Greater Good Fellowship Program


GGSC Research Fellowships

The Greater Good Science Center offers annual fellowships to UC Berkeley Undergraduate (up to $5,000) and Graduate students (up to $15,000) whose research relates to our mission. The fellowship program aims to attract scholars from across a broad spectrum of academic disciplines, with an emphasis on the social-behavioral sciences.

The GGSC is no longer accepting applications for 2016-2017 Fellowships. Please read below to learn about the GGSC Fellowship program, and stay tuned for information about our 2017-2018 Fellowship opportunity which will be announced in the spring of 2017!

Previous GGSC fellows have come from departments of psychology, integrative biology, anthropology, American studies, sociology, neuroscience, urban studies, and other departments; the school of public health, education, social welfare, and Haas business; and the UC Berkeley-UCSF Joint Medical Program. They have secured 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 recent GGSC fellow Craig Anderson’s trailblazing work on the social benefits of awe in this Sierra Club magazine article.

Read on to learn about 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 awe to identifying ways to combat racism among children. Click on the links below to learn more about current and previous fellows’ work.

Key themes

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 area could address questions such as: How do reward systems in the brain reinforce pro-social emotional experience, humanistic or egalitarian beliefs, or cooperative and altruistic behavior? Which physiological processes are involved in attachment-related processes, such as caregiving, friendship and long-term romantic bonds? What circumstances attenuate physiological activation associated with antisocial (hostile or self-interested at the expense of others) sentiments or behaviors? 

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 environments and institutions (e.g., families, neighborhoods, schools, churches, laws) foster social well-being? What are the trends in social well-being 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. Pro-social values, health, and community. How do pro-social values and the emotions and behaviors they promote (gratitude, common humanity, trust, kindness) spread in communities, neighborhoods, cultures, and institutions? How does a pro-social demeanor or cultural norm promote health and well-being?


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Greater Good Events

Mindful Self-Compassion: Core Skills Training
International House
December 9-10, 2016

Mindful Self-Compassion: Core Skills Training

This workshop is an introduction to Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC), an empirically-supported training program based on the pioneering research of Kristin Neff and the clinical perspective of Chris Germer.


Take a Greater Good Quiz!

How compassionate are you? How generous, grateful, or forgiving? Find out!


Watch Greater Good Videos

Jon Kabat-Zinn

Talks by inspiring speakers like Jon Kabat-Zinn, Dacher Keltner, and Barbara Fredrickson.


Greater Good Resources


Book of the Week

How Pleasure Works By Paul Bloom Bloom explores a broad range of human pleasures from food to sex to religion to music. Bloom argues that human pleasure is not purely an instinctive, superficial, sensory reaction; it has a hidden depth and complexity.

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"It is a great good and a great gift, this Greater Good. I bow to you for your efforts to bring these uplifting and illuminating expressions of humanity, grounded in good science, to the attention of us all."  
Jon Kabat-Zinn

Best-selling author and founder of the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction program

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