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Greater Good Fellowship Program


Graduate & Undergraduate Fellowships

The Greater Good Science Center offers annual fellowships to UC Berkeley Undergraduate and Graduate students whose work relates to our mission. The fellowship program aims to attract scholars from across a broad spectrum of academic disciplines, with a particular focus on the social-behavioral sciences.

The window for fellowship applications is now open! UC Berkeley students can apply now using the form below.

Previous GGSC fellows have gone on to top research and teaching positions at universities nationwide, providing a significant boost to the science of compassion, resilience, altruism, and happiness. You can read about former GGSC postdoctoral fellow Sarina Rodrigues and GGSC graduate fellow Laura Saslow’s trailblazing work on the genetics of empathy in this New York Times article.

Read on to learn how to apply and to see our current and former Hornaday Graduate Fellows and Goldberg Undergraduate Fellows.

Current & Past Fellows

GGSC fellowship research has ranged from studying the biological bases of compassion and empathy to identifying ways to combat racism among children. Click on the links below to learn more about current and previous fellows’ work.

Application Instructions


    • Application Window: March 3- April 16, 2014
    • Winners Announced: May 16, 2014
    • Funding Starts: September 1, 2014
    • Funding Range: Undergraduates: $2,000-$5,000; Graduate Students: $3,000-$10,000

    Click here to submit your application.

    In general, GGSC fellowships are awarded to research proposals that respond to one or more of the following themes:

    1. The Biological Underpinnings of Pro-social Emotion. Examples of research in this arena would address questions such as: Is there a reward system in the brain that is involved with the experience of pro-social emotion, distinct from reward systems involved in sensory pleasure? What physiological processes are involved in attachment-related processes, such as caregiving, altruism, monogamy, and friendship?

    2. The Context and Cultivation of Social Well-Being. For example, how do children and young adults learn to be compassionate and caring individuals in school, at home, and in other social contexts? What qualities of human institutions (e.g., families, neighborhoods, schools, churches, laws) foster social well-being? What are the trends in social well-being for children over the last 35 to 40 years? How do people with different ethnic, religious, or class backgrounds, different social perspectives, different cultural values, or different mental health histories peacefully co-exist?

    3. Compassion, Health, and Community. How does compassion spread in communities, neighborhoods, cultures, and institutions? How does compassion promote health and well-being?

    Application Requirements:
    Applications can be submitted online between March 3 and April 16, 2014.

    Please complete the submission form and be prepared to upload the following:

    Goldberg Undergraduate Fellowship:

    • Research Proposal (500 words)
    • Budget (Tell us how you intend to spend the fellowship)
    • Letter of recommendation (sent via email from the senior researcher advising you)

    Hornaday Graduate Fellowship:

    • Research Proposal (1000 words)
    • Budget (Tell us how you intend to spend the fellowship)
    • Letter of Recommendation (sent via email from your primary research advisor)
    • Curriculum Vitae

    We are especially interested in proposals that include an application or communication of research findings to the wider community. Our goal is to gather knowledge that will be directly useful to teachers, parents, social service and mental health professionals, and communities at large.

    In addition to pursuing their chosen research, GGSC Fellows are expected to contribute to the greater good by working approximately five hours per week as a research assistant for the GGSC’s online magazine, Greater Good, or otherwise contributing to another of the Center’s initiatives.

    If you have any questions about the fellowships or fellowship application process, please consult our list of Fellowship FAQ; if you don’t see your question there, please email it to our science director, Emiliana Simon-Thomas, at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

    Submission Form


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