Junior Transfer Series

Junior Transfer Series

Our Summer 2020 application cycle is now closed.


The SLC Research Associate Program: Junior Transfer Series provides full-time support for a select group of undergraduates to propose and pursue an independent research project to completion. Designed for junior transfer students who have not yet had significant research opportunities, our program offers each participant a highly structured environment in which to develop critical inquiry methods and refine academic writing skills. Each participant will leave the program with a 15-20 page research paper reflective of their deep engagement in the research process.

Benefits of the program include:

  • mentorship by learning specialists with subject-matter expertise
  • membership in a tight-knit learning community supported by SLC peer and professional staff
  • writing coaching—including at least two hours per week with a personal team of writing tutors—and comprehensive guidance to produce a strong piece of research-based writing
  • resources and protected time to conduct research
  • option to create a multimedia exhibit piece that embodies or describes the research process
  • networking and connection to future opportunities for research and project-based learning


This year, our Junior Transfer Series focuses on first-generation, low-income* transfer students who have completed at least one semester at Berkeley, hold at least a 3.0 GPA, and are able to commit 40 hours per week to the program for eight weeks. Priority will be given to students who have had limited opportunities to conduct formal research.

*If you report an Expected Family Contribution (EFC) of $4,500 or less, you meet this criterion.

Program Commitments

Research Associates are expected to devote themselves to the program full-time. Therefore, you must be prepared to forgo additional obligations such as summer employment, concurrent research fellowships, or enrollment in Summer Sessions classes.

You should expect to spend approximately 40 hours on the program per week, dividing your working hours between seminar meetings, individual writing activities and writing workshops, one-on-one mentoring sessions, project-related reading and fieldwork, and implementation of your final presentation design. In order to make the most of the program, your commitment to this workload must be firm.

Successful completion of the program will include:

  • writing and refining a 15-20 page paper that reflects your original research
  • delivering an in-person presentation of your work at the SLC’s Fall 2020 research symposium


Each Research Associate receives a $6,500 stipend that may be used toward any expenses they see fit, including summer housing. The stipend will be disbursed in two $3000 increments—at the beginning and midpoint of the program—with the final $500 disbursed upon successful completion of the program. Once in the program, Research Associates may request up to an additional $500 of funding to directly support their research or to purchase materials related to the display of their results.

Application Requirements

All applicants must submit the following materials in order for the application to be considered complete:

  • online application form
  • two recommendations, at least one from an academic instructor
  • current UC Berkeley transcript (unofficial accepted)
  • an academic writing sample of any length that reflects your best writing to date

Dates and Deadlines

All application materials must be submitted by Tuesday, April 7, 2020 at 11:59 PM. This includes all recommendation forms.

A shortlist of applicants will be selected by Friday, April 17 and invited to an online interview. Final decisions will be made by Monday, April 27.

The program will run for eight weeks, concurrent with the eight-week 2020 Summer Sessions timeline. Consequently, the program will begin on Monday, June 22, and conclude on Friday, August 14. Fellows will also be expected to attend an orientation reception during RRR Week, pending individual availability.

Application Support

To support your application process while respecting current health and safety needs, we will be holding open office hours and application workshops online via Zoom.

The next open office hours will be held at the following times (by-appointment hours are also available):

Tuesday, April 7, 2-4 PM

To attend, please visit this section and click on the appropriate office hour time. Links will be added in advance of each session. You will be placed in a Zoom waiting room upon joining and admitted to the main conversation in order of attendance. If you have any trouble connecting, please write directly to Serena Le at serena.le@berkeley.edu.

We will also be holding online application workshops for those who would like to go over their materials at greater depth. To RSVP for a workshop, please click here.


Submission Guidelines

All applications MUST be submitted through this Google Form. As this form will not allow you to save your work-in-progress, we encourage you to develop your responses outside the form and transfer them in when you are ready to submit. To help you with this process, you can download a PDF version of our application here.

Recommendations should be submitted separately by each applicant’s listed recommenders. You may use the following URL to review and share our online recommendation form with your recommenders:  http://bit.ly/rap-recommendation

We ask that you make every effort to have your recommenders submit their responses via the online form. That said, if your recommender requires a hard copy, you may have them complete and return (via email) this fillable PDF form.



Do I need a faculty sponsor?

No. While we do ask that you provide at least one recommendation from someone who can testify to your academic performance and fitness for research, you do not need any sponsors for your project.

Can I apply to pursue research (or a research question) that I am already working on?

In general, no. The program is designed to support participants in their pursuit of an original research question from start to finish. For this reason, priority will be given to candidates who have not yet explored their topic of interest, and who have had few opportunities to pursue research projects while at Berkeley. If you have already received significant formal research mentorship, particularly with respect to an original project or question, this program may not be the best fit for you.

Will housing be provided?

While we will not be providing housing directly, our stipend is designed to cover each Research Associate’s independent living expenses for the duration of the program. Those who would like our assistance in finding summer housing will be invited to connect with us upon their acceptance into the program, and applicants with unique living or working situations should let us know via the initial application form.

Who should write my recommendations?

We ask that one of your recommenders be a current or former instructor capable of speaking to your academic engagement. While a Berkeley faculty member is preferable, we would also accept a lecturer, graduate student instructor, or anyone else who has taught you recently. The second recommendation may come from whomever you see fit. We encourage you to seek recommendations from those who can best testify to your work ethic and intellectual curiosity.


Program Contact

Please direct all program inquiries to:

Serena Le, Ph.D.
132 César Chávez Student Center
(510) 642-2841