Graduate Labor Studies Summer Fellowship Program

The Community and Labor Project Graduate Labor Studies Summer Fellowship Program is a leadership development and research training program that gives UCSD graduate students in-depth career experience as researchers and organizers in the San Diego labor and social justice movement. UCSD graduate students must apply for the program, which includes two weeks of training along with a seven-week paid summer fellowship and a one week final project review, (for a total of ten weeks in the program). Fellows will work part time (estimated twenty hours a week) and earn a fellowship stipend.

Information for Students

Are you:

  • Committed to the labor & social justice movements?
  • Wanting to make a difference in the San Diego community with workers, immigrants, and people of color?
  • Interested in labor and community organizing for economic justice?
  • Looking for a fieldwork opportunity to gain graduate research experience?
  • Looking for a research topic for your thesis, dissertation, or publishing goals?
  • Would like to use your graduate research skills to make a difference in the lives of real people in your community?

The Community and Labor Project Graduate Labor Studies Summer Fellowship Program is a half-time, paid summer fellowship program for graduate students who want to get in-depth experience in labor movement research and activism.

What does it mean to participate as a Fellow in this program?

  • Working half-time (50%) for a labor union or workers’ rights organization in San Diego for 7 weeks during the summer
  • Participation in a mandatory week long training, where you’ll learn the history of the San Diego labor movement, the basics of labor organizing, and an introduction to research justice methodologies
  • Mentorship opportunities with your supervisor and colleagues at your host organization
  • You’ll earn a stipend of $5000 total for participation in the complete 9-week fellowship program and completion of your final project.

Eligibility to Participate

  • You must be a current UCSD graduate student in good standing and not be enrolled in any academic program or other internship, fieldwork, or competing program during the fellowship period. 
  • Our program is geared towards students who live in San Diego county. It is highly recommended that you have familiarity with the region and your own car. We do not provide housing or transportation assistance.
  • You cannot have any other commitments (including school, other funded research, or part-time jobs) during the program period. 

Application Process

Applications are due no later than May 30, 2016 (midnight).

In order to complete this application, you will need the following:

  • A PDF (.pdf) of your professional resume or CV
  • A PDF (.pdf) of your answers to the personal statement
  • Letter of reference from (2) professional or academic referrers (at least 1 recommender must be an academic reference who can speak to your research skills and experience).

Join the Program

Please contact UCSD CLP Director Amrah Salomon J. to submit an application or for any questions regarding the Summer Fellowship.

Amrah Salomon J. email: 

Personal Statement Questions

Please answer the following questions to provide the review committee with more information about your interest in the fellowship. Please answer each question as a separate entry, limiting each response to no more than 200 words each.

  • Prompt A: Discuss an experience that has influenced you to want to work for social justice, specifically in regards to workers’ rights issues. 200 words maximum
  • Prompt B: Describe a current problem/issue that you think is important to workers’ rights. What role do you see yourself playing in solving the issue? How might you approach this problem as a researcher or activist? 200 words maximum
  • Prompt C: What are your career goals? How would this fellowship experience advance your career? 200 words maximum
  • Prompt D: Describe the skills you have that you would contribute to a labor organization. Include technical skills such as research, software/internet programming, graphic design, etc. 200 words maximum
  • Prompt E: Describe your personal attributes and how they will help you in this fellowship. Include interpersonal skills, communication skills, etc. 200 words maximum

Please save your resume/CV and personal statement as one single PDF document as: Lastname.Firstname_application.pdf

You may be asked to attend an in-person interview in early June.  We will contact you if you have been selected to participate in the interviews. 

Frequently Asked Questions for Students

Who is eligible for this program?

Current UCSD Graduate Students in any field. Fellows may not be enrolled in any courses, teaching or competing research or training program during the fellowship period.  Because the space in our program is limited every year, we specifically target students at the very end of their academic careers that might be able to enter careers in the labor movement after their fellowship. Students may re-apply if they were rejected in previous years.

Can I apply if I am from out of state or do not live in San Diego?

Yes, but we do not provide any housing or transportation assistance. Our program is primarily geared towards the San Diego region. You will need your own car to participate.

I am taking a course/working part-time/teaching/conducting research for another project/ have another internship, fellowship, or training program/or will travel or be vacationing during the summer. Can I still apply?

No. You must be committed to working HALF-TIME (20 hours a week) during the entire nine weeks of the program. There is a strong possibility that some of these 20 hours will include some non-traditional work hours (i.e., night and weekend flexibility). It is highly likely that you will need to do extensive amounts of outside reading in your own time to become familiar with the research topics and methodologies. Additionally, you are required to attend two weeks of mandatory training at the UCSD campus, one week at the beginning of the program and one week at the end to complete your project. Due to the nature of our program, you will not be able to have other commitments during this time to best utilize the opportunities available. Please try again another year.

What happens if I am not available for an in-person interview in early May?

For unique circumstances (e.g., you are located outside of Southern California), considerations will be made on a case-by-case basis. If you feel that you have a legitimate reason as to why you would be unable to make an interview and/or you believe you require special consideration, please e-mail Amrah Salomon ( explaining your situation.

When will I find out if I have been accepted?

You will be notified by June 5th, 2016, of your acceptance status in our program.

When will I find out where I will be placed for the fellowship?

If accepted into our program, you will find out your fellowship placement when the program starts in June.

How much will I be paid?

You will be paid $5,000 (pretax) for the total fellowship period of nine weeks. Because this will be taxable income you must make arrangements to withhold your own taxes from the stipend. The Office of Graduate Studies can assist you with any tax questions.

How will I be paid?

The $5000 stipend will be paid in three monthly payments of about $1666. Your first payment will be paid to you on August 1st. You will receive the following payments in September and October near the 1st of the month.

Important note about your stipend: Taxes will not be taken out of your stipend payments, however the stipend is considered taxable income. You must report this stipend on your 2016 taxes. You will receive a 1099-Misc Form from the University for your taxes. Please consult with your tax preparer to determine how to report your earnings. 

Is training Mandatory?

Yes, you must attend the training to participate.

Do I need to finish my project and attend the program wrap up sessions?

Yes, you must complete your project and attend the program wrap up sessions to participate.

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