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 GGSC is no longer accepting fellowship applications for the 2020-2021 academic year. Please read below to learn about the GGSC Fellowship program and review our Fellowship FAQ if you have questions. Stay tuned for information about fellowship opportunities for 2022-2023, which will be announced in the spring of 2022!

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?


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