Call For Graduate Student Research Fellowship Proposals In Women's Health, Gender And Empowerment

The UCGHI Women's Health, Gender, and Empowerment Center of Expertise (COE) will fund up to $2,500 to support University of California graduate students pursuing fellowships during the summer of 2022.

This opportunity is for University of California graduate students across the 10 UC campuses to provide seed funding for research projects of their own design. Research projects should be innovative and in the areas of women’s health, gender justice, and/or empowerment. The COE will fund five graduate students for up to $2,500 depending on the applicant’s needs. For example, less funding may be awarded for budgets that do not include any research costs. The Research Fellowship Program is overseen by Dr. Melissa Smith, Deputy Director of Education and Training for the WHGE COE, in collaboration with Stephanie Sumstine, WHGE COE Coordinator, and the COE leadership team.

About the opportunity

  • Activities during the fellowship must specifically be at the nexus of health, gender justice, and empowerment. 
  •  The proposed research can be conducted domestically or internationally. 
  • Applicants must be enrolled at a UC campus and currently a graduate or professional student.
  • Awardees are required to attend the COE’s annual retreat in fall 2022 and make a 5-minute presentation on their project (travel expenses will be paid by the WHGE COE). Retreat details will be provided at the time of award. If the awardee is unable to attend the retreat in person, a video presentation is required.
  • Awardees must be matched with a faculty mentor, based on the topic of their internship/project. The awardee will be expected to set up at least two meetings (in person or via telephone/Zoom) with their mentor during the award period and seek feedback about their project presentation to be made at the annual retreat. 

If a UCGHI graduate Student Ambassador does not have a project in mind but would like to apply, they can propose a research project connected to a WHGE COE summer internship. The applicant must browse the WHGE COE Internship Opportunities Program internship sites and select an organization they would like to work with. The applicant must then contact Stephanie Sumstine ( and Dr. Melissa Smith (, who will facilitate a connection with the internship site to see if there are available research projects in need of a student lead. If a research project is feasible at the internship site, applicants must submit a reference letter and a brief (one-page) concept research proposal for the internship site to review. If the research proposal is approved, graduate students may apply to this fellowship funding opportunity.


This opportunity is only open to current UC graduate students. Preference will be given to low-income students from historically underrepresented communities. Low-income status will be determined based on the financial aid the applicant is currently receiving. For example, students with Pell Grants or other need-based grants will qualify as low-income.  Low-income applicants should include documentation of such need-based financial aid (i.e., a screenshot of financial aid award).
If a graduate student is awarded a fellowship for a project connected to the Internship Opportunities Program, they are not able to also receive funds from the WHGE COE internship stipend opportunity.


Applications must be submitted by March 18th, 2022 at 5:00 pm (PT). Applicants may request up to $2,500 to be spent by September 30, 2022, after which remaining funds revert to the COE. Award announcements will be made in April 2022 and funds will be disbursed in May 2022.

Application Format

Applicants should submit the following by March 18th, 2022 at 5:00 pm. Apply here.

  • A two-page concept proposal that provides a brief background of the issue(s) to be addressed, a description of the project aims, the activities to take place, the team's expertise (including the mentor), and a timeline.
  • Line-item budget (not counted against the two-page limit) – funds can be used for research-related expenses, such as participant incentives, research supplies and materials, stipend payments, conference travel, etc.
  • Attach resume or CV
  • Faculty mentors must submit a letter of support addressed to the COE committee describing the resources that will be made available to the student applicant, including mentorship and equipment. Faculty letters must be received by the application deadline, March 18th, 2022.
  • Contact information for one reference check

About the Women's Health, Gender and Empowerment Center of Expertise

The Women's Health, Gender and Empowerment Center of Expertise envisions a world in which equitable gender norms lead to healthy and empowered women — including University of California students. The COE promotes research, education, and community engagement both globally and locally to reduce gender and health inequities.

For questions contact Stephanie Sumstine at