Building Belonging Program
The Building Belonging program at UC Santa Cruz is designed to foster student success, increase engagement, and build a greater sense of belonging for under-represented undergraduate students through faculty mentored service-learning and research projects.
The program is offered through the Institute for Social Transformation in the Division of Social Sciences. The institute will award up to 100 Building Belonging undergraduate research fellowships of $1,500 per student each academic year (up to 50 fellowships in Fall/Winter and up to 50 fellowships in Spring/Summer).
- Meet the student fellows and faculty mentors in the program
- Watch the 2021 Building Belonging Student Flash Talks
The Building Belonging program was developed to enable and expand engagement between students and faculty, and also give students a firmer sense of belonging and acceptance at a research university. Making these opportunities paid rather than volunteer opens them up to students with limited financial means. We thank the generous donors who fund this program.
Faculty applications for Summer have been extended. Deadline is May 13, 2022 (11:59PM).
Eligibility/Who Can Apply
This program is open to all Social Sciences faculty and lecturers. Faculty apply to the program, and if selected, will choose students for their research projects. By applying to this program, faculty agree to mentor undergraduate students on a research project or a community-engaged scholarly project. Faculty may apply to mentor up to four student quarters per academic year maximum (includes fall/winter and spring/summer application cycles). The students can work individually with faculty or as part of a group. Faculty are expected to meet regularly with the student researchers. If faculty need help identifying students they can work with the institute and the EOP office.
The program aims to support undergraduate students in Social Sciences who are:
- EOP eligible
- low income
- former foster youth
A Building Belonging fellowship award is $1,500 per student for the quarter. This equates to approximately 100 hours per quarter. In the application, faculty will need to indicate in which quarter the research will be conducted. The intention of the program is to support as many individual students as possible, but faculty may request to support a student for two quarters with appropriate justification (this would use two of the faculty’s possible four student quarters for the academic year).
All student fellows will be required to participate in a research symposium in the spring (summer fellows can participate the following year).
As the goal is to build a sense of belonging among current students, participating students must be enrolled in at least 6 credits at UCSC for the term requested (except summer). Students can not participate in the program post-graduation. We encourage faculty members to recruit students who are not in their final year for these mentoring opportunities.
Please note that if the proposed research project is connected or related to a class or independent study where students receive credit, the research must be separate and distinct from the class work. In other words, students cannot receive a Building Belonging fellowship payment for work where they are also receiving course credit.
2021-2022 Application Timeline
Faculty apply to the program, and if selected, will choose students for their research projects. In the Spring all student fellows will be required to participate in a research symposium poster session (summer fellows can participate the following year).
- Faculty applications due September 15, 2021. Decisions will be announced by the end of September.
- For fall quarter fellowships, student names and IDs must be provided by faculty to IST by October 1, 2021.
- For winter quarter fellowships, student names and IDs must be provided by faculty to IST by January 7, 2022.
- Faculty applications due January 31, 2022. Decisions will be announced in early March.
- For spring quarter fellowships, student names and IDs’ must be provided by faculty to IST by March 18, 2022.
- For summer quarter fellowships, student names and IDs’ must be provided by faculty to IST by May 2, 2022.
Summer Extended Timeline
- Faculty applications due May 6, 2022. Decisions will be announced in late May.
- Student names and IDs’ must be provided by faculty to IST by May 18, 2022.
Student fellowship awards will be processed by the institute and disbursed as a fellowship/scholarship to the student’s financial aid account per quarter awarded. Please note that these are not posted as jobs in the ER System. The fellowship award will be incorporated into the student’s financial aid offer and the amount received as a payment/refund will depend on each student’s specific financial situation, including any unpaid university fees and other awards or aid they may have. If students have questions about this they can contact the Financial Aid and Scholarships Office or click here for frequently asked questions about fellowship/scholarship payments.
Please contact the Institute for Social Transformation with any questions at email@example.com.