FAQs

Timeline & Schedule

Q: What is the timeline of the summer fellowship?
A: The summer fellowship runs from mid-May to mid-August of every year.  The upcoming fellowship will run from May 18 to August 14, 2020.

Q: Is the summer fellowship timeline flexible? Can I work remotely?
A: Unfortunately, no. The summer fellowship program is based on the university’s academic calendar, and consequently, the start and end date of the summer fellowship are fixed from mid-May to mid-August. All summer fellows are expected to fully participate in the Fellowship and work from the Institute office at UC Berkeley for the full 14-week program. It is critical for the fellowship experience that the fellows participate in all workshops, trainings, and engagements as a full cohort during the length of the summer fellowship program.

Q: How flexible is the fellowship work schedule? Can the 20 hours/week could be consolidated into 3-day a week?
A: Fellows may be permitted to consolidate their 20 working hours/week into 3 days, 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.

Application Requirements

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, or bibliography 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 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 visa and 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 required to have a work permit in the US and are responsible for obtaining their own visa and arranging their travel to the US. The Othering & Belonging Institute does not (and is legally unable to) provide any support or documentation for visa and work permit applications. Further, the Institute cannot provide supplemental stipends for commute, transportation, or housing needs for international students.

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 equity standards.

Q: If I need to put down a deposit for summer housing, or otherwise need a pay advance, can I get one?
A: Unfortunately, HR does not allow for pay advances.

Q: Does the Institute offer assistance with housing and transportation for fellows?
A: Unfortunately, no. We suggest checking out websites like Craigslist, Berkeley Facebook groups like Berkeley Housing and Berkeley Free & For Sale, and Cal Rentals to aid in your search for housing. For transportation questions, please refer to https://www.bart.gov/ for Bart information, http://www.actransit.org/ for bus information, and the UC Berkeley Parking and Transportation Office for information about campus shuttles (free for students and staff) and parking permits.

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 trainings, a day-long local field trip, 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) and cohort activities (such as cohort meetings to plan the field trip), and to further their own professional development (such as informational interviews with staff and Institute-affiliated faculty working on research related to their interests). Fellows are also expected to deliver a collective final presentation during the last week of the fellowship.

Q: Do summer fellows work with the faculty research clusters?
A: No, summer fellows will be paired with a lead staff researcher to work on a predetermined summer-long project for a specific program area (please review our Areas of Work).

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:

Summer projects will primarily involve independent online work on applied and policy-oriented research; 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 makes its utmost effort to place prospective fellows with their program of interest. However, 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 our “Areas of Work” 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?
A: Yes. We encourage fellows to reach out to staff and researchers whose work intersects with fellows’ interests, and to build connections.