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 14 fellowships. Four Public Impact Distinguished Fellows will each receive $12,000. Ten Public Impact Fellows will each receive $1,000. Public Impact Distinguished Fellows may choose to accept their awards during winter or spring quarter, or over both quarters, at their discretion. Public Impact Fellows will receive their awards in winter quarter. Public Impact Fellowships are intended to supplement, not replace, any funding that students may already be receiving.

Nominations must be submitted to the Graduate Division by 5pm on Friday, October 21, 2016.

Please use the following forms in preparing nominations:

Award Info

Graduate Division Public Impact Distinguished Fellowships: $12,000 to be used as a stipend

Graduate Division Public Impact Fellowships: $1,000 to be used as a stipend

Students who receive full $12,000 awards may not be appointed as ASEs during the award period, but may be appointed as GSRs. Students who receive $1,000 honorable mention awards may be appointed as ASEs or GSRs.


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

  1. Maintain UCI GPA of 3.7 or higher through the previous spring quarter.
  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 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 in mid-to-late November.

Please note that AB540 eligible students may be nominated for Public Impact Fellowships.

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, their ability to convey their research to a broad audience, academic record, letters of recommendation, degree progress, and research impact.

Nominations must be submitted to Kate Triglia in the Graduate Division by 5pm on Friday, October 21, 2016. 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.

  • Students must provide the following documents to their department:
    1. A complete Student Information Form (please provide both a .doc version and a signed copy). Please save your Student Information Form in Microsoft Word in the following format: "IMPACT APP - SID#.doc", e.g. "IMPACT APP - 12345678.doc"
    2. A current curriculum vitae
    3. A letter of recommendation from the student's faculty advisor
  • Departments must complete the Nomination Form. Please save nomination forms in Microsoft Word in the following format: "IMPACT NOM - SID#.doc", e.g. "IMPACT NOM - 12345678.doc"
  • Departments should print the nomination form and assist students in obtaining original signatures
  • Once forms are final with signatures, please 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
  • Please save the new PDF file as "IMPACT - SID#.pdf", e.g. "IMPACT - 12345678.pdf"
  • When all documentation is complete, e-mail the following items for each student to Kate Triglia:
    1. The original Microsoft Word (.doc) Nomination Form
    2. The original Microsoft Word (.doc) Student Information Form
    3. The PDF file to include all items listed above

Contact Information

Questions should be directed to Kate Triglia at (949) 824-9031.


Deadlines for the 2017-2018 Public Impact Fellowship competition will be announced in September 2017.

Students should consult with their program's graduate affairs staff member, as many Schools and programs set earlier internal deadlines.


  • Students who receive full $12,000 awards may not be appointed as ASEs during the award period, but may be appointed as GSRs. Students who receive $1,000 honorable mention awards may be appointed as ASEs or GSRs.
  • 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) are not eligible for this year’s competition.

Current Fellows

View Fellows Archive

Public Impact Fellows