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 15 fellowships. Two UCI/Stanley Behrens Public Impact Fellows will each receive $20,000. Three Public Impact Distinguished Fellows will each receive $10,000. Ten Public Impact Fellows (honorable mention awardees) will each receive $1,000. UCI/Stanley Behrens Public Impact Fellows will receive their awards in the winter and spring quarters. 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 (honorable mention awardees) will receive their awards in winter quarter. Public Impact Fellowships are intended to supplement, not replace, any funding that students may already be receiving.

Please note that the information on this webpage is for the 2014 competition. Materials for the 2015 competition, including an updated call, student information form, and nomination form, will be posted in late September 2015.

Award Info

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

Two UCI/Stanley Behrens Public Impact Fellowships will be awarded in the amount of $20,000 each.


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 November.

For UCI/Stanley Behrens Public Impact Fellowships, nominees must meet the following additional criteria:

  1. Be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.
  2. Demonstrate financial need.
  3. Conduct cutting-edge research in one of the following areas: innovative medical therapies, social justice, global politics and religion, sustainability, or 21st century manufacturing.

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. 

The fellowship deadline will be announced in late September. 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):

Students may apply using the fillable/savable Microsoft Word form from the Graduate Division Website.

Students must provide the following documents to their department:

  1. A complete, signed Student Information Form (including the Student Profile and Student Research sections). 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

Nomination Forms (to be completed by the department):

  • Departments will nominate students via the fillable/savable Microsoft Word form from the Graduate Division website.
  • Please save nomination forms in Microsoft Word in the following format: "IMPACT NOM - SID#.doc", e.g. "IMPACT NOM - 12345678.doc"
  • Print the nomination forms and gather original signatures for each form
  • 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

NOTE: 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 separately 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 (.pdf) with the packet (to include all items listed above)

The fellowship deadline will be announced in late September. 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 fellowship deadline will be announced in late September.


  • Students receiving any Public Impact Fellowship may be employed as TAs and/or GSRs.  Students who receive $1,000 honorable mention awards may hold any type of 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