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 deadline has been postponed to SEPTEMBER 30, 2020! UC Berkeley students (enrolled through at least May 2021) can apply using the form below. Please review our Fellowship FAQ if you have questions about the program.

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.

Read on to learn how to apply and to read about our current and former Hornaday Graduate Fellows and Goldberg Undergraduate Fellows.

Application Instructions


  • Application Window: February 10–September 30, 2020
  • Winners Announced: November 2, 2020
  • Funding Window: January 1, 2021–August 31, 2022

Funding levels

  • Two fellowships will be awarded to UC Berkeley undergraduates: one GGSC Fellowship (up to $2,500), one Goldberg Fellowship (up to $5,000).
  • Four fellowships will be awarded to UC Berkeley graduate students: three GGSC Fellowships (up to $10,000), one Hornaday Fellowship (up to $15,000).

Thanks to our new Andrew Peckham Fellowship Fund, supported by a generous gift to the Greater Good Science Center, current GGSC fellowship awards are larger than in previous years. We hope this will stimulate even more ambitious and influential research!

UC Berkeley students: Click here to submit your application.

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 requirements

Applications can be submitted online between February 10 and September 30, 2020. 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 .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) by September 30, 2020.
  • Curriculum vitae

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.

Submission Form

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