UCLA Competitive Edge: Summer Transition Program to the Doctorate

Group of Competitive Edge Participants sitting on a bench


Program Description

The Competitive Edge program is funded by the UCLA Graduate Division . This program is for newly admitted, entering doctoral students in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) with a strong interest in pursuing a faculty or research position. The objective is to provide awardees with research and professional development experiences to enhance their success in UCLA STEM doctoral programs. Competitive Edge is six weeks of full-time, faculty-guided research and mentoring, as well as academic and professional workshops.

Continuation of this program is contingent on funding availability.

Benefits & Funding

  • Advanced introduction to UCLA faculty and research
  • Early mentorship from UCLA faculty and peers
  • Advanced introduction to UCLA campus and resources
  • Acquisition of critical skills through workshops and lectures
  • Community building and networking opportunities with Competitive Edge Alumni
  • Summer stipend of $6,000


  • Individuals whose backgrounds are underrepresented in STEM
  • Strong interest in pursuing a university and/or research career
  • Accepted admission to a UCLA STEM doctoral program
  • U.S. citizen, national, permanent residents, or undocumented students who qualify for nonresident supplemental tuition exemptions under AB 540

Program Requirements

All participants must commit to a full-time, six-week summer research program from August 5, 2019 to September 13, 2019. Summer program commitment includes about 35-40 hours of research per week, along with workshops, lectures, and other graduate preparatory events to be held throughout the summer.

How To Apply

Nominations will take place through your home academic department. Please contact your Student Affairs Officer (SAO) if you are interested in being nominated. All participants must have a faculty mentor during the summer prior to their enrollment to be considered for nomination.

For Further Information Contact

Estevan Hernández, Manager of Diversity and Outreach Initiatives at: (310) 825-3953 or via e-mail: ehernandez@grad.ucla.edu