Undergrads: funding available for women's health, gender and empowerment projects

February 26, 2018

The UCGHI Women's Health Gender and Empowerment Center of Expertise (COE) will fund up to $2,500 to support University of California undergraduate students pursuing internships/fellowships during the summer of 2018. Funds can be used toward international or domestic travel and/or stipend.

About the opportunity

This opportunity is for UC undergraduate students involved in innovative research, programs and policy development activities in the areas of women’s health gender and empowerment, and who specifically investigate the intersection and interrelated nature of these three areas.  The COE will allocate funds to the most meritorious proposals and expects to fund 10 proposals for summer 2018 research projects. 

Requirements and Eligibility

  • Activities during the internship/fellowship must specifically be at the nexus of women’s health gender and empowerment.
  • The internship/fellowship can be conducted domestically or internationally. 
  • Applicants must be enrolled at a UC campus for the following academic year (i.e., typically not seniors unless enrolling in a graduate program at a UC.)
  • Awardees are required to attend the COE’s annual retreat in winter 2019 and make a 5-minute presentation on their internship/project (travel expenses paid). 
  • Awardees will be matched with a COE mentor, based on the topic of their internship/project. The awardee will be expected to set up at least two meetings (in person or via telephone/Skype) with her/his COE mentor during the award period and seek feedback about her/his project presentation to be made at the annual retreat.
  • Funds can be used for paying a stipend for unpaid internships, purchasing project supplies, travel (international or domestic), and other reasonable expenses (but typically not for equipment). Stipends take longer to process than reimbursement for expenses, sometimes up to 1 year.

This opportunity is open to low-income undergraduate students only, at any UC campus. In an effort to address inequities, diversify to include more perspectives in gender, health and empowerment, the COE seeks to expand internship opportunities for those who would otherwise not have access to them.

Low-income status will be determined based on the financial aid the applicant is currently receiving. For example, students with Pell Grants or other need-based grants will qualify as low-income.  Applicants should include documentation of such need-based financial aid.


Applications must be submitted by April 7, 2018 at 5pm PT. Applicants may request up to $2,500 to be spent by September 15, 2018, after which remaining funds revert to the COE. Award announcements will be made at the end of April, 2018. Please note that funds used for stipends take up to one year to be processed, therefore travel funds can be dispersed via reimbursement immediately.

Application Format

Applicants should submit the following to Stephanie Sumstine at SSumstine@mednet.ucla.edu by March 23, 2018.

  • A two-page concept proposal that provides a brief background of the issue(s) to be addressed during the internship/fellowship and a description of the project aims, the activities to take place, the team’s expertise (including the mentor), and a timeline.
  • Budget synopsis (not counted against the two-page limit)
  • Attach resume.
  • Attach proof of need-based financial aid.
  • Faculty mentors must submit a letter addressed to the COE committee describing the resources that will be made available to the student applicant, including mentorship and equipment. Faculty letter must be received by the application deadline, April 7, 2018 at 5pm PT.
    • Please note that the COE mentor and faculty mentor are different. Applicants need to identify a faculty mentor at their campus at the time of application and the faculty letter must be sent with the application or emailed directly to Stephanie Sumstine (SSumstine@mednet.ucla.edu). If the faculty mentor is not a COE member, then the COE will match the student with a COE faculty member. COE leadership can also serve as a mentor for students. Please email Stephanie Sumstine for a list of COE members, leadership, and Faculty Ambassadors on each campus.

For questions contact Stephanie Sumstine at SSumstine@mednet.ucla.edu.