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 Scholars engage with faculty judges and fellow scholars as they present their research at the 2018 UC LEADS Symposium at UCSB
Scholars engage with faculty judges and fellow scholars as they present their research at the 2018 UC LEADS Symposium at UCSB

Once chosen as UC LEADS Scholars, students embark upon a two-year program of scientific research and graduate school preparation guided by individual Faculty Mentors. Scholars are provided with an excellent opportunity to explore their discipline, experience a research environment, and improve their opportunities for future study in their chosen field. The Scholars gain valuable educational experience, the University develops a better prepared and more diverse graduate applicant pool, and ultimately, the state gets well-educated future leaders. Each Scholar is mentored by a UC faculty member and advised by a UC LEADS Coordinator, which assists the student in designing a plan of research and enrichment activities fitted to the individual interests and academic goals of the Scholar. The "Action Plan" includes:

  • Academic year research,
  • Paid summer research experience,
  • Participation in the University-wide UC LEADS Symposium,
  • Attendance at professional or scientific society meetings,
  • Professional Development and Leadership Opportunities,
  • Academic enrichment activities, including preparation for the Graduate Record Examination (GRE).

A Focus on Leadership

The UC LEADS program identifies, encourages, and trains undergraduates who have potential for leadership as graduate students and as future leaders committed to addressing the educational and economic factors leading to underrepresentation of domestic minorities in the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) fields. Our scholars develop and enhance their leadership skills and experiences through a variety of different UC LEADS resources and opportunities offered at their home campuses. Professional development, advising, workshops, and certificates are available for students throughout the UC system in order to fulfill this essential mandate of leadership cultivation through the UC LEADS program. Many of our scholars also participate as members or fulfill executive positions in various academic and cultural organizations like Associated Students, National Society for Black Engineers (NSBE), Advancing Chicanos/Hispanics & Native Americans in Science (SACNAS), Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE), the American Medical Student Association (AMSA), Society for Women Engineers (SWE), and other important community and professional networking groups. UC LEADS participants serve as ambassadors for the program at campus events, conferences, and resource fairs.  Our coordinators and scholars also work together to provide academic and research mentorship to high school and junior high school students. By actively engaging in public outreach, community service, and professional development opportunities through the UC LEADS program, our scholars are not only building their own STEM careers, but also honing their potential as leaders in STEM research, education, and outreach for communities throughout California and beyond.