Staff & Student Jobs

OURS is currently hiring 1 graduate student position: 

Part-time Research Mentor for Undergraduate Social Science / Humanities Researchers

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

Hours: 25% position (Student Assistant IV). The hours average out to 8 hours/week but there are a few windows of time during the appointment where you are asked to work more than that (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 diverse fields, and would like to strengthen his or her mentoring skills.

 In spring of 2019, SURF will award stipends to about 100 undergraduates; a portion of which will be dedicated to social science and humanities students (approximately 25-35). The remainder of the stipends will be for STEM students working with a different graduate mentor.  Under the supervision of the OURS director, the “SURF Program Advisor” will work with the 2018 cohort of social science and humanities fellows to: 

  • guide them through the SURF application process (due on Feb 21)
  • closely support all students who have “human subjects” research in working with the Office for the Protection of Human Subjects to develop a research protocol and get this approved before summer
  • help them prepare and launch their summer projects
  • promote scholarly community
  • and assist fellows in effectively presenting their summer findings in a poster or research presentation format. 

 More specifically, the SURF Program Advisor will: 

  • support recruitment of strong applicants (including winter info sessions)
  • answer e-mails from prospective applicants about eligibility and more
  • hold office hours to help applicants clarify their research questions and develop a research proposal and timeline
  • direct applicants to faculty who might serve as project sponsors
  • assist in evaluating applications
  • help organize the early May orientation for all SURF fellows
  • plan and convene research cluster meetings during the summer so that fellows can discuss and troubleshoot research issues
  • offer workshops on effective conference presentations using visual slides
  • check up on research progress, especially for fellows who are away from Berkeley
  • set up practice presentations and give students feedback as they prepare for the August 22-23, 2019 SURF Conference (on campus)
  • help organize a two-day research conference (August 22-23,2019)


This position is designed for a graduate student with a broad background in the social sciences (as well as to some degree humanities) and a strong knowledge of and interest in research methods; demonstrated experience in giving constructive and encouraging feedback to undergraduates; and familiarity with the resources of the campus as needed by undergraduate researchers.  We seek a graduate student who has already completed qualifying exams. Administrative experience is also desirable. The SURF program significantly utilizes the Google suite of tools.


This position runs from approximately January 14, 2019 through August 31, 2019, with variable hours as the program cycle requires:  8 hours average per week, with additional hours required during these peak windows of time: just before the application deadline of February 21, during the application processing period and “human subjects” / IRB preparation (February 22-April 1), and the conference preparation period (the middle weeks of August).  Applicants are required to work the entire two-day SURF conference (August 22-23rd, 2019).  Although there will definitely be opportunities for the SURF Program Advisor to take time off between February and August, we cannot consider applicants who will not be available for the peak windows of time during pre-application, application processing, and conference periods. 

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 spring term, you will need to obtain a waiver from your department to make yourself eligible for 75% employment on campus.

Please submit your application by November 20, 2018. Open until filled.  The position requires a campus background check.

Please email your cover letter and CV to: 


Sean Burns

Director, Office of Undergraduate Research and Scholarships

UC Berkeley