UCLA Labor Center

Engaged Research

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Part 1:  How to utilize engaged research projects for graduate applications

Engaged Research Opportunities

Now that you are ready to begin your own engaged research process, we have identified engaged research opportunities for you!

  • The Undergraduate Research Fellows Program (URFP) is directed through the Office of the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education and administered by the Undergraduate Research Center–Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences. The URFP scholarship supports students doing entry-level research for winter and spring quarters.

  • The Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship (MMUF) is a two-year program designed for outstanding students in Mellon-designated humanities, arts, and social science fields who intend to pursue a PhD and a career in academia. Mellon Mays Fellows work closely with faculty advisers and graduate mentors to design and carry out an independent research project; they are encouraged to complete an honors thesis in their home departments, where available.

  • The Dream Summer Program has provided 418 internship opportunities to immigrant youth and allies throughout the nation. Dream Summer participants have engaged in social justice work and movement building by addressing the intersections of immigrant rights issues with queer and transgender communities, the Asian Pacific Islander community, mass incarceration and deportations perpetuated by the criminalization of people of color, and health care access for all.

  • The Labor Summer Research Internship Program is both a seminar and an internship; a way to augment traditional classroom-based learning with experiential learning in a community setting with direct engagement in labor and workplace issues. This Summer Sessions Institute offers students a unique opportunity to immerse themselves in an applied research experience focused on the Los Angeles labor movement that is leading national efforts to promote social justice for working people.The internship gives students the opportunity to work in a supervised setting on an applied research project with a labor or worker organization.

  • The Student Leadership Academy (SLA), includes a two-day leadership development training, followed by an eight-week, full-time, paid internship program. The goal of the program is to give emerging student leaders and activists in-depth experience with careers in the labor movement.

  • The Grand Challenges Undergraduate Research Scholars Program (GC-URSP) is a year-long sequence of courses related to “Sustainable LA Grand Challenge Project” in which students will experience hands-on research and be engaged in leadership development.

  • The AFSCME Union Scholars Program has launched our online application for our 2016 summer program at tmcf.org.  The Union Scholars Program is a 10-week field placement where students get a chance to work on union organizing campaigns across the country.  Scholars will talk to workers about gaining a voice on the job, fair wages and benefits for themselves and their families by joining a union.  Applicants must be students of color (African-American, American Indian/Alaskan Native, Asian Pacific Islander American, Latino/a,) a sophomore or junior at the time of the application and interview process, with a GPA of 2.5 or higher.  Students will receive on-site housing, a stipend of $4,000 over the course of the internship, and will also qualify for an academic scholarship of up to $6,300 for the 2016-2017 school year based upon successful completion of the program.  If you have questions about the program or would like further information, please contact Deanna Richards at (202)429-1202 or email drichards @afscme.org.

  • The Occupational Health Internship Program (OHIP) is a national summer internship dedicated to helping students learn about the field of occupational safety and health (OSH) from those most at stake: working people.  Since 2004, OHIP has played a crucial role in training, mentoring, and inspiring a new generation of OSH professionals as well as provide worker organizations and unions resources to strengthen their health and safety efforts.  Undergraduate students receive a $4,000 stipend and graduate students receive a $5,200 stipend.

  • The UCLA Labor Center invites you to engage in our work!  Whether you are able to: help with an event (or two), interested in completing an internship for course credit, and/or open to supporting a project area or program for a month (or more) we look forward to engaging with you! Your engagement fulfills our mission of inspiring a new worker movement. As part of a public university, we are also invested in your professional development and growth as a leader for social change and will support you every step of the way.  If interested, please take a few minutes to fill the intake form (click here to access the student intake form). Once you submit your form, a staff member from the UCLA Labor Center will be in contact with you.   For any additional questions or concerns, please feel free to contact Elizbeth Espinoza, Student Programming Coordinator, at eespinoz@g.ucla.edu | 562-659-9566.


Engaged Research Funding Opportunities

  • Travel Grants are awarded on a competitive basis to undergraduate students who have had an abstract accepted for a paper or poster presentation at a regional or national conference.

  • The Astin Scholars Program supports the work of a select group of students who conduct research on civic engagement during their senior year. Under the guidance of a faculty mentor, students integrate experience gained from an internship at a community organization with academic requirements.

  • While living at the UC Washington Center, CAPPP Quarter in Washington students carry out a research project on a topic of their own choosing and complete an internship at one of DC’s government agencies, think tanks, NGOs, non-profits, media outlets, advocacy, trade, and business organizations.

  • The Frey Scholarship supports innovative research that connects academic work and/or creative endeavors in any field of Jewish Studies with the broader community. It also supports language skill development.

  • The Zinn Scholarship supports programs of study, internships, or research projects that apply the knowledge of the Jewish experience, and especially the lessons of the Holocaust, to contemporary society and social justice issues.

  • Honors Programs offers research scholarships and summer research stipends for College Honors students.

  • The Lemelson Anthropological Honors Program supports the development of research and mentoring partnerships among undergraduate student anthropologists and faculty.

  • The UCLA McNair Research Scholars Program is a two-year program that prepares first-generation, low-income, and underrepresented students interested in pursuing a Ph.D. in the humanities, arts, or social sciences for careers in academia. The program attracts scholars committed to transforming the academy through critical research.

  • The UCLA Psychology Research Opportunity Programs (PROPS) is a two-quarter program that provides an opportunity for historically underrepresented students or those with a demonstrated financial need to begin their research careers and to acquire the needed experience for pursuing advanced studies in Psychology.

  • To encourage students to begin interdisciplinary research as undergraduates, the Office of Interdisciplinary & Cross Campus Affairs offers research scholarships to students whose research crosses traditional disciplinary boundaries. Successful applicants will receive stipends to work on research under the guidance of two faculty mentors.

Engaged Employment Please

To support you becoming gainfully employed with an organization that affirms your engagement with social justice, we have compiled a list of job search engines and listserves that work with non-profits, labor unions, and public sector organizations committed to making a difference.  Click on the links to explore and apply to your future job!