Staff & Student Jobs

OURS currenlty has 1 open position for a social science or humanities graduate student to serve as research mentor in the SURF program - cover letter and CV are welcome now. See all details below: 

Part-time Research Mentor for Undergraduate Researchers - Social Sciences and Humanities

Pay:  $25 an hour, does not include any student fee remission

Hours: 25% position (Student Assistant IV) beginning January 10, 2018 through September 30, 2018. The hours average out to 8-10 hours/week with some weeks being less and some weeks being more during a few windows of time during the appointment (see details below).

The Office of Undergraduate Research and Scholarships (OURS) is seeking a graduate student in the social sciences to advise undergraduates in the Summer Undergraduate Research Fellows Program (SURF) and to assist in the administration of the program. This is a position for someone who: enjoys working with highly motivated undergraduates in a variety of fields across the social sciences and humanities; is committed to supporting students through IRB in collaboration with the Office for Protection of Human Subjects; and would like to professionally develop as a research mentor.

In spring of 2018, SURF will award stipends to about 100 undergraduates; a portion of which will be dedicated to social science and humanities students (approximately 35 students – the majority of which are social science majors).  The remainder of the stipends will be for STEM students working with a different graduate mentor. The social science and humanities SURF Fellows will all be “rising seniors” who are conducting intensive, independent research this summer to support their senior thesis.  All of the SURF Fellows, as a requirement of the program, have individual faculty mentors as well. Under the supervision of the OURS Director, the “SURF Program Advisor” will work with the 2018 cohort of social science and humanities fellows to: 

  • help them stay on track with their summer research plans, which in some cases involve compliance with OPHS human subjects protocol
  • promote scholarly community through the regular summer “cluster meetings”
  • and assist fellows in effectively presenting their summer findings at the August SURF conference (professional academic format). 

 More specifically, the SURF Program Advisor will: 

  • meet with students to help them fine-tune their applications before the late February due date
  • help organize the application review process
  • work closely with students who’s research requires IRB approval to get their protocols prepared and submitted in a timely manner
  • participate in and help organize orientations for new fellows in early May
  • convene / plan research cluster meetings so that fellows can discuss and troubleshoot research issues during the summer
  • offer workshops on effective conference presentations with slides
  • check up on research progress, especially for fellows who are away from Berkeley
  • carry out various administrative tasks important to the successful operation of the SURF program including website updates, some budget related processes, etc.
  • set up practice presentations and give students feedback as they prepare for the SURF Conference (on campus)
  • help organize the two day SURF research conference (August 16-17, 2018)
  • support students as they transition from summer research to senior thesis coursework in fall term (this works occurs in September)
  • manage the publication of student conference presentations through the University of California’s E-Scholarship platform  


This position is designed for a graduate student with a broad background in the social sciences / humanities and a strong knowledge of and interest in research methods; demonstrated experience in giving constructive and encouraging feedback to undergraduates; understanding of IRB process; and familiarity with the campus resources available to support undergraduate researchers.  Administrative experience also desirable; the SURF program significantly utilizes the Google Suite of programs.


This position runs from approximately January 10, 2018 through September 30, 2018, with variable hours as the program cycle requires:  8-10 hours average per week, peaking at these times: just before the application deadline of February 22, during the application processing period (late Feb through early March), just before the IRB submission deadlines (mid March) summer programming planning (late April) and the conference preparation period (the first few weeks of August).  Applicants are required to work some full days for the SURF conference (August 16+17, 2018).  Although there will be opportunity for the SURF Program Advisor to take time off between May and the August conference, these breaks need to be coordinated around the peak team-work periods outlined above. 

Potential for renewal of the position for the 2019 summer SURF cohort.

This position does not include any student fee remission. For graduate students interested in this position who will already have a 50% GSI or GSR position during the summer term, you will need to obtain a waiver from your department to make yourself eligible for 75% employment on campus.


Interviews for selected candidates will begin around November 1, 2018. Apply as soon as possible. Position is open now until filled. 


Please email cover letter and CV (as one pdf file) to: 


Sean Burns, Ph.D.

Director, Office of Undergraduate Research and Scholarships

UC Berkeley