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Strategic Enhancement of Excellence through Diversity (SEED) Fellowship


The University of California, San Diego offers the Strategic Enhancement of Excellence through Diversity (SEED) fellowship as a means to increase campus diversity. The program is motivated by the campus's commitment to be fully inclusive and supportive of all students, and by the belief that a diverse graduate student body enhances the quality of the educational experience for all students. The SEED Fellowship is a recruitment and retention tool that provides fellowship support to those students who merit admission into graduate programs at UCSD and whose presence would enhance diversity to the benefit of the entire campus community.  

SEED Fellowships are awarded to nominees who received an associate, bachelor’s degree or a master’s degree from a Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI), an Historically Black College or University (HBCU), or a Tribal College or University (TCU) and who have overcome adversity as evidenced by having overcome barriers such as social, educational or economic backgrounds, and/or demonstrate a commitment to diversity or increasing educational access for underrepresented students.

Questions about the application process may be directed to the academic department/program or to the Graduate Admissions Office at gradadmissions@ucsd.edu.

Eligibility

  • Nominees for the SEED Fellowship must be U.S. citizens, permanent residents, or AB 540-qualified individuals.
  • Nominees must have obtained an associate, bachelors, or master’s degree from an Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI), an Historically Black College or University (HBCU), or a Tribal College or University (TCU). Lists of these institutions may be found on the following websites:
  • Nominees for the SEED Fellowship must be recommended for admission to a program offering a Ph.D., D.M.A., Ed.D. or M.F.A. program. Only new incoming students are eligible.
  • Candidates for the fellowship must provide responses to at least three of the seven short answer questions found under the Additional Educational Experiences section of the online application for admission.

Fellowship Application Instructions

To be considered for the SEED Fellowship, applicants who obtained their degree from an HSI, HBCU, or and TCU must also provide responses to at least three of the seven short answer questions found under the Additional Educational Experiences section of the online application for admission. Responses should be brief (between 3-5 sentences per area) highlighting how the applicant overcame barriers, and/or demonstrates a commitment to diversity.

The seven questions are:

  • Leadership(e.g. coordination of volunteer activities, board member in student organization, residential life, student government etc.) etc.)
  • Overcoming Adversity(e.g. overcoming educational, social, cultural, economic, barriers, or barriers related to accessibility, etc.)
  • Community Involvement (e.g. volunteer service, organizing, activism, teaching, mentoring, counseling, community art production etc.)
  • Social Justice Experience(e.g. addressing systemic inequality through education, organizing, activism, mentorship, counseling, outreach/access, survival and development work, event planning/coordination, community building and development, etc.)
  • Personal or Professional Ethics(e.g. experience with an ethical code, conduct seminars, IRB training, etc.)
  • Research(e.g. undergraduate research, involvement in McNair or similar programs, independent or group study with a professor or researcher, research outside of academia, full-time research after college, etc.)
  • Other(e.g. any other kind of experience or information that you feel will help add to creating a diverse spectrum of ideas, perspectives, and experiences)

If the applicant did not respond to the questions in the online application, a separate document with the applicant’s responses may be submitted directly to their academic department or program. 

Departments or programs must nominate students to the Graduate Division by the final deadline in March and are limited to a combined total of 2 nominees for the SEED fellowship. Each nomination must include a faculty nomination letter that provides both a compelling explanation of how the nominee will enhance diversity in the discipline, program or campus and a brief assessment of the nominee's academic merit.

Selection

SEED Fellowships are awarded to nominees based on:

  • Obtaining an associate, bachelors, or master’s degree from an Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI), an Historically Black College or University (HBCU), or a Tribal College or University (TCU).
  • The responses to at least three of the seven short answer questions found under the Additional Educational Experiences section of the online application for admission that demonstrate having overcome social, educational or economic backgrounds, and/or demonstrating a commitment to diversity or increasing educational access for underrepresented students.
All qualified applicants will be considered without regard to age, ancestry, citizenship, color, disability, gender, gender expression, gender identity, genetic information, marital status, medical condition, national origin, pregnancy, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, veteran status.

SEED Fellowship Award

All Ph.D. and D.M.A. recipients receive a five year award with funding of $25,000, payment of tuition and fees, and where applicable, payment of non-resident supplemental tuition (first year only).

  • The Graduate Division provides support for years 1, 4, and 5. ($25,000 funding, plus payment of tuition and fees)
  • The department or program provides support for years 2 and 3 at a comparable level or higher. The department or program may supplement the stipend amount. Department support may include employment.
  • All continuing support is contingent upon the fellow remaining in good academic standing and meeting established departmental criteria for good academic progress toward the degree.
  • If a SEED Fellowship recipient carries other extramural funding upon matriculation at UC San Diego, the extramural support will take precedence and will be utilized first.

M.F.A. and Ed.D. students selected as SEED fellows shall receive three year awards with funding of $25,000, payment of tuition and fees, and where applicable, payment of non-resident supplemental tuition (first year only).

  • The Graduate Division provides support for years 1 and 2 ($25,000 funding each year, payment of tuition and fees)
  • The department or program provides support for year 3 at a comparable level or higher. The department or program may supplement the stipend amount. Department support may include employment.
  • All continuing support is contingent upon the fellow remaining in good academic standing and meeting established departmental criteria for good academic progress toward the degree.
  • If a SEED Fellowship recipient carries other extramural funding upon matriculation at UC San Diego, the extramural support will take precedence and will be utilized first.

Examples of how a student could enhance campus or department diversity

  • Student has successfully overcome significant educational, social, cultural, or economic disadvantage or adversity in a way that would enable him or her to contribute to the campus community in a manner that enhances campus diversity.
  • Student has unique circumstances, experiences, skills or talents that would benefit others and would enhance the diversity of the program or campus.
  • Student has a strong interest in undertaking research that would address issues of diversity as it relates to ethnic communities, social equity and justice, or economic opportunity.
  • Student has shown a deep commitment to working with others, through such activities as mentoring or tutoring, to promote educational access to higher education for underserved groups.

Examples of experiences that indicate the student has had to overcome disadvantages or adversity

  • Was educated in a school or college with limited facilities and educational opportunities.
  • Had a low family income or had to work full time in high school or as an undergraduate to support family and/or to pay for college.
  • Was the first member of immediate family to complete college.
  • Overcame other social, cultural or economic barriers to pursue an education. The specific race, ethnicity, gender, or national origin of a nominee is not considered in selection, although barriers resulting from these personal circumstances are considered.