The research objectives of the program are substantial. Students will be assigned to ongoing research projects based on their defined area of research interest. Each student's specific research program will differ according to the faculty mentor/advisor and subject matter. Only in some cases will research undertaken by the student be "original."

Summer Programs

The first summer experience will be at UC Irvine and the second summer will be at another UC campus of the student’s choice.  Students should expect to put in a full-time effort on their projects, which may include work on evenings and weekends if the project and mentor/advisor require it,  but not exceeding 40 hours/week. Research mentors will expect continual and sustainable work throughout the summer program. Students should expect to meet at least once a week with their research mentor/advisor, or more often depending on the project and the mentor's arrangement.

Students will be expected to meet with the program coordinator bi-weekly during the summer program to discuss the progress of the research project. Attendance at all workshops/events and the GRE preparation course is mandatory.

Two Year Program Timeline

First Year of UCI UC Leads Program

First Summer Program (after scholar’s sophomore year)

  • Scholars participate in research full-time (35-40 hours per week) and attend all required events and activities
  • Scholars receive a research stipend of $3000*
  • Scholars receive on-campus housing in Arroyo Vista

Academic Year Program

  • Supervised research experience with faculty advisor/mentor
  • Complete Action Plan
  • Visit at least one UC campus
  • Research and select potential second summer faculty mentors at various UC campuses
  • Attend at least one scientific conference/society meeting
  • Attend scheduled workshops/meetings
  • Attend and present at the UC LEADS Research & Leadership Symposium
  • Attend and present at the UCI Undergraduate Research Symposium
  • Attend the Southern California Forum for Diversity in Graduate Education
  • Attend the SACNAS National Conference
  • Bi-Weekly individual meetings with the coordinator to discuss academic progress

Second Year of UCI UC Leads Program

Second Summer Program

  • This research experience will take place at another UC campus.
  • Scholars participate in research full-time (35-40 hours per week) and attend all required events and activities 
  • Scholars receive a research stipend of $3000*
  • On-campus housing arranged by the selected campus summer program coordinator.

Academic Year Program

  • Supervised research experience with faculty advisor/mentor
  • Complete Action Plan
  • Visit at least one UC campus
  • Attend at least one scientific conference/society meeting
  • Apply to at least six graduate programs, three of which need to be at the University of California
  • Apply to at least three fellowship opportunities
  • Attend scheduled workshops/meetings
  • Attend and present at the UC LEADS Research & Leadership Symposium
  • Attend and present at the UCI Undergraduate Research Symposium
  • Attend the SACNAS National Conference

Interested in applying to the UCI UC LEADS Program?  Apply by submitting an application to diversity@rgs.uci.edu.

Application Deadline: February 25, 2015

Questions? Contact:
Daniel Fabrega
Coordinator, Graduate Recruitment and Student Affairs
University of California, Irvine
120 Aldrich Hall
Graduate Division
Irvine, CA 92697-3180
Tel.: (949) 824-8730
Fax: (949) 824-9096
E-Mail: dfabrega@uci.edu

* Note: Stipend is subject to tax withholding.