UCGHI Master’s Student Stipend Program

UCGHI MASS Program Award Recipients

2023 MASS Program Award Recipients


The UC Global Health Institute is committed to supporting current University of California master’s students from historically excluded communities with a $5000 research award to support their graduate projects. Research projects that are transdisciplinary with respect to local or global health OR focused on diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice in local or global health will receive the highest preference. UCGHI strives to diversify the global health workforce by providing supplemental funding opportunities for master’s level students from historically excluded communities such as BIPOC students and First-Generation students.

Program Description

The UC Global Health Institute will award 20 UC Master’s students from historically excluded and/or disadvantaged backgrounds $5000 stipends for their capstone projects/research projects that are related to local or global health. While global health and public health students might be more readily able to apply, we would like to have outreach to many different types of master’s programs (Masters of Nursing students, Masters of Engineering students, etc. who might be doing relevant global health work). We are interested in designing this program specifically for Masters-level students because we recognize that funding opportunities for these students are even more limited and acknowledge that tuition rates are high. There is data to support that graduates of Master’s degrees do not necessarily secure jobs with compensation that is significantly higher than those with Bachelor’s degrees. This opportunity will support the careers of students who are currently in the global health pathway and through this program we will help expand their networks/connections in efforts to contribute to the success of their careers. Ideally, we hope to award 2 Master’s students per UC campus.


Up to 20 University of California Master’s students will be awarded a maximum of $5000 stipend. Stipends will be used on projects conducted during the award period. Projects should be completed within the same academic year as when the stipend is awarded. In addition, funds must be expended during the award period. Modifications to the approved stipend will require advanced written approval by UCGHI.


The competitive multi-step review and ranking process will be conducted by internal reviewers within UCGHI. Reviewers will have expertise in topical areas, in transdisciplinary global health work, and familiarity with diversity, equity, and inclusion principles. All projects will need to meet minimum criteria for research validity, academic integrity, and ethical standards. Projects requiring human subjects must receive IRB (Institutional Review Board) approval. The approval number(s) will be requested for official confirmation.

Final Reporting

Stipend recipients are responsible for managing the award and must furnish a 1-page report narrative (including financial narrative) to UCGHI one month following the close of the award period. In addition, awardees are expected to create and post a social media post through Instagram or Twitter (e.g. social media takeover through Instagram stories or Instagram/Twitter post). Formal training on media consent will be mandatory for all stipend recipients. Recipients will also acknowledge this source of funding in publications, presentations, or any other public use of research results from work supported by the UCGHI Master’s Student Stipend Program.


  • Student must be enrolled in a University of California master’s level degree program (Ex: MS, MSN, MPH, MSW, MPP, etc.)
  • Students can spend award funds only while enrolled in their respective UC degree program
  • Students may be enrolled in single or joint degree programs
  • Students that identify as Black, Indigenous, and Persons of Color (BIPOC) and/or First Generation are strongly encouraged to apply

Application Instructions

Submit your application for the 2023 award period by Sunday, November 6th at 11:59PM PST. Incomplete applications will not be reviewed.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can a group or unit of students apply for one award?

Yes, a group of students working together on a research project are eligible to apply for one MASS award of $5,000.

Can the research award be used for student tuition expenses?

At this time, students will not be permitted to use the $5,000 award toward tuition expenses. ​Funds received from the MASS program are intended to be used towards any component of a research project, capstone, practicum, etc. that is a requirement for the completion of their Master’s degree. However, in future iterations of the program (dependent on funding), we will be sure to explore this possibility because we absolutely recognize the need for tuition support of Master’s degrees.

What are some examples of how this funding can be spent?

Common examples include but are not limited to supporting travel and transportation costs, fieldwork equipment, lab supplies, conference registration, survey incentives, communication materials, etc.

Are part-time and/or self-supporting MPH students eligible?

Yes, part-time and self-supporting students are eligible to apply for the MASS program.

How much detail should be provided for the last application question i.e., research topic, mentorship, timeline, etc.?

We understand that our timeline for this stipend program may not traditionally fit your respective Master's program deadlines for capstone or thesis projects. As a result, we encourage applicants to write about their research topic with as much detail as possible, given your level of progress in your degree program. Reviewers will need to understand how your project goals are structured to be successful in relation to the proposed timeline you provide in the application.

When can students expect to receive their stipends?

Students can anticipate receiving their stipends in mid-February.

When will students be notified if they have received the $5,000 award?

Awardees will be notified in early December and formally announced across UCGHI networks throughout the month.

Should the biography be written in first or third person?

You are welcome to write your short biography in either first-person or third person. Our team will use either version for our UCGHI website and social media.

Will UCGHI help match students with potential mentors for their graduate projects?

At this time, UCGHI does not currently have the capacity to match students with potential mentors for their graduate projects during this pilot year. However, students are strongly encouraged to be proactive in identifying project mentors at any of the 10 UC campuses by checking out our UCGHI website which lists UCGHI leadership (faculty and staff) at various campuses. Mentors can range from staff to researchers to faculty. The UC Global Health Institute promotes cross campus collaboration via the transdisciplinary nature of global health.

Can applicants provide updates on their IRB approval after the Oct. 31st deadline?

Yes, you will have the opportunity to provide an IRB approval number at a later date. If your project has not yet been finalized or if you are currently pending IRB approval, this is acceptable during the application window. As a reminder, projects requiring human subjects must receive IRB (Institutional Review Board) approval. The approval number(s) will be requested for official confirmation.


Please contact Roshni Desai, Global Health Program Coordinator: Roshni.Desai@ucop.edu.