Berkeley Connect

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The Berkeley Connect fellowship is a competitive research fellowship with a service component. The outstanding graduate students who are selected to be Berkeley Connect Fellows receive a year of support so that they can advance their own research; at the same time they act as mentors to undergraduate students in their discipline, and are mentored in their own scholarly development by faculty in their department.

Each Berkeley Connect Fellow mentors two groups of up to 20 undergraduate students a semester. As mentors, they:

  • Meet with students individually for one-on-one advising
  • Facilitate interactive small-group discussions, approximately every other week, about a variety of topics related to their academic discipline
  • Accompany students to special events and excursions including informal talks by professors, panels on careers and graduate school, and visits to campus resources such as the Berkeley Art Museum or the Library

Berkeley Connect Fellows are not teaching a course. There is no homework or assigned reading; there are no papers or exams; no grading is involved. The topics to be discussed during the small-group sessions are provided by the faculty director, who mentors the fellows throughout the year.

Berkeley Connect Fellows are graduate students who have advanced to candidacy (or recent graduates) with exceptional teaching records and mentoring experience, as well as demonstrated research progress and success. During their fellowship year they meet regularly with the Berkeley Connect faculty, who will also observe and coach their group facilitation. In addition to discussing effective mentoring strategies, the faculty will work with the fellows to advance their scholarly research and prepare them for the job market. Most fellows find that they make significant progress towards completing their dissertations during their year with Berkeley Connect. Fellows receive a stipend and full tuition and fee remission for the year.

Berkeley Connect Fellows have the opportunity to serve as role models and guides, helping students get the most out of their undergraduate experience at Berkeley; they develop effective mentoring skills that will serve them well on the academic job market; and they receive support for their research. If you are interested in being a Berkeley Connect Fellow, please contact the faculty director in your department (listed on the Participating Department web-pages on this site).

Currently, participating departments are:

  • African American Studies
  • Architecture
  • Comparative Literature
  • Computational Biology
  • English
  • Environmental Science, Policy, and Management
  • Ethnic Studies
  • History
  • Math
  • Music
  • Philosophy
  • Physics
  • Social Welfare
  • Sociology

Departments start accepting applications for Berkeley Connect fellowships as early as February for the next academic year. If you are interested in getting more details about the application process/timeline, please contact the faculty director in the relevant department.