UC LEADS Research & Leadership Program

University of California Leadership Excellence through Advanced DegreeS (UC LEADS) program is part of the UC Office of the President's efforts to increase the number of diversity students pursuing graduate degrees in STEM. This undergraduate program provides two summers of faculty mentored research at UC campuses and leadership development.

Summer Research Poster Showcase

Opportunities and Benefits

Dr. Ortiz and Dr. Matsui inspire students at 2016 Statewide Symposium
Dr. Ortiz and Dr. Matsui inspire students at 2016 Statewide Symposium
  • Paid summer research experience
  • Statewide research symposium
  • Professional and scientific society meetings
  • Travel to other UC campuses
  • Academic enrichment activities
  • GRE prep​

Summer Research Poster Showcase


Our 2022 application is now open, we will begin interviews in early March:

2021 Cohort

  • Martin Beshara, Mechanical Engineering
  • Thee Ho, Computer Science
  • Isaac Sloan, Applied Mathematics & Modeling
  • Alfred Vargas, Chemical Engineering
  • Padma Venkatraman, Astrophysics & Data Science

2020 Cohort

  • Jose Magana, Geophysics & Seismology
  • Jesus Martinez Martinez, Astrophysics & Physics
  • Irene Ortega, Cognitive Science & Computer Science
  • Claudia Renero, Mechanical Engineering
  • Wyatt Singh, Mathematics and Slavic Language/Literature
  • Toren D’Nelly-Warady, Mathematics & Computer Science

2019 Cohort

  • Gael Flores, Physics
  • Vanessa Hernandez-Cruz, Mechanical Engineering
  • Jason Jiang, Data Science & Math
  • Eshaan Pathak, Comp Sci
  • German Perea, Civil Eng

2018 Cohort

  • Alexis Andres Palacios Duran, Physics
  • Arismel Tena-Meza, Chemistry
  • Camille Harris, Computer Science
  • Emily Hill, Computer Science
  • Evylyn Deagueros, Physics
  • Mayia Vranas, Physics

2017 Cohort

  • Cindy Barrios, Biological Sciences
  • Lekha Patil, Math & Data Science
  • Silvia Miramontes-Lizarraga, Math & Astrophysics
  • Yasmeen Musthafa, Physics
  • Brandon Tran, Computer Science


UC LEADS is a two-year program designed to identify educationally or economically disadvantaged UC undergraduates in STEM who show promise of succeeding in doctoral STEM degree programs. The program provides students with educational experiences that prepare them to assume positions of leadership in industry, government, public service, and academia. It is a UC-centric program that provides a paid summer research internship at UC Berkeley and a second summer of paid research at another UC campus. The program helps cover some of the costs such as housing, food, transportation to and from that UC campus and research stipend. Each spring five to seven UC LEADS scholars are selected.

Eligibility Snapshot

  • LGBTQ, U.S. Military veterans, and transfer students are encouraged to apply
  • Must be a registered UC Berkeley student at the time of the application
  • U.S. citizens, permanent residents, or DREAMers
  • Sophomore and junior STEM majors interested in going to graduate school
  • 3.0 overall UC Berkeley GPA
  • There is a two year/two summer commitment (unless you are a transfer student - at least one summer needed before you graduate)


1) I have more questions, who can I ask?

—-Please text your questions or call Diana a #510.778.5165 or e-mail them to Chris at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

2) Is there a stipend associated with this experience for cohort 2022?

—-Yes, for scholars eligible for both summers, the stipends are $4,000 for 2022 summer and $4,500 for summer 2023

3) Can I take summer school and do this program?

—-Unfortunately, no. You will be expected to immerse yourself into your faculty mentored research lab for 35 hours a week during our summer program.

4) I already have a UC Berkeley faculty research mentor that I have been working with on campus. Can I still apply?


5) Will we present our research?

—-Yes, for summer 2022 we will be doing 15 minute virtual oral presentations at the end of our summer program and then a research poster presentation in March of 2023.

6) I am a freshman or senior, can I still apply?

—Per our statewide efforts, we are working on recruiting sophomores or new transfer juniors to our program. More research opportunities can be found a

7) What are the program dates for summer 2022?

—Monday, June 13th to Friday, August, 5th, 2022

UC LEAD Scholar Andrew presenting his research at statewide symposium
UC LEAD Scholar Andrew (right) presenting his bioengineering research at the UC LEADS statewide symposium. Andrew is now a PhD Bioengineering Graduate Student at Vanderbilt working on exoskeleton legs.