Public Impact Fellowships highlight and support doctoral students whose current research has the potential for substantial impact in the public sphere. Ideal candidates will be involved in research designed to significantly improve or enrich the lives of Californians and/or national and global communities.

All schools are eligible to nominate students to compete for a total of up to 15 fellowships.  Each of five full awardees from any discipline will receive $10,000/$20,000 and ten honorable mention awardees will receive $1,000.  Public Impact Fellowships are intended to supplement, not replace, any funding students may already be receiving.

The Public Impact Fellowships call for nominations is available here.

Award Info

Graduate Division Public Impact Fellowships: $10,000  (full award) or $1,000 (honorable mention award) to be used as a stipend.

All schools are eligible to nominate students to compete for a total of 13 fellowships. Each of the three full awardees will receive $10,000. Ten honorable mention awardees each will receive $1,000. Students may choose to accept the award during winter, or over both quarters, at their discretion.

UCI/Stanley Behrens Public Impact Fellowships: $20,000 (full award) to be used as a stipend.

All schools are eligible to nominate student to compete for 2 donor funded $10,000 awards matched by the Graduate Division, for a total award amounts of $20,000 each. Stipends will be awarded during winter and spring 2015.


For UC Irvine Public Impact Fellowships, nominees must, at minimum, meet the following criteria:

  1. Maintain UCI GPA of 3.7 or higher through spring quarter 2014.
  2. Be a current, full-time doctoral student who has advanced to candidacy.
  3. Conduct research that has critical public impact. (Examples of relevant research include studies that aim to improve economic opportunity and well-being, health care, social justice, political participation, cultural engagement, and scientific or technical solutions to pressing social issues.)
  4. Be willing to have research spotlighted/featured on both the Graduate Division’s and UCI’s website, brochures and social networks, and be able and available to effectively communicate and discuss their research in lay terms with prospective donors, legislators and/or their staff, and the media sometime during Winter and Spring quarters.
  5. If selected as a finalist, students must be available to give a brief presentation to the selection committee, with no visual aids, immediately followed by a brief interview. Interviews will be held on Monday, November 24th.

For the UCI/Stanley Behrens Public Impact Fellowship, additional criteria apply as follows:

  1. Be a U.S. Citizen or permanent resident.
  2. Have financial need.
  3. Students must be conducting cutting-edge research in one of the following areas: innovative medical therapies, social justice, global politics and religions, sustainability, or 21st century manufacturing.
  4. In addition to being available for a presentation and interview on Monday, November 24th, finalists may also be required to attend a brief interview with the donor(s).
  5. Must be willing to be interviewed and/or meet with the donor(s) and provide donor(s) with periodic updates.

Application Process

Schools are asked to collect nominations from each department and then forward the most promising nominees, based on merit and the potential public impact of the student's research. There is no limit to the number of nominations each school may submit. The final selection committee will consider several factors when choosing the awardees, including the student's presentation, interview and their ability to convey their research to a broad audience; academic record, letters of recommendation, degree progress, and research impact. 

DEADLINE to submit nominations to the Graduate Division: 12:00 p.m. (noon), Friday, October 24, 2014. Late or incomplete nomination packets will not be reviewed. Please note that Schools and Departments typically have earlier internal deadlines for fellowship submissions. Please contact your School or Department for details.

Student Information Forms (to be completed by the student):
  1. Students may apply using the fillable/savable Microsoft Word form from the Graduate Division Website: Public Impact Fellowship Student Information Form
  2. Students must complete and submit the Student Information form as a Microsoft Word document via e-mail to their department (including the Student Profile and Student Research sections)
    1. Student Information forms must be saved in Microsoft Word as "IMPACT APP - SID#.doc", e.g. "IMPACT APP - 12345678.doc"
    2. Students must also provide the following items to their department:
      1. A printed/signed copy of the Student Information form (including the Student Profile and Student Research sections)
      2. A current, printed curriculum vitae
      3. A letter of recommendation from the student's faculty advisor
Nomination Forms (to be completed by the department):
  1. Departments will nominate students via the fillable/savable Microsoft Word form from the Graduate Division website: Public Impact Fellowship Nomination Form
  2. Nomination forms should be saved in Microsoft Word as "IMPACT NOM - SID#.doc", e.g. "IMPACT NOM - 12345678.doc"
  3. Print the nomination forms and gather original signatures for each form
  4. Once forms are final with signatures, scan documents to a single PDF file for each nominee in this order:
    1. Nomination form (signed by the Faculty Advisor and Associate Dean)
    2. Student Information form (signed by the student)
    3. Curriculum vitae
    4. Faculty advisor letter of recommendation
    5. Save the new PDF file as "IMPACT - SID#.pdf", e.g. "IMPACT - 12345678.pdf"
    6. When all documentation is complete, e-mail the following items separately for each student to Kate Triglia:
  • The original Microsoft Word (.doc) nomination form
  • The original Microsoft Word (.doc) Student Information form
  • The PDF file (.pdf) with the packet (to include all items listed above)

DEADLINE to submit nominations to the Graduate Division: 12:00 p.m. (noon), Friday, October 24, 2014

Late or incomplete nomination packets will not be reviewed.


Contact Information

Questions should be directed to Dr. Sandra Loughlin, (949) 824-5179 or Kate Triglia, (949) 824-9031.


The deadline for e-mail receipt of completed/signed nomination packages is 12:00 p.m. (noon) on Friday, October 24, 2014.


  • Students receiving any Public Impact Fellowship may be employed as TAs and/or GSRs.  Students who receive $1,000 honorable mention awards may be hold any appointments. 
  • For students already receiving financial aid, acceptance of a Public Impact Fellowship may affect his or her overall financial need-based support package.  In such cases, students are encouraged to consult with the UCI Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships. 
  • Previous winners (full awardees and honorable mentions) and current ARCS scholars are not eligible for this year’s competition.

Current Fellows

View Fellows Archive

Public Impact Fellows