Photo: Amy West

Most students admitted to the Science Communication Program receive a fellowship or scholarship offer, unless the applicant declines support. There is one national source of funding, described below. The other funds are awarded by the program director on the basis of merit and specifications by the donors. No separate materials are required. For preferred review, submit your application by February 1.

National award

Taylor/Blakeslee Fellowships for Graduate Study in Science Writing

Students entering national science-writing programs compete for these prestigious fellowships, offered by the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing. Award amount: five national scholarships at $5,000 each. The 2019-20 winners include two UCSC students.

How to apply: Complete an application form at the CASW website. Application window opens on January 1, 2020.
Deadline: Usually in March. All materials, including letters of recommendation, are due by the deadline. Winners will be notified by mid-April.

UC Santa Cruz awards

Alumni Scholarship Fund

Graduates of our program contribute to an unrestricted scholarship fund, given annually to a deserving incoming student. Award amount: varies, up to $10,000.

ARCS Foundation Scholarships

The Achievement Rewards for College Scientists (ARCS) Foundation, Northern California chapter, offers unrestricted scholarships to two students each year in the Science Communication Program. Recipients attend an awards dinner in San Francisco with winners from five other Bay Area universities and present their work at a year-end research symposium. Award amount: $10,000.

Astrobiology Science Communication Graduate Fellowship

Funded by the UC Santa Cruz Astrobiology Initiative, this fellowship trains science communicators to cover the science, ethics and policy of astrobiology, which focuses on the search for life beyond Earth. The fellowship will provide up to $20,000 to support tuition expenses for scholars to attend the UC Santa Cruz Science Communication Program; scholars will focus their capstone Science Notes project on an astrobiology topic in consultation with the directors of the Astrobiology Initiative and Science Communication Program. To apply for the fellowship, submit an application to the Science Communication Program through the graduate application portal. As well, write a 500-word essay answering the prompt: “Tell us about your interest in and qualifications for covering astrobiology. What stories in this field attract you, and how would you propose to cover them? In your essay, please also reflect on the broader implications of astrobiology in society and culture. Why should people care about this field?” Send the completed essay via email to the Science Communication Program (scicom [at] ucsc.edu) with the subject line: "Astrobiology Science Communication Fellowship: [Applicant Firstname Applicant Lastname]".

The Cary Lu Fellowship in Science Communication

Funded by two private donors, these fellowships honor the career of Cary Lu, founding managing editor of High Technology and author of the essential guide to Macintosh computers, the Apple Macintosh Book. Awarded to one incoming student who shows exceptional promise as a thoughtful and distinctive science journalist. Award amount: $15,000. 

Chan Zuckerberg Scholars

Funded by the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative as part of its mission to enhance public support for science, these fellowships support tuition costs for two or more students each year who are interested in covering issues related to diversity, representation and inclusion in science journalism.

The David and Dana Loury Foundation Scholarship in Science Writing

Funded by the foundation established by the parents of science communicator Erin Loury, class of 2012, this scholarship supports tuition costs for one or more students each year who are committed to careers in popular science education and public understanding of key societal issues in science, health, technology and the environment. Award amount: varies, from $12,500 to $20,000.

Graduate Division Fellowships

UCSC's Division of Graduate Studies provides funds to cover a portion of the tuition and fees for several students each year. Award amount: varies, up to $12,000.

Heising Simons Foundation

Funded by the Heising Simons Foundation in service of its mission to support public communication of science, these fellowships support a portion of the tuition and fees for three students per year. Award amount: three awards of $17,500 each.

Science Communication Fund for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
Funded by SciCom alumna Barbara Masters and Marc Weiss, this fellowships provides $20,000 to one student who has faced economic or other educational barriers or intends to write about issues related to communities typically underrepresented in science reporting or about racism in science.

Financial Aid

Graduate students who demonstrate financial need are eligible for loans offered through several programs funded by the federal government and the University of California through the Financial Aid Office. Loans are interest-free while the student is registered in the graduate program. You also must file a Free Application for Student Aid (FAFSA).

International students are not eligible for federal financial aid. However, they are eligible for funds from the Science Communication Program. All international students must demonstrate capacity to cover the full year of program costs and living expenses.

For applications and further information, contact:

Financial Aid Office
201 Hahn Student Services Building
University of California, Santa Cruz
1156 High Street
Santa Cruz, CA 95064

Phone: 831.459.2963
Fax: 831.459.3628
Email: fin_aid (at) ucsc.edu

Applications are accepted at any time, but funding may be limited.