Applications for the 2021 Summer Fellowship program are now closed.

NOTE: Under the current UC Berkeley campus closure, Othering & Belonging Institute programs are operating remotely. While campus operations for the summer remain uncertain, the 2021 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.

The Fellowship

The Othering & Belonging Institute Summer Fellowship is a paid research experience for individuals seeking to develop their research skills by engaging with the Institute’s multidisciplinary research, analysis, policy, and strategic narrative work. The purpose of the fellowship is to build the capacity and network of the next generation of researchers and community leaders who are committed to social and racial justice by providing mentorship and hands-on experience with social science research. In addition to working directly with their staff supervisor on an individual research project (see “Summer Projects” below),  fellows engage as a cohort in weekly meetings or workshops on Institute frameworks, research methodologies, and contemporary social justice issues throughout the summer.

  • Fellowship period: May 17 to August 13, 2021
  • Time Commitment: Part time, 20 hours per week
  • Compensation: Each fellow’s hourly compensation rate is based on years of education completed according to the University pay scale.

What this Fellowship is NOT:

  • Funding or support for a dissertation, individual research project, or independently selected research topic.
  • A fellowship for advanced PhD students or professionals with extensive full-time research experience
  • An opportunity to work directly with Institute-affiliated faculty members
  • A residential, full-time fellowship


The Summer Fellowship is open to traditional and non-traditional undergraduate students, graduate students within their first or second year of master’s level or PhD programs, as well as recent graduates of undergraduate or master’s level programs at any university, college, or community college. To be eligible, international students must secure their own visa and US work permit by mid-April 2020, per UC Berkeley policy, to be eligible for the fellowship.

Summer Projects

Summer fellows dedicate most of their paid work hours to their individual summer projects. Each fellow will be paired with a lead staff researcher to work on a predetermined summer-long project for a specific program area. Summer projects primarily involve independent, online research oriented toward policy, systems change, and/or strategic narrative. Tasks will include:

  • Background research for new or emerging projects, such as developing research databases or writing literature reviews, case studies, and brief research memoranda.
  • Supporting ongoing research, such as data analysis or writing sections of reports, discussion papers, or other Institute publications
  • Translating academic work into newsworthy pitches using accessible language and knowledge of current affairs.
  • Other research tasks as assigned.

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

  1. California Community Partnerships: background research on potential policies for cities to advance an equitable and ecological economic recovery
  2. Civic Engagement Narrative Change: analysis of quantitative data sources on elections and the electorate
  3. Equity Metrics: Program: background research on topics related to fair housing and access to opportunity
  4. Public Health: bibliographic research on the role of media and belief in science in shaping racial and political differences in responses to Covid-19
  5. Global Justice Program: research and data collection on climate refugees
  6. Just Public Finance:  research & data collection for case studies on water sovereignty & corporate power
  7. Othering & Belonging Research: bibliographic research on topics related to Othering & Belonging
  8. Residential Segregation: literature reviews, interviews with experts and citizens, and preparation of memoranda on residential segregation
  9. Strategic Communications: assist with op-ed editing and placement, journalist engagement, guest prep, and other media-related tasks
  10. Toward Belonging-Europe: background research on the landscape of belonging in the European region, with emphasis on European distinct expressions of anti-Black racism and other forms of marginalization

Responsibilities & Expectations

All Summer Fellows are expected to:

  • Demonstrate a genuine commitment to social and racial justice, equity, and civil liberties.
  • Remotely, work 20 hours per week for three months (May 17 to August 13, 2021).
  • Engage in collective learning as a cohort by completing required readings and participating in regularly scheduled workshops with Institute staff, cohort meetings, and team building activities.
  • Present the findings or results of their summer project to the Institute at the end of the summer, and publish a blog post on their project on the Institute blog.

Minimum Qualifications

  • Research proficiency
  • Basic computer literacy
  • Ability to prioritize tasks and meet deadlines
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills
  • Excellent interpersonal communication skills and political acumen
  • Interested in, and experience supporting social justice and equity issues
  • Self-starter with the ability to initiate and complete work with limited supervision
  • Stellar organizational skills, and ability to work independently and collaboratively

Desirable Skills

  • Quantitative research skills, including but not limited to data collection; data entry; statistical analysis; and retrieval, compilation, manipulation, and synthesis of Census Bureau data
  • Qualitative research skills, including coding qualitative data, such as interview and focus group transcripts, developing research databases, and writing literature reviews
  • Multimedia and editorial skills, such as writing and editing electronic newsletters, video recording and editing using Adobe Premiere, and audio editing using Adobe Audition
  • Proficiency in Adobe InDesign, Illustrator, or Photoshop, R, Stata, ArcGIS or Microsoft Excel