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Undergraduate Research Awards

The University of California Education Abroad Program (UCEAP) offers undergraduate research awards annually in three disciplinary areas: the humanities, social sciences, and sciences and engineering. Each award consists of a $1,000 stipend.

The purpose of these awards is to recognize undergraduate students who have distinguished themselves through their excellence in research conducted while abroad on UCEAP and to encourage other students to become involved in research efforts abroad. These awards also recognize UC’s initiatives to internationalize the undergraduate educational experience and promote undergraduate research activities.



Former or current UCEAP students may apply for the UCEAP undergraduate research awards provided that they:

  1. Conducted research in any academic discipline as an undergraduate student on UCEAP.
  3. Will have completed a final paper based on that research by the end of spring term 2017.
  5. Have been an enrolled UC student within six months of the application deadline.

Re​search in any academic discipline is eligible for these awards.

Application Instructions

Deadline: Students must submit completed applications electronically by August 1, 2017 to Projects completed after this date may be submitted for consideration in the following year.

A completed application includes:

  • An Application Form
  • A one-page (double-spaced) outline describing the research paper or other research product
  • A two-page (double-spaced) abstract summarizing the research topic, methodology, results, conclusions, and relevance to the discipline
  • A one-page (double-spaced) description of how the international experience contributed to the student’s learning and research activities
  • A Faculty Recommendation Form, completed by the faculty advisor most familiar with the research or creative project

Judging Applications

Applications are assigned to one of three broad disciplinary areas—humanities, social sciences, and sciences and engineering—by the Undergraduate Research Awards Selection Committee. This committee will consist of UCEAP faculty and staff from the Systemwide Office and the UC campuses. If the selection committee deems that an application falls outside the areas of expertise of its members, additional UC faculty reviewers may be solicited.

Research projects described in applications will be judged on the basis of creativity, rigor, clarity, completeness, and organization, as well as the degree to which they constitute original contributions to their disciplines and display students' facility with the research enterprise. The role of international education to the success of the project is also important. The strength of the faculty recommendation and persuasiveness of the applicant’s description of his or her learning experience will also be considered.

Note: The application process above is constructed to assist UCEAP in nominating outstanding undergraduate research projects for a national competition for student research projects, namely the Forum on Education Abroad’s Undergraduate Research Awards. The winners of the Forum's competition are invited to present their projects at the Forum's Annual Conference and have their papers published in a special issue of Frontiers: The Interdisciplinary Journal of Study Abroad.

Four UCEAP participants won awards for the 2015-16 academic year:

  • Jeffrey Coleman, UCB. UCEAP program Tropical Biology & Conservation, Monteverde Institute, Costa Rica. Project: "Diversity of Black Guan's Seed Consumption and its Digestive System's Effect on Seeds' Germination Capacity in Monteverde, Costa Rica"
  • Chloe Brotherton, UCSB. UCEAP program University of Copenhagen, Denmark. Project: "Ephemeral Self-Portraits: Challenging Beauty Norms on SnapChat"

The two who have been nominated to represent UCEAP at the national Forum Competition are:

  • Medha Asthana, UCI. UCEAP program Chilean University, Pontifical Catholic University of Chile. Project: "Students' Everyday Political Expression within a University Climate in Santiago, Chile"
  • Jessica Bullington, UCSB. UCEAP program Marine Biology & Terrestrial Ecology, Univ. of Queensland, Australia. Project: "Rubble with a Cause: Questioning the Validity of Island Biogeography Theory"
Previous UC students who have won the National Forum Undergraduate Research Award include:
  • 2011 — Richard Hong, UCSD. UCEAP Field Research Program in Mexico.  Project:  "Upon Greater Security, Greater Vulnerability: How the Growing Presence of Border Enforcement in Mexico has Affected the Flow of Central American Immigrants”​
  • 2009 — Kenneth Richard Wong, UCSD. UCEAP program at University of Ghana.   Project: “Not Mosquito Bitten into Action:  Delays of Pediatric Malaria Treatment in Ghana”
  • 2007 — Brittany Murlas, UCB. UCEAP program at University of Ghana  Project: “Mother Tongue Literacy in Ghana: A Sociolinguistic Approach”
  • 2006 — Jason Nossiter, UCSB. UCEAP program in Political Science, Sciences Po, France. Project: “France Says ‘Non’: Elites, Publics and the Defeat of the EU Constitutional Treaty”


  • UCEAP personnel and students (outgoing and returning) will be notified by email of this program and its requirements and deadlines in February 2017.
  • The selection committee will announce the award winners in August 2017.
  • Information on award recipients and their projects will be distributed to the UCEAP community in September 2017 for use in outreach, recruitment, and advising materials or activities.