UC Berkeley Student Fellowships

The Greater Good Science Center offers annual fellowships to UC Berkeley undergraduate and graduate students whose research relates to our mission. The fellowship program aims to attract scholars from across a broad spectrum of academic disciplines, with an emphasis on the social-behavioral sciences. 

The window for fellowship applications is now open and the application due date is Friday, March 22, 2024! UC Berkeley students (enrolled through at least May 2025) can apply using the form below. Please review our Fellowship FAQ if you have questions about the program.

Please read below to learn about the GGSC Fellowship program and review our Fellowship FAQ if you have questions.

Current & Past Fellows

GGSC fellows have come from the departments of psychology, integrative biology, sociology, neuroscience, urban studies, and other departments; the schools of public health, education, social welfare, and Haas business; and the UC Berkeley-UCSF Joint Medical Program. Their research has ranged from studying the biological bases of compassion and awe to identifying ways to combat racism among children. Many of our fellows have gone on to top research and teaching positions at universities nationwide, providing a significant boost to the science of compassion, resilience, altruism, and happiness.

Key themes

In general, GGSC fellowships are awarded to research proposals that respond to one or more of the following themes:

1. The biological underpinnings of prosocial emotion. Examples of research in this area could address questions such as: How do reward systems in the brain reinforce prosocial emotional experience, humanistic or egalitarian beliefs, or cooperative and altruistic behavior? Which physiological processes are involved in attachment-related processes, such as caregiving, friendship, and long-term romantic bonds? What circumstances attenuate physiological activation associated with antisocial (hostile or self-interested at the expense of others) sentiments or behaviors?  

2. The context and cultivation of social well-being. For example, how do children and young adults learn to be compassionate and caring individuals in school, at home, and in other social contexts? What qualities of human environments and institutions (e.g., families, neighborhoods, schools, churches, laws) foster social well-being? What are the trends in social well-being over the last 35 to 40 years? How do people with different ethnic, religious, or class backgrounds, different social perspectives, different cultural values, or different mental health histories peacefully co-exist?

3. Prosocial values, health, and community. How do prosocial values and the emotions and behaviors they promote (gratitude, common humanity, trust, kindness) spread in communities, neighborhoods, cultures, and institutions? How does a prosocial demeanor or cultural norm promote health and well-being?

Application Instructions


  • Application Window: February 5 – March 22, 2024
  • Winners Announced: May 3, 2024
  • Funding Window: September 1, 2024 – August 31, 2025

Funding levels

  • Up to two fellowships will be awarded to UC Berkeley undergraduates: one GGSC Fellowship (up to $2,500), one Goldberg Fellowship (up to $5,000).
  • Up to four fellowships will be awarded to UC Berkeley graduate students: three GGSC Fellowships (up to $10,000), one Hornaday Fellowship (up to $10,000).

UC Berkeley students: Click here to submit your application.

Application requirements

Applications can be submitted online between February 5 and March 22, 2024. Please complete the submission form and be prepared to upload the following:

  • Research proposal: Summarize your project's main objectives, methods, analysis plan, projected results, and the potential implications and applications of these findings. Undergraduate applicants should limit this proposal to 500-1,000 words. Graduate applicants should limit this proposal to 1,000-1,500 words.
  • Budget and narrative: List and briefly explain all project costs, and indicate those that you would like the GGSC fellowship to cover. As you create your budget, keep these guidelines in mind: 1) Your project budget may exceed the requested award level; the GGSC looks favorably upon projects with multiple sources of funding. 2) Because the GGSC Fellowship program is designed for currently enrolled UC Berkeley students, international travel/long-term accommodation expenses are rarely approved. 3) GGSC Fellowship applicants are encouraged to engage credit-earning fellow students for assistance (e.g., through Psych 199) rather than including research assistant compensation costs in their budget.
  • Letter of recommendation: Please provide a letter of support for your proposed research from your primary research advisor, who should email it to ggscfellowships@berkeley.edu by March 22, 2024.
  • Curriculum vitae (graduate students applicants only)

We are especially interested in proposals that include the promise of applying or communicating research findings to the wider community. Our goal is to gather and disseminate knowledge that is directly useful to individuals, teachers, parents, social service and mental health professionals, and communities at large.

In addition to pursuing their proposed research, GGSC Fellows will be invited to contribute to the greater good by contributing approximately five hours per month as a research assistant for the GGSC’s online magazine, Greater Good, or otherwise contributing to another of the Center’s initiatives.

If you have any questions about the fellowships or fellowship application process, please consult our list of Fellowship FAQ; if you don't see your question there, please email it to our science director, Emiliana Simon-Thomas, at ggscfellowships@berkeley.edu.

Submission Form

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  • Jonah Paquette
    “As a psychologist working in a large HMO, I regularly draw from your site in my clinical work with patients, and have had countless patients express their appreciation for the GGSC as well. Thank you for all that you do!”

    Jonah Paquette, Psy.D., Kaiser Permanente

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