Timeline & Schedule
Q: What is the timeline of the summer fellowship? Is the summer fellowship timeline flexible?
A: The summer fellowship runs from mid-May to mid-August of every year. The upcoming fellowship will run from May 17 to August 13, 2021. 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.
Q: How is this year’s program changing due to the Covid-19 pandemic? Can I work remotely?
A: 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.
Q: How flexible is the fellowship work schedule?
A: 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.
Q: Since the fellowship is only 20 hours per week, can I take or audit a summer course at UC Berkeley over the summer?
A: 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.
Q: 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?
A: 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. 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.
Eligibility, Compensation, & Arrangements
Q: Who is eligible to apply for the summer fellowship?
A: The Summer Fellowship is open to traditional and non-traditional students who are currently enrolled in or have recently completed (within the last two years) an undergraduate, masters, or professional degree program at any university, college, or community college in the United States. Doctoral students who are in the early stages (within their first or second year) of their graduate program are also eligible to apply.
Q: Are undocumented students or students with DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) status eligible to apply?
A: Yes, undocumented students and students with DACA are eligible for the fellowship and are encouraged to apply.
Q: Are international students from outside the United States eligible to apply?
A: Yes, however, international students must secure their own US work permit prior to the start of the fellowship (by mid-April), per UC Berkeley policy.
Q: Does the Institute help make any arrangements for international students?
A: 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.
Q: What will the compensation be for the summer fellowship? When will fellows get paid?
A: 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.
Responsibilities and Expectations
Q: What are the goals and objectives of the summer fellowship program?
A: 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.
Q: What does the summer fellowship program involve? What are fellow’s responsibilities?
A: 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.
Q: What do the fellows’ summer projects involve?
A: As 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:
- California Community Partnerships: background research on potential policies for cities to advance an equitable and ecological economic recovery
- Civic Engagement Narrative Change: analysis of quantitative data sources on elections and the electorate
- Equity Metrics: Program: background research on topics related to fair housing and access to opportunity
- Public Health: bibliographic research on the role of media and belief in science in shaping racial and political differences in responses to Covid-19
- Global Justice Program: research and data collection on climate refugees
- Just Public Finance: research & data collection for case studies on water sovereignty & corporate power
- Othering & Belonging Research: bibliographic research on topics related to Othering & Belonging
- Residential Segregation: literature reviews, interviews with experts and citizens, and preparation of memoranda on residential segregation
- Strategic Communications: assist with op-ed editing and placement, journalist engagement, guest prep, and other media-related tasks
- 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
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.
Q: Are fellows always placed with a program of their interest or choosing?
A: 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.
Q: When do applicants get to know what project they will be working on and the lead researcher(s) who they will be working with?
A: 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.
Q: Are summer fellows able to interact with Institute staff and researchers? Do summer fellows work with the faculty research clusters?
A: Each summer fellow will be paired with a lead staff researcher who will supervise their work on a predetermined summer-long project for a specific program area. In addition to engaging with their direct supervisor, we encourage fellows to reach out to staff and researchers whose work intersects with fellows’ interests, and to build connections. Summer fellows generally do not work with Institute-affiliated faculty or members of the faculty research clusters.