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Support Graduate Division's Competitive Edge

Participation Drive
23 Donors
Towards goal of 75 Donors
$3,105.00 Raised
Project has ended
Project ended on July 01, at 12:00 AM PDT
Project Owners

Support Graduate Division's Competitive Edge

The Competitive Edge program is a full-time summer research intensive for entering doctoral students in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields. The program is funded directly through the Graduate Division and aims to increase diversity in STEM, and promote access for doctoral students underrepresented in their fields and interested in pursuing a university or research career. Designed to enhance their experience as graduate students, the six-week long program provides faculty-guided research and mentoring, professional development workshops, and cohort-based community building that strengthens and ensures students’success as they transition into full-time doctoral study at UCLA. 



Initially funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF), the program began with only two participants in 2007. With increasing success, the program grew to award ten participants by 2011, and 19 by 2015. But in 2016, NSF funding stopped, and since then, Graduate Division continued the program through internal funds, knowing that sustaining the program was crucial in ensuring the growing diversity in STEM doctoral programs at UCLA.


With the changing landscape of graduate funding opportunities throughout the nation, this program serves as a crucial source of inspiration for many students from underrepresented backgrounds, particularly in the STEM fields. Programs like Competitive Edge are at the forefront of ensuring increased representation--not only on campus today--but as students become future educators to inspire the next generation of scientists and innovators.


Currently, Competitive Edge participants constitute only a small percentage of incoming doctoral students in any given year. Through this campaign, we seek to increase the number of awards to ensure more students of varying backgrounds will be able to participate in this important program and to match the increase seen in nominations in recent years.



The level of excellence among our students and alumni goes beyond UCLA. In creating better access for our students, our alumni in turn have brought their hard work back to their communities.


Participants of this program have gone on to become leaders in their fields, with a particular impact in higher education and health care. In fact, 74% of our doctoral STEM grads at UCLA go on to work in higher education and research at universities throughout the nation.

Your participation in this campaign is testament to the power of graduate education as a tool for effecting change. Through the Competitive Edge program, we are not only building a growing community of STEM educators and scientists, but also reflecting one of the core values of UCLA as an institution that promotes diversity as a pathway for opportunity and social impact.

Thank you for joining us as a donor, alumnus, and friend of Graduate Division. Our students’ voices are amplified through your support, and electrifies the spirit of camaraderie and collaboration at UCLA.

Our way
of Thanking You


Getting There

Covers weekly parking on campus and allows participants to focus on their work and not the daily commute. Thank you!

4 of Unlimited Claimed
Estimated Delivery: July 2018


Shout Out!

Covers daily food allowances for students who spend their days in the lab and library. Thank you for helping us spread the message, and receive a special shout out on Graduate Division’s Twitter @UCLAGradSchool

1 of Unlimited Claimed
Estimated Delivery: July 2018



Covers journal costs for the participants as they document their progress through the program. Receive a special shout out on Graduate Division’s Twitter or Instagram @UCLAGradSchool

2 of Unlimited Claimed
Estimated Delivery: July 2018



Gifts at this level will go a long way in covering program costs such as supplies and materials for workshops and lectures. Students are introduced to resources within Graduate Division and across UCLA that will support their journey as doctoral students. Receive a personalized note from one of our scholars.

2 of Unlimited Claimed
Estimated Delivery: July 2018



Contributions at this level are inspirational! Donors at this level will receive a UCLA or “Doctoral Alumni” tote and a special invitation to the BBQ Mixer in August.

1 of Unlimited Claimed
Estimated Delivery: July 2018



Students who take part in Competitive Edge create meaningful connections with their mentors and fellow participants. This peer-to-peer support is an important aspect of the program that allows our students to thrive. Receive a UCLA tote, and special invitations to get a chance to meet your awardee at the BBQ Mixer and Closing Ceremony.

1 of Unlimited Claimed
Estimated Delivery: July 2018



Be a catalyst for change and fully fund one additional award for Competitive Edge! Your contribution will fully fund one incoming doctoral student to participate in the program. Receive a UCLA tote, and special invitations to get a chance to meet your awardee along with Dean Robin Garrell.

0 of Unlimited Claimed
Estimated Delivery: July 2018
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