FAQs

What does the program cost?

NOTHING! Students selected to The Diversity Project will have their airfare paid for and will receive a stipend to cover their room and board during the project. The stipend is typically more than sufficient to cover these expenses. We’ll even buy you snorkeling gear if you need it. The one thing we can’t cover is the cost of a passport and any vaccinations that your doctor may recommend.

What are the project requirements?

Please visit the Application Requirements Page.

What makes a compelling application?

Students make themselves stand out in various ways, and everyone brings something unique to the program. Things to consider including in your personal statement are 1) any research experience that you may have had, 2) personal challenges that you’ve faced, 3) work you’ve done that gives back to the community, 4) experience mentoring/tutoring, 5) anything that gives us a feeling of who you are as a person. This shouldn’t be viewed as a checklist, or an exhaustive list, but just some tips to help guide you.

Is this the only year the program will run?

The Diversity Project has run continuously since 2005. We have funding through Summer 2017. We hope to continue this important program, but that is contigent upon funding.

Do I have to be a UCLA student to apply?

No, the program is open to undergraduates from throughout the United States and U.S. Territories. We have supported students from over a dozen different colleges and universities.

What are the dates of the program ?

Because Diversity Project participants come from different universities, the timing of The Diversity Project varies each year to accomodate the schedules of individual students. If selected, we will work with you on the timing of the program. We only ask that you commit 10 -11 weeks to the project.

Do I have to be a U.S. Citizen?

Presently the program is only open to undergraduates who are citizens or permanent residents of the United States and U.S. Territories. Unfortunately, foreign nationals are not eligible to apply.

Can a graduating senior still apply?

The program is designed for undergraduate students, particularly those entering their junior or senior years. Students who will have graduated by the start of the program are no longer considered undergraduates and as such cannot be part of The Diversity Project. However, we have involved graduated students in our research outside of the The Diversity Project so we encourage graduating seniors to contact us about alternative ways to become involved in this research program.

Can a freshman apply?

The program is optimal for students entering their junior or senior years. Freshman are not excluded from applying, but may be less competitive than students entering their junior and senior years. Keep in mind, however that the program will run for several years, so you can always apply next year.

If I didn’t get accepted this year, should I apply again?

Absolutely. Freshmen and Sophomores who apply are typically more competitive in their subsequent application. As long as you are not a graduating senior, you are eligible and should apply. Several students have been accepted on their third application.

When will acceptance decisions be announced?

Typically we try to make final decisions by the end of February or early March. We try to do this early because of the extra time needed to prepare for working over seas.

Do I have to know how to SCUBA dive or snorkel?

No. The program will provide funding for you to take a basic SCUBA course, and will train you as an AAUS Scientific Diver.

Do I need to know how to swim?

Students who can swim will  get the most out of The Diversity Project as swimming is a prerequisite for SCUBA. We do not exclude non-swimmers from applying, but they may be less competitive than students that can fully participate in field activities.

What are field conditions like?

Conditions can be variable, but since we’re in the tropics, it’s usually warm. During field work, we may stay in field stations like the Gump South Pacific Research Station, or hotels or bungalows. These can range from modest rooms with air conditioning to very basic thatched roof huts with a sea breeze. Don’t expect the Ritz Carlton, but the scenery above and below water are spectacular. Visit the Pictures Page to see what field conditions can be like.

What’s the food like?

The food varies from region to region as Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines are an incredibly culturally diverse. One common denominator, though, is fish and rice. Some food is spicy, while others are bland.

Do I need vaccinations?

You may or may not. It is best to discuss these questions with your personal physician.

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