Funding Opportunities

Below are some funding opportunities for undergraduate students. A more comprehensive list can be found using the Student Awards and Research Opportunities searchable database. 

Check out these great resources on how to prepare a winning application and more. We encourage you to apply! 

  • Financial Aid and Scholarships

    The UC Santa Cruz Financial Aid and Scholarship Office strives to deliver high quality service to students and their families. They are committed to minimizing financial barriers to support students in achieving their educational goals.
  • Pathways to Science

    Education and career training opportunities in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) searchable database of scholarships.
  • Physical and Biological Sciences Division

    There are many options to help fund your undergraduate research, including external funding,  UC funding, and departmental and college grants.

  • FALL

  • Ernest F. Hollings Undergraduate Scholarship

    The 2024 application period will open on September 1, 2023. For sophomores and juniors in fields including, but not limited to: oceanic, environmental, biological, and atmospheric sciences, mathematics, engineering, remote sensing technology, physical and social sciences including geography, physics, hydrology, geomatics, or teacher education that support NOAA's programs and mission. Program provides up to $9,500 per year for full-time study during the 9-month academic year; a 10-week, full-time internship position ($700/week) during the summer at a NOAA facility; and, if reappointed, up to $9,500 for full-time study during a second 9-month academic year. 
  • Koret Research Scholarship Award

    Applications are due Sunday October 22nd, 2023. This scholarship supports undergraduate students who are planning to pursue a research project under a faculty or graduate student mentor during winter and/or spring quarter 2024. Details are available on the Koret Scholarship website.
  • Webster Fellows Award

    This award of up to $3000 is being offered due to a generous gift from the Helen and Will Webster Foundation. The award is for registered UCSC undergraduate students who are currently doing or planning to do a senior internship or thesis (minimum two-quarter project) that focuses on natural history education, collections, or exhibits and promote collaborations between the Norris Center for Natural History at UCSC and one of our on- or off-campus partner organizations, such as the Santa Cruz Museum of Natural History, the Bird School Project, or the UCSC Natural Reserves.
  • UC Santa Cruz Doris Duke Conservation Scholars Program

    Applications for the next cohort will be available in October 2024. The Doris Duke Conservation Scholars Program at UCSC exposes early-career college students to the field of environmental conservation through field research, leadership and professional training.
  • Kathryn D. Sullivan Award in Earth & Marine Sciences

    The Kathryn D. Sullivan Scholarship Award in Earth & Marine Sciences is designed to encourage undergraduate student research for those pursuing degrees in disciplines related to earth and marine sciences from a variety of perspectives. This program supports a summer research project by an undergraduate mentored by a graduate student conducting a summer research project in earth and planetary sciences, microbiology and environmental toxicology, ecology and evolutionary biology, chemistry, or related disciplines.


  • CAMINO - Center to Advance Mentored, Inquiry-Based Opportunites in Ecology and Evolution

    The CAMINO provides inclusive research opportunities, funding and professional community to students exploring careers in field science and environmental conservation.
  • UC Natural Reserve System Field Science Fellowship

    The NRS Field Science Fellowship provides financial support to UC undergraduate-faculty teams conducting scientific research in the field at NRS reserves. The fellowships enable students to focus on gaining valuable hands-on research experience under the guidance of a faculty researcher. Each $6,000 award consists of a $5,000 student stipend and $1,000 to cover project costs. A maximum of $24,000 will be awarded annually.
  • Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship

    The Goldwater Scholarship Program, one of the oldest and most prestigious national scholarships in the natural sciences, engineering, and mathematics in the United States, seeks to identify and support college sophomores and juniors who show exceptional promise of becoming this Nation’s next generation of research leaders in these fields.
  • Gordon Smith Undergraduate Fellowship in Marine Science

    The purpose of the Gordon Smith Undergraduate Fellowship in Marine Science is to celebrate and realize Gordon Smith and his family’s passion for undergraduate studies in marine science by encouraging and supporting undergraduate scholarship in marine science. This fellowship is awarded annually to undergraduate students studying marine science. Recipients must be in good academic standing in their department. Preference is given to applicants who demonstrate financial need.
  • Michael Tudor Memorial Award

    The purpose of the Michael Tudor Memorial Award is to celebrate and realize Michael Tudor's passion for the natural world by encouraging and supporting undergraduate scholarship in ecology and evolutionary biology. This award is granted annually to one student each academic year in the summer. 
  • Mark T. Macmillan Memorial Scholarship

    The purpose of the Mark T. MacMillan Memorial Scholarship is to promote and recognize outstanding undergraduate research in any area of marine biology at the University of California, Santa Cruz. It is an annual prize to outstanding undergraduate students of marine biology in recognition of their exceptional research participation, senior thesis, or equivalent achievement. 
  • Norris Center Student Award

    Applications are accepted every quarter. Each academic quarter, the Norris Center funds a select number of undergraduate student projects. Any undergraduate conducting a project relating to natural history can apply for an award of up to $1,000. 
  • William Beye Heald Scholarship

    This award provides scholarships to undergraduate and graduate students in marine sciences with demonstrated academic ability and financial need. The recipient may use the award for any purpose (e.g., field supplies or lab materials for research, field quarter course fees or travel, conference travel, housing).
  • Keeley Coastal Scholars Award

    The Keeley Coastal Scholars Award provides underrepresented undergraduate students at UC Santa Cruz the financial support they need to engage in summer research and policy work related to coastal sustainability. Students can be doing work in any area of terrestrial, aquatic, or marine systems along the coast.

    This award is open to students in both the Social Sciences and Physical & Biological Sciences. Scholarships range from $1000 to $4000 per student with an associated $1000 in support of the sponsoring faculty member. These funds can be used by students for any expenses incurred during the summer months.

    Undergraduate majors are invited to apply by submitting an online application, a project budget, and an unofficial copy of their transcripts.


  • Deans', Chancellor's, and Steck Awards

    Deans' Awards are granted to 50 undergraduate projects, 10 from each of the academic divisions. Submissions are an outstanding senior thesis or project completed during the current academic year. Each winning project will receive a $100 cash award, and is considered for a Chancellor’s Award. Chancellor's Award winning projects receive a $500 cash award, and are considered for the Steck Award. 
  • Gunderson Family Student Research in Coastal Sustainability Award

    The Gunderson Family Student Research in Coastal Sustainability Fund supports undergraduate students engaging in coastal sustainability research during summer at UC Santa Cruz. To apply you must have a UC Santa Cruz faculty sponsor, and that sponsor must complete an online recommendation for your project.
  • Undergraduate Research in Science & Technology Award

    The Undergraduate Research in Science & Technology Endowment, funded by generous donors and alumni, supports excellence in undergraduate research in fields related to science and technology for students from any major at UC Santa Cruz. To apply you must have a UC Santa Cruz faculty sponsor, and that sponsor must complete an online recommendation for your project.
  • Future Leaders in Coastal Science Award

    Currently, not accepting applications. The Future Leaders in Coastal Science Award is provided through generous donor support through the Division of Physical and Biological Sciences. This program supports graduate and undergraduate student research on the coastal zone (both land and sea), including studies of natural and human-impacted systems. Supervised by a faculty member or researcher, each team will be led by a graduate student who will mentor two undergraduate students working on the project.