CBS Graduate DEIJ Leader Fellowship


Enterprising graduate students across the College of Biological Sciences (CBS) have taken crucial steps to enhance excellence in Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice (DEIJ) through grassroots efforts. To support the longevity and impact of these initiatives and the graduate students that lead them, the CBS Graduate Student DEIJ Leader Fellowship is a prestigious opportunity for outstanding graduate students to enhance DEIJ in the CBS community and be compensated for their contributions to this important work.

Program Details & Goals
  • Fellows will be comprise of 1-2 graduate students per graduate group in CBS (8-12 Fellows total)
  • Program will provide a peer support group to fellows and will be primarily overseen by the Graduate Advisors to the CBS Dean
  • Goals:
    • Centralize DEIJ efforts across the CBS
    • Provide continuity and institutionalize knowledge and communication regarding CBS graduate students’ DEIJ efforts
    • Facilitate cross-talk, collaboration, and synergy between CBS graduate groups, grad students, and the CBS Administration (i.e. the Dean’s office)
    • Provide financial and institutional support for graduate student DEIJ leaders and the initiatives they and their graduate groups lead
Fellowship Outcomes
  • Gain leadership, interpersonal, communication, and organizational skills
  • Obtain experience developing, facilitating, and promoting DEIJ initiatives
  • Networking opportunities liaising with University administration, faculty, staff, postdocs, and graduate students across the College of Biological Sciences and more broadly
  • Professional development opportunities
Fellowship Award & Required Activities

Fellows who complete required activities will earn a one-time $1000 stipend in spring quarter following their tenure in the fellowship program. Please apply even if you are funded by a program or fellowship that prohibits their recipients from receiving additional pay; we will work with you to navigate this situation.

DEIJ Contribution Requirement: Fellows must make a concrete, substantial contribution to DEIJ with measurable outcomes during the Fellowship period. Fellows may fulfill the DEIJ contribution requirement EITHER by 1) performing tasks related to a pre-existing or impending appointed role, or 2) proposing and carrying out an approved project promoting DEIJ in the CBS community.

In addition, fellows are expected to:

  • Keep up to date on DEIJ efforts within their respective graduate groups
  • Attend meetings held twice per quarter during the academic year organized by Graduate Advisors to the CBS Dean
    • During meetings, fellows will report to the Graduate Advisors to the CBS Dean on planned or in-progress DEIJ activities in their graduate groups
    • Fellows and GADs will discuss issues that grad students are facing related to DEIJ and whether/how those issues can be addressed by CBS Administration
  • Attend quarterly graduate DEIJ network meetings organized by Graduate Advisors to the CBS Dean
    • Meetings will provide a space for graduate student DEIJ leaders to discuss current graduate group initiatives
    • GADs will lead a brief discussion or training session on a rotating professional development/career building topic
    • Gatherings will also include unstructured time for networking to promote community building and wellbeing
  • Fellows must be enrolled as a full-time doctoral graduate student all quarters of the tenure period (Fall 2024 and Spring 2025)
  • Third year doctoral student or greater in one of the following College of Biological Sciences graduate groups: Animal Behavior; Biochemistry, Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology; Biophysics; Integrative Genetics and Genomics; Molecular, Cellular, and Integrative Physiology; Neuroscience; Plant Biology; and Population Biology
  • In good academic standing 
  • Cannot be on Planned Educational Leave Program (PELP) during the Fellowship tenure period
  • Able to commit to 40 hours over the course of the fellowship period (approximately 2 hours per week)
  • People from minoritized groups are especially encouraged to apply
Example Projects & Activities

Learn more about the accomplishments of the inaugural fellowship cohort by viewing their project presentations. Generally, eligible projects or activities include:

  • Service in a leadership role for a project, initiative, or group whose mission includes an explicit aim addressing DEIJ issues (e.g. organizer for a program dismantling barriers for underrepresented students applying for graduate school)
  • Service as a leader or student representative on a DEIJ committee (e.g. chair of a graduate group committee, active student representative on a departmental, college-wide, or University-wide diversity committee)
  • Leadership of efforts to train and/or teach community members strategies to improve DEIJ (e.g. organizing a workshop on inclusive methods for teaching sex and gender in biology; leading a reading group on a book reviewing strategies for effective mentoring of students from minoritized groups)
  • Organization and/or facilitation of a climate assessment, analyze data, and/or report findings from a prior survey
Program Timeline

Application open: May 24, 2024

Application closed: August 2, 2024

Acceptance letters sent by: September 2, 2024

Onboarding and orientation: October 2024 (One ~2 hour meeting; date & time TBD)

DEIJ Fellows Meeting or DEIJ Professional Development Workshop: 1 per month in AY 2024-2025 (Fellow attendance required)


Please contact Kiran Long-Iyer and Sarah Wang with questions or for additional information.