Opportunities to Give

Graduate Recruitment Fellowship

Fellowships to Attract and Support our Top Graduate Students

For a majority of prospective graduate students, fellowship opportunities are critical when deciding what program to choose and where. The Graduate Recruitment Fellowship (GRF) initiative bridges the gap in funding offered to incoming doctoral students who are on the brink of deciding whether UCLA Grad is the right place for them. These fellowships enhance UCLA’s ability to offer competitive financial support packages for highly-recruited prospective students, whose scholarship and discoveries will shape their fields for years to come.

The Graduate Recruitment Fellowship fund serves as a key fund in response to the growing need for increased fellowship support for graduate students across campus. It highlights faculty and Graduate Division’s shared mission to attract, recruit and retain the best and brightest graduate students who wish to further their scholarship at UCLA.

Contributions in support of the Graduate Recruitment Fellowship fund will create multiple awards of $5,000 per incoming student, and will enhance the Dean’s ability to offer increased fellowship funding to entering doctoral students accepted to any graduate program across campus. Gifts of $5,000 or more can create one full GRF award, may be paid out as a pledge, and designated to a specific department or program on campus.

In order to receive this award, students must be nominated by their department.

Meet the 2019-20 GRF Scholars

Quynh DuongQuynh Duong

Chemistry & Biochemistry, PhD Graduate Program

B.S. in Chemistry from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona

Why I Chose UCLA

As one of the top universities in the United States, UCLA was definitely one of my top choices. What makes it stand out from the rest for me was it’s location and the diverse and engaging campus culture that I wanted to be a part of. The outstanding faculty was the main reason I chose UCLA. Dr. Chong Liu has been exceptionally welcoming and makes me feel that I am wanted and that my research will make a difference at UCLA.

Receiving this fellowship makes me feel that UCLA is really interested in me being part of the school and contributing to its body of knowledge. As someone who grew up in LA County, not only do I have the privilege of attending a top university, but I also get to be near my family.

Academic Interests and Research Aims

My research interests in general lie in energy and catalysis. The aim is to understand the fundamentals and develop a novel approach towards a cleaner and more efficient energy source.

Career Aspirations

Although still quite far away, my current plan is to focus an academic career after graduation and post doctoral studies.


Yi RenYi Ren

East Asian Linguistics, PhD Graduate Program

B.A. from Macalester College; M.A. from University of Oregon

Why I Chose UCLA

The most important reason is that I believe UCLA Grad will help me develop to my fullest potential, with its strong academic background and rich resources. I have always aspired to be part of this knowledgeable, engaging, and vibrant community that values diversity.

The financial support is definitely a decisive factor that brought me here to UCLA. Surpassing my expectations, this generous fellowship offers me great support to my graduate education and research on linguistics. As a first-year PhD student, this is especially important, as the fellowship allows me to not worry about finding a job as a teaching or research assistant, but instead focus on my coursework and research projects.

Academic Interests and Research Aims

My research is focused on East Asian linguistics, with an emphasis on Chinese and Japanese in particular. I came to UCLA with a profound interest in how language indexes and constructs social identities as well as how meaning is constructed and conveyed in conversations. Recently, I have been conducting a sociolinguistics project on a regional variety of Japanese, the Osaka dialect. Specifically, I have been investigating how the Osaka dialect indexes a new style of masculinity that is rising in Japan. At UCLA, I look forward to continuing my work on exploring the relationship between language and social identities and also conducting cross-linguistic comparative research of Chinese, Japanese, and Korean.

Career Aspirations

From a long-term perspective, I would like to continue researching East Asian Linguistics and build a career as a scholar and teacher. As I developed a keen interest in linguistics, I also realized that both Asian female researchers and Asian languages are very underrepresented in the field of linguistics. Therefore, I hope that in the future, I will not only become a researcher conducting projects that promote multilingualism and multiculturalism, which has brought me to UCLA, but also help others achieve their intellectual pursuits through teaching. I aspire to not only offer instruction of knowledge or language, but also open a door for the students to embrace another culture.


Elizabeth SchifflerElizabeth Schiffler

Performance Studies, PhD Graduate Program

The Carol Fisher Sorgenfrei Graduate Fellowship in Theater

B.A. Theater Design & Comparative History of Ideas, University of Washington

Why I Chose UCLA

I chose UCLA grad because of its excellent and welcoming faculty, independent and driven current graduate students, and potential to grow my scholarship. Receiving financial aid and fellowships solidified my choice to attend UCLA. Anticipating large amounts of debt was limiting my ability to imagine a future of scholarship, creativity, and academia. With the funding I have received from UCLA I can anticipate many potential paths for my work to grow.

Academic Interests and Research Aims

I am a part of the Performance Studies department, and I aim to continue studying post-colonial comparative mythologies through traditional and intermedia performance, with an emphasis on works by women.

Career Aspirations

I anticipate a future in academia, continuing my research and teaching. I also would like to cultivate a presence and practice in the arts community, creating artistic, film, and theatrical works that pair with my research. I would like to curate and lead an arts nonprofit or have a leadership position at a university.


Kimberly ZhuKimberly Zhu

Biological Anthropology, PhD Graduate Program

B.A. Environmental Sciences, B.A. Anthropology, UC Santa Cruz

Why I Chose UCLA

I chose UCLA Grad because of its extraordinary reputation, world renowned faculty, and generous funding. The infrastructure and student accommodations also influenced my decision, as well as the campus’ beautiful libraries, huge recreation centers, and diverse range of student resources. The Department of Anthropology is also home to a number of incredibly talented and respected faculty members, many of whom I admire and have read their past works.

Academic Interests and Research Aims

My primary interest is in exploring how biological methods such as genomic analysis can be applied to elucidate the genetic adaptations and varying levels of disease resistance in modern human populations. Although I do not have a defined thesis project yet, I am eager to learn as much as I can from my mentors and to carry their work forward in my own research.

Career Aspirations

In the future I would like to pursue a professorship at a university, establish my own lab, and have the opportunity to pass on the guidance, mentorship, and support that my mentors have given me. I seek a career in academia and genetic research with the ultimate goal of being able to positively impact the lives of underprivileged and systemically oppressed communities around the world.


For more information on how you can support graduate fellowships at UCLA, contact Pia Arvisu, Associate Director of Development, Graduate Division.