Haas Scholar Spotlight: Joanna Cardenas

Learn about Joanna's journey into research and her research project "Girlz in the Hood: How Black and Brown Women Navigate the Streets of South Central Los Angeles

How did you first get involved in research on campus?

2018 Stronach Recipient Works to End the Deportation of U.S. Veterans

Alfredo Figueroa (Class of 2018) is focusing his Stronach project on building support for the hundreds of U.S. veterans that have been deported. This article showcases his own journey as a veteran who recently graduated from Cal and the work he is advancing.

My Research Journey In Optometry

By Tiffany Fung, MCB Major, Class of 2018 (

A little bit about myself:I currently work in a vision science lab at the School of Optometry here at Berkeley, and I have participated in URAP for six semesters. During the past two summers, I have advanced my research through the SURF fellowship program.

Gap Years Before Grad School

By Jeffrey Shu (OURS Peer Advisor)

“What are you doing when you graduate?” “What do you want to do 10 years from now?” As a senior about to graduate, these are big questions that I have grappled with daily.
I started off my college career thinking of medical school, then a research path, then pharmacy training, and finally research again (with pastry chef thrown into that mix a couple times as well). With multiple ideas tugging at me and looming deadlines, I decided some “gap years” were the way to go.

Data Peer Consulting

That problem you’ve been working on? Data Peers are on campus to help.
By Ross Mattheis

Peer consulting helps guide you through the maze of campus resources. Peers are well positioned to offer guidance to other students because they’ve been through the same learning process recently. Peer to peer work is already massively successful on campus (through services like the Student Learning Center, departmental major advising, Undergraduate Research Advising) and elsewhere.

My URAP Experience at the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology

By Hannah Thorner

Having participated in this URAP program since my first semester at Berkeley, it is strange to think of a time when research was not part of my life. I first learned about the URAP program through an online course I took the summer before my freshman year called L&S 1. The course introduced the departments in L&S to give an overview of majors, each discussed by a professor. I was already set on majoring in Molecular and Cell Biology, but was open to learning what other options were out there.

What you should know when you apply to URAP

By Stefanie Ebeling and Sean Burns

Each semester, the Undergraduate Research Apprentice Program (known around campus as “URAP”) connects undergraduates with faculty mentors and their teams to promote collaboration on research projects. As the name suggests, it celebrates the apprentice model as an impactful form of experiential learning. Undergraduates get first-hand experience with how research discoveries and knowledge production are forged across the disciplines.

Museums and Labs As Research Sites

By Hannah Thorner and Jenisha Sabaratnam
There are many research opportunities for undergraduates available at UC Berkeley, so sometimes it can be difficult to know where to start. One way to narrow down your options is to think about the location you seek to be doing research work. When people first think of research, they tend to picture an academic research laboratory. However, museums are also major locations of research work on our campus.

Undergraduate Research Peer Advisors Make A Video of Appreciation For Cal

A group of undergraduate peer advisors from the Office of Undergraduate Research & Scholarships created this short 2017 holiday video as a way of expressing their appreciation for how UC Berkeley supports undergraduate learning. As you'll see, the recurring themes are: inclusion in community, gratitude for how their initiatives have been financially and intellectually supported, and appreciation for world-class mentorship.

Research & Internships: Better Together

University students may think they have to choose between research and internships. Although some may believe this to be true, it’s not the whole truth. We should think about the worlds of research and internships together, not separately. In fact, research and internships complement each other and jointly can make fulfilling and memorable learning experiences.

Starting Your Search For Prestigious Scholarships

If you are interested in exploring the different scholarship programs that are available, log onto the Scholarship Connection website which is managed by the Office of Undergraduate Research and Scholarships (OURS) Prestigious Scholarships Office. These competitive awards may be local, national, or international in scope and may vary in eligibility and major requirements.

Getting Started in Biological/Ecological Field Work

Biological field work can be an exciting aspect of doing research in many diverse disciplines, including environmental science, the life sciences, geology, geography, and physical anthropology/archeology. Doing field work allows you to interface directly with an area or ecosystem of interest and quantify some of the complex features and species networks found in those ecosystems---in some ways, studying real-life, wild places is the ultimate in vivo experiment!

Mathematician, Why so Lonely? How Directed Reading Groups Are Supporting Undergraduate Math Majors

With a handful of exceptions (such as the Polymaths Project) mathematics research can often be a solitary endeavor. Take, for example, Yitang Zhang’s lonely path to a major breakthrough in pure math. Why is math research historically an individual enterprise? Are mathematicians generally introverts? Do mathematicians struggle to communicate with one another? Are they smelly?

8 Tips and Tricks for Applying to Scholarships

Are you thinking of applying to scholarships to fund your research (or your tuition) and don’t know where to start? This article offers 8 tips to getting you planning on the right track. The Office of Undergraduate Research and Scholarship (OURS) has many more resources for various scholarship opportunities, including advising!

Visit the main office at 2422 Dwinelle as well as the Scholarships Connection Website and the OURS research homepage.


The semester is officially in full swing, and even though classes are holding their first midterms and URAP is officially closed for this semester…you may still be looking for a lab based research position. Cold emails, or introductory emails to professors you’ve never met, are one route to getting a research position. While they are not as ideal as a situation where you have already come to know a professor, they do sometimes open the door to great experiences. Here’s some tips on how to write such an email...

Connecting Research With International Travel: 3 Student Profiles

Colleen Murphy
March 14, 2017

Life-changing. Eye-opening. Revolutionary. Amazing. We have all heard these phrases from friends who’ve recently returned from whirl-wind, jet-setting, international travel experience. They eagerly tell us all about the adorable coffee shop they found in South Africa or the crazy philosopher they met on the bus in London. We smile and nod with a mix of a little jealousy and a little boredom, and then go back to studying for an urgent midterm. But a small voice lingers in the back of our heads. Maybe…we too could go abroad? But where would we begin? And how can we connect this desire up with our campus academic goals? I recently sat down with three Berkeley undergraduates who conducted international research last summer. Their stories give us .

Speaking of Research: How Four Undergraduates in Linguistics Have Defined a Research Path

As an undergraduate research peer advisor, I recently had an opportunity to interview four undergraduate researchers at Cal who major in linguistics and carried out senior thesis research, often with support from programs like the SURF (Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship) and LRAP (Linguistics Research Apprenticeship Practicum) and URAP (Undergraduate Research Apprentice Program). We talked about their motivations for starting research, the challenges that they have faced, and their future plans growing out of the projects. One thing that all of these students had was their tremendous passion for their research and, in general, the incredible diversity and complexity of languages. Here are some highlights from my interviews. I hope you enjoy getting to know these inspiring students!

Cal Senior Chun Man Chow Awarded Churchill Scholarship

March 4, 2016 - By Roxy Shooshani.....UC Berkeley senior, Chun Man Chow, has been awarded the prestigious Winston Churchill Scholarship which provides funding for graduate study at Cambridge University in England. Chow is the first UC Berkeley student to be named a Churchill Scholar since 2012, and he will use the scholarship to fund an MPhil in Advanced Chemical Engineering as part of the Department of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology at Cambridge.

Stronach Prize Celebrates 10 Year Anniversary

Each spring, the Judith Lee Stronach Baccalaurete Prize awards a small number of graduating seniors the extraordinary opportunity to put their ideas and their ideals into action. Granted awards of up to $25,000, recipients of the Prize dedicate themselves to going out into the world to work on socially engaged projects of their own design in the year following graduation. This month, UC Berkeley celebrates the tenth anniversary of the prestigious student Prize.