RMI Graduate Diversity Fellowships

The CBSE is committed to diversity and actively works to pave the way for talented students from underrepresented backgrounds to enter genomic sciences. Through our Research Mentoring Institute (RMI), we offer fellowships to support UCSC graduate students who are working on genome related research projects, including projects addressing the ethical, legal, and social implications of genome research. Sponsored by the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI), these awards particularly support the NHGRI's goal to increase the numbers and capabilities of minority scientists, science professionals, and ethicists. Each year, the CBSE RMI supports four outstanding graduate students.

The fellowship includes a graduate student research stipend plus registration fees, partial or full tuition depending on GSR level, and a research allowance of $1200 per year to cover supplies and travel to one relevant scientific meeting. (Note that health fees are not included.)

Award period: one full academic year and one summer, typically beginning in summer or fall. Students may reapply for additional years.

Program Requirements

  • Maintain a cumulative 3.0 GPA each academic quarter to remain eligible for participation in the program.
  • Fulfill the requirements of your academic program.
  • Meet regularly with your faculty mentor to discuss your research and academic plans.
  • Meet with the program coordinator at least twice each quarter.
  • Submit a 1-2 page project status report at the end of each quarter.
  • Participate in all required activities and group meetings related to RMI.
  • Participate in at least two outreach and/or mentorship focused events per year.
  • In accordance with agency requirements of our funding source, the National Human Genome Research Institute, fellows must agree to provide CBSE staff with contact information and academic or employment status for a minimum of 10 years after you complete our program.


  • To qualify for this fellowship, you must be a UCSC student and a US citizen or permanent resident.
  • Since the RMI diversity awards particularly support the NHGRI's goal to increase the numbers and capabilities of minority scientists and science professionals, we especially encourage applications from students who are members of populations that are historically underrepresented in higher education and in genomic research: African American, Native Pacific Islander, Native American/Alaskan, Hispanic, Latina/o, and Chicana/o.
  • Students may be enrolled in any program and may apply during any year they are at UCSC.

Selection criteria

The CBSE diversity program staff will select fellows based on responsiveness to the goals of the program, the academic record of the applicant, and the quality of the project proposal and its potential impact on genome-related research.

Application process

For students applying to UCSC: Indicate your interest in being considered for this fellowship on your graduate application in the "Additional Information" section.

If you intend to apply, please first contact the program director, Zia Isola (isola@soe.ucsc.edu, 831-459-1702), to discuss your research proposal.

A complete application includes the following materials:

  • Completed copy of the CBSE RMI application
  • Project proposal that includes the research question, research aims, methodology, expected results, and the significance of the research
  • Your resume or CV
  • Current copy of your unofficial transcript
  • Letter of support from a UCSC faculty member who is willing to be your research advisor for the project

Please contact the RMI program director before beginning your application.

Thank you for your interest in participating in the CBSE Research Mentoring Institute.


  Center for Biomolecular Science & Engineering
1156 High St, Mail Stop CBSE,
University of California, Santa Cruz, CA 95064
831-459-1477 ext. 9-1477 | cbseweb@soe.ucsc.edu 

For questions about the UCSC Genome Browser: genome@soe.ucsc.edu

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