Graduate Research Mentorship Program

The Graduate Research Mentorship (GRM) Program is designed to assist doctoral students in acquiring and developing advanced research skills under faculty mentorship. Faculty mentors are expected to be in frequent contact with the student participants and to assist them with research leading to the development of a doctoral dissertation.

Awardees may not work more than 50% time.



The program is open to UCLA doctoral students who:

  1. Are in the arts, humanities, social sciences, public health, nursing, and institute of environment and sustainability (IoES) whose field of study areas are within the traditional eligibility areas listed. (Please contact the GRM coordinator for any clarification as to the eligible IoES fields).
  2. Are in year one, two or three of UCLA doctoral study at the time of application; priority will be given to students currently (at the time of application) in year one or two of doctoral study, and to students who have not already received a GRM award;
  3. Have not yet advanced to candidacy.
  4. Are U.S. citizens or permanent residents or are registered California AB540 undocumented students. Funding will be provided only if AB131 is still in effect for the duration of the fellowship.
  5. Must have cumulative 3.0 GPA at time of award (i.e., the time of each payment disbursement) and throughout term of award.
  6. Must be enrolled in 12 units throughout term of award.

Students may apply for the GRM in only one doctoral degree program and may receive the award only twice. Note that second awards are made only in exceptional cases.

Cota-Robles awardees may receive a GRM only once in addition to their Cota-Robles 2 (CR2).

A student who receives a UC–HBCU Fellowship is ineligible for the GRM.

Individuals from cultural, racial, linguistic, geographic, and socioeconomic backgrounds that are currently underrepresented in graduate education are especially encouraged to apply to this merit-based program. Departments are similarly encouraged to nominate students who will contribute to the diversity mission of the University through their participation in this merit-based program.


Award Amount

Program participants will receive a $20,000 stipend plus standard tuition and fees (excluding nonresident supplemental tuition and professional degree supplemental tuition). Stipends will be paid out on a monthly basis.



February 16, 2024


How To Apply

By applying, students understand that they are giving their consent to disclose application information to University officials and to relevant funding committees.

Applicants must be nominated by their department, IDP or school. To apply for nomination, students must:

  1. Students must go to the 2024-25 Merit-Based Awards Application for Continuing Graduate Students site at:
  2. Select the award application option.
  3. Review the instructions entirely prior to starting the application.
  4. Complete each section in order. The application sections are dynamic, so the application modifies the sections according to the entries.
  5. Basic Information, Citizenship & UID, Major & GPA must be filled out for all awards.
  6. Review the GRM section closely for specific instructions and required materials. Be sure to include all materials in their designated spaces on the application portal.
  7. Research Proposal. Upload this document in the GRM section. Include the following items in this document: research question(s) or goal(s) and the scope of the research; research training and/or activities; and the mentoring and collaborative activities that you and your faculty member will undertake during the award period.
    1. The Research Proposal must be a maximum of four pages double spaced. Minimum font size is 11 pt., with at least 1” margins. Any images, captions, graphs, tables, notes and/or references may be single spaced, but must be 11pt. font and included within the four pages. Pages in excess of four pages will not be forwarded for review.
    2. Also provide faculty mentor information in the GRM section of the application.
  8. Upload an unofficial copy of your Graduate Transcript with Fall 2023 grades posted to the Transcript section. The transcript printed from MyUCLA is acceptable. Do not submit a Degree Progress Report (DPR). If Fall Quarter is your first graduate term at UCLA, you must include an unofficial transcript from the last college/university attended (even if the last college/university was UCLA).
    1. Students who have incomplete grades that remain unresolved (i.e., “I” grades) must provide a statement explaining the reason for the incomplete(s), the steps that will be taken to resolve the incomplete(s) and the timeline for doing so.
  9. A personal statement is not required for the GRM.
  10. Provide an updated Resume or Curriculum Vitae in the Resume/CV section.
  11. ONE letter of recommendation from the faculty mentor, signed and on department letterhead. Enter the faculty mentor information in the Letter of Recommendation Section for ONE letter of recommendation. This will generate an automatic email from the application portal to the faculty recommender. The mentor does not have to be from the same department/program as the applicant.
    1. The mentor should describe the mentor relationship and the project that the student will carry out during the academic year. If a mentoring relationship has already been established between the applicant and faculty member, the letter should distinguish between ongoing and additional mentoring activities that would occur during this period.
    2. It will be the student’s responsibility to ensure that the letter has been submitted on time. Be sure to follow up with the recommender as needed. The online site will provide information about the status of the letter’s upload.  Beyond this, the Division of Graduate Education is not responsible whatsoever in contacting recommenders. The letter of recommendation is due on or before the GRM application deadline.  Applications missing letter(s) of recommendation or not submitted on time will be disqualified and not reviewed.  Applicants will not be notified.
    3. The letter of recommendation is due on or before the application deadline. Applications missing the letter of recommendation or with letters not submitted on time will be disqualified and not reviewed. Applicants/departments will not be notified.
    4. Note: Applicants applying simultaneously for both the Graduate Research Mentorship and Graduate Summer Research Mentorship Programs may request TWO letters of recommendation if they have different mentors for each program. Recommenders will be asked which program they are mentoring the student for and will answer specific questions. Students are strongly encouraged to use the optional message section to provide the recommender with information about the program they are applying for.
  12. If there is a document that should be in landscape position and it is in portrait position, please rotate it before you upload it.


  • Applicants must be nominated by their home department before they are reviewed by the Division of Graduate Education.
  • Applications that are not submitted on time, fail to follow the submission procedures listed above or forwarded as an incomplete application will be disqualified and not reviewed. 
  • Applicants/departments will not be notified.  
  • Revisions to applications after submission are not allowed; no exceptions.


Program Expectations

Awardees will be asked to submit a year-end program evaluation to the Division of Graduate Education. Faculty mentors will also be asked to submit a year-end evaluation of their participation in the program. Evaluations will be sent out at the end of the GRM Program around July.

Awardees may not work more than 50% time.


Hints to Prepare a Strong Proposal and Faculty Letter of Recommendation

The mentoring relationship is a key component in this fellowship. The faculty mentor’s letter of recommendation must address the following:

  1. Specific mentoring activities that will advance the student’s research skills toward the preparation of a dissertation.
  2. A clear plan for meetings, progress reports and expectations for final products/deliverables.

The proposal should be written so that the work will be understandable and its significance appreciated by faculty who may not be experts in the applicant’s field.

  1. The proposal should outline, as appropriate to the subject:
    • question(s), thesis or hypothesis being addressed;
    • project scope, research approach, plan or methodology;
    • a synopsis of the preliminary findings, results and/or analysis;
    • significance, creativity, originality and/or and impact of the work.
    • The mentoring activities and how they will contribute to achieving the project goals should also be clearly articulated.
  2. If you have already received a GRM award, briefly describe how the award enabled you to advance your research skills and progress, and note any presentations and/or publications you have authored or co-authored since receiving the award. Explain why a second GRM award is justified, as they are made only in exceptional cases.

Reviewers will evaluate all applications holistically, with particular attention to the

  • Overall quality of the project and proposal
  • Applicant’s readiness for this mentoring fellowship
  • Applicant’s academic record as reflected in his/her transcripts
  • Mentor’s recommendation