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OBI Summer Fellowship Goals & Responsibilities

What is the OBI Summer Fellowship?

The OBI summer fellowship is a part-time, paid research experience designed to provide future researchers and community leaders committed to social and racial justice with the skills needed for rigorous social science research through mentorship, training, and hands-on experience with public policy research and community-engaged projects. In addition to working on a research project, fellows attend workshops throughout the summer on Institute frameworks, research methodologies, and contemporary social justice issues led by experts. Over the years, the contributions of Summer Fellows – both during and beyond the fellowship period – have been essential to furthering OBI’s mission and research agenda.

What are the goals and objectives of the summer fellowship program?

The purpose of the fellowship is to prepare and engage with the next generation of researchers and future community leaders who are committed to social and racial justice by providing mentorship and hands-on experience with social science research and engagement with pressing community issues.

What does the summer fellowship program involve? What are fellow’s responsibilities?

Summer fellows will dedicate most of their paid work hours to their individual summer projects. Each fellow will be paired with a lead researcher to work on a predetermined summer-long project for a specific program area. Additionally, prospective fellows are expected to participate in all fellowship activities, including the fellowship orientation, bi-weekly workshops, and regular meetings with the Summer Fellowship Committee. Summer fellows are expected to coordinate meetings as required for their summer projects (such as check-ins with supervisors). Fellows are also expected to deliver a brief final presentation on their fellowship project during the last week of the fellowship.

Timeline, Schedule, & Logistics

What is the timeline of the summer fellowship?  Is the summer fellowship timeline flexible?

The summer fellowship runs from mid-May to mid-August of every year. The upcoming fellowship will run from May 14 to August 14, 2024. The start and end dates of the fellowship are fixed, and all summer fellows are expected to fully participate in the full 14-week program. It is critical for the fellowship experience that the fellows participate in all workshops and programming as a full cohort during the length of the fellowship.

Will the 2024 Summer Fellowship Program be held in-person or remotely?

The 2024 Summer Fellowship will be held remotely for the safety of all staff and fellows. Fellows will work from their home locations for the entirety of the fellowship, and all fellowship meetings and activities will take place online during the Institute’s working hours of 9am to 6pm Pacific Time. Fellows located in the Bay Area will have the option of commuting to the Othering & Belonging Institute office if they so choose, although all workshops and programming will be held remotely.

How flexible is the fellowship work schedule?

Rather than working every weekday, fellows may be permitted to consolidate their 20 working hours per week into 3 or 4 days each week, as long as this arrangement is approved by their supervisor during the first week of the summer fellowship.

Since the fellowship is only 20 hours per week, can I take or audit a summer course at UC Berkeley over the summer?

You may pursue summer classes, additional work, and other opportunities in your free time during the summer, as long as they do not interfere with your fellowship work and schedule. We do not offer fee remission or other assistance in signing up for or auditing courses.

Application Process & Requirements

How do I apply?

The Summer Fellowship Program applications are currently closed. Applications can be submitted through the online submission platform Submittable until Sunday, January 14 at 8pm PST. You can access the application at https://otheringbelonginginstitute.submittable.com/submit. 

Please select only two programs or work areas from the list below:

1. Conference Archival Research: Conduct background research on conferences and convenings, including previous OBI conferences to support developing a manual for future conferences and convenings. Skills Required: Excellent research and organization skills.

2. Democracy & Belonging Forum: Build a repository of authoritarian populist leaders and movements and their positioning on gender issues across Europe and North America. Skills Required: Familiarity with authoritarian politics, excellent research and writing skills.

3. Equity Metrics Program: Conduct background quantitative and qualitative research and analysis related to fair housing including census redistricting, disparate impact, residential segregation, and access to opportunity. Skills Required: Familiarity with fair housing/social equity, and knowledge of quantitative and qualitative research and analysis

4. Global Justice Program: Conduct background research, data gathering, and writing case studies as a part of the “climate crisis, displacement, and the right to stay” project. Skills Required: Familiarity with the climate crisis, excellent research, and writing skills.

5. Just Public Finance: Conduct background research to support writing a report related to economic policies and population health. Skills Required: Familiarity and experience with synthesizing literature reviews, findings, case studies, and excellent research and writing skills.

6. Network for Transformative Change: Conduct background research and literature reviews on data, studies, and experiments related to deep canvassing and immigrant inclusion, belonging, and social service provision at local levels of government. Skills Required: Experience with deep canvassing methods, literature reviews, and synthesize findings.

7. Othering & Belonging Research: Conduct background research, produce insightful memos and summarize books, chapters, edited volumes, lectures, and other materials. Skills Required: Experience with literature reviews, synthesize findings, and excellent research and writing skills

8. Strategic Communications: Conduct background research to catalog, summarize and curate annotated directory and literature and materials most relevant to belonging, and identify lessons that can be applied to belonging using OBI frameworks. Skills Required: Great research skills and experience with the communications ecosystem.

I plan to submit the first five pages of my thesis as a writing sample; do the table of contents and bibliography count toward the 5 page limit?

You may submit excerpts from a longer piece as your writing sample. If you choose to do so, please include a brief note that explains the context of the excerpts (for example, explain that it is two chapters of a research thesis that comprises twelve chapters in all) and provides the full title of the piece, the course title, and the name of the course instructor if applicable. Please note that multi-authored works are not acceptable. A title page, table of contents, bibliography, or works cited page does not count toward the 5 page limit.

Using Submittable

What is Submittable and how do I use it?

Submittable is an online submission platform. All applications are linked to user accounts—if you are new to Submittable, you will need to set up a new account. If you have an existing Submittable account, you must be logged in to start and view your application. 

How do I save my application?

Save your application as you work on it by clicking on the "Save Draft" button located at the end of the application webpage. Submittable will also auto-save your work as you go. Each time an auto-save occurs, a notification will appear on your active application page while you are working. 

How do I return to a draft application? 

To return to a draft application, navigate to the “Submissions” tab at the top of your account profile page and click on "Saved Drafts." Locate the application you would like to return to and click "Continue Working."

How do I submit my application?

Once you have completed your Application, click the "Submit" button at the end of the application webpage. You will receive an email confirmation that your Application has been submitted. Your submitted applications will be listed under the "All Submissions" tab. Click on a submission to see activity, any messages, the submission content, or to add notes. 

Eligibility, Compensation, & Arrangements

Who is eligible to apply for the summer fellowship?

The summer fellowship is open to traditional and non-traditional students. As of May 2024, students must be one of the following to be eligible: 

Currently enrolled in community college or an undergraduate program, or graduated within the last two years (only May 2022 graduates and later are eligible) Currently enrolled in a Master's program or graduated within the last two years (only May 2022 graduates and later are eligible) Doctoral students in their first or second year (as of May 2024) International students are also eligible, but are responsible for securing their own U.S. work permit/visa by mid-April 2024

Are undocumented students or students with DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) status eligible to apply?

Yes, undocumented students with work authorization (such as TPS or DACA) are eligible for the fellowship and are encouraged to apply.

Are international students from outside the United States eligible to apply?

Yes, however, non-US international students must secure their own  US work permit prior to the start of the fellowship (by mid-April), per UC Berkeley policy.

Does the Institute help make any arrangements for international students?

No. As the summer fellowship is a paid, part-time position, all international students are responsible for obtaining their own US work permit. The Othering & Belonging Institute does not (and is legally unable to) provide any support or documentation for work permit applications.

What will the compensation be for the summer fellowship? When will fellows get paid?

Fellows will receive compensation for 20 hours of work per week and will be paid via direct deposit on a bi-weekly basis. Each fellow’s hourly compensation rate is based on years of education completed and the University’s fixed pay scale and equity standards. Rates range from $28-33/hour depending on education level.

Responsibilities and Expectations

What do the fellows’ summer projects involve?

Summer projects will primarily involve independent online research and writing. This may include background research (such as literature reviews, case studies, background memos, etc.), support of ongoing research (such as data analysis or writing support for reports, discussion papers, journal articles, or book chapters), drafting of materials for public education (such as visuals for presentations or publications), and other research tasks as assigned.

Each summer fellow will be matched with one of the following programs based on an alignment between their skills, experience, interests, and each program project's needs.

Are fellows always placed with a program of their interest or choosing?

Prospective fellows will be matched by the Summer Fellowship Committee with a program area. The Committee considers each prospective fellow’s preferences during the application review process, but it is not guaranteed that all fellows will be placed with their preferred program.

To help us match you with your interests, please make sure to explore the above links for each program’s webpage and state your research interests in your cover letter, along with the specific Institute programs that you see as aligned with your interests. To have a better idea of what programs and projects previous fellows have worked on, please visit the previous summer fellowship cohorts webpage.

When do applicants get to know what project they will be working on and the supervisor they will be working with?

All applicants selected for the fellowship will be notified of their program placement and supervisor and provided with a general description of their assigned project when the Summer Fellowship Committee extends the initial offer in early April.

Are summer fellows able to interact with Institute staff and researchers? Do summer fellows work with the faculty research clusters?

Each summer fellow will be paired with supervisors  who will supervise their work on a predetermined summer-long project for a specific program area. In addition to engaging with their direct supervisor and the project team, we encourage fellows to reach out to staff and researchers whose work intersects with fellows’ interests, and to build connections. 

Do summer fellows work with the faculty research clusters?

Summer fellows generally do not work with Institute-affiliated faculty or members of the faculty research clusters.