Welcome to the McNair Research Scholars Program

2021-23 Cohort (in alphabetical order): Jasmine Archila, Filipe Andreas Melo, Yolanda Anguiano, Aaron Ayala, Miguel Beltran, Kelvin Chau, Thyra Cobbs, Hector De Leon, Ashley Hackett, Ramond McCusker, Brenda Martinez Montano, Kiara Phillips, and Anthony Zomalt

2020 - 2022 McNair Cohort

2020-22 Cohort: Samantha Mazariegos, Cindy Berganza, Sebastian Figueroa, Edwin Zamora, Luis Godinez, Andrea Macias, Abel Aragon, Reno Garcia, Stephanie Martinez, Brittany Jasper, Cristian Hernandez, Alicia López, Ruby Gordillo, and Jessika Viveros.

About The Program

The UCLA McNair Research Scholars Program was established in 2003 as a two-year research-based program that prepares undergraduate students interested in pursuing a Ph.D. to not only apply to but also excel in the best graduate school programs in the country.

Each year, the program maintains a cohort of 28 juniors and seniors from a variety of majors in the Humanities, Arts, Social Sciences, STEM, and applied or interdisciplinary Sciences. The UCLA McNair program particularly attracts young scholars who are committed to social change and use scholarship and research as a means to achieve social justice. Hence, the program’s motto to “Transform the Academy.” Additionally, UCLA McNair Alumni work in a variety of professional positions that advance a social justice agenda.

» Download McNair Scholars Program Brochure

Program Curriculum

UCLA McNair Research Scholars complete a comprehensive and rigorous two-year academic program under the supervision of the Program Director, the Assistant Director, and multiple Graduate Student Mentors.

During their first year in the program, McNair Scholars participate in the UCLA Student Research Program (SRP) under the guidance of a faculty mentor, and attend weekly seminars designed specifically for the program. These seminars guide students through navigating the academy and developing research proposals.

In the summer between their first and second year in the program, McNair Scholars participate in the six-week UCLA McNair Summer Research Institute. This six-week program includes: workshops and seminars on academic career opportunities; standardized test preparation; writing and research skills; writing a statement of purpose; obtaining letters of recommendation; and completing the graduate school application process. In addition, McNair Scholars begin their independent research projects and present their current findings at the UCLA Summer Symposium.

During their second year in the program, McNair Scholars apply to graduate school and complete, present, and publish their research project and senior thesis. Every Scholar has the opportunity to donate her or his research materials and senior thesis to the Southern California Library.

»View McNair Two-Year Plan

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Junior Cohort

Jasmine Archila

Jasmine Archila

Yolanda Anguiano

Yolanda Anguiano

English

Research Interests: Young Adult Literature

Miguel Beltran

Miguel Beltran

Thyra Cobbs

Thyra Cobbs

Ashley Hackett

Ashley Hackett

Ramond McCusker

Ramond McCusker

Anthony Zomalt

Anthony Zomalt

Filipe Andreas Melo

Filipe Andreas Melo

Aaron Ayala

Aaron Ayala

Kelvin Chau

Kelvin Chau

Nursing, Global Health Minor

Research Interests: Psychosocial Outcomes Among Adolescents and Young Adult Stem Cell Transplant Survivors

Hector De Leon

Hector De Leon

Brenda Martinez Montano

Brenda Martinez Montano

Sociology, Education and Social Transformation

Research Interests: Social Justice & Education

Kiara Phillips

Kiara Phillips

Senior Cohort

Abel Aragon

Abel Aragon

Geology, Chicana/o/x and Central American Studies Minor

Research Interests: Paleoclimatology, Paleothermometry, Geochemistry, Climate Change, and Geology.

Cindy Berganza

Cindy Berganza

Psychology, Political Science

Research Interests: Race, Politics, Psychology, Law, and Immigration.

Sebastian Figueroa

Sebastian Figueroa

Astrophysics

Research Interests: Plasma, Interferometry, Mathematical Physics, and Cosmology.

Reno Garcia

Reno Garcia

Sociology, Education Studies Minor

Research Interests: Agricultural Labor, Economic Injustice, Mental Health, and Empowerment and Community.

Luis Godinez

Luis Godinez

Political Science, Public Affairs

Research Interests: Mental Health, Identity, Transfronterizo, Academia, and Education.

Ruby Gordillo

Ruby Gordillo

English

Research Interests: Diversity, Education, Chicanx, Change, and Inclusion.

Cristian Hernandez

Cristian Hernandez

Sociology, Chicana/o/x and Central American Studies Minor

Research Interests: Immigration, Asylum, Mental Health, Central America, and Unaccompanied Minors.

Brittany Jasper

Brittany Jasper

Sociology, African-American Studies and Education Studies Minor

Research Interests: Special Education, Black, Equity, and Racial Profiling.

Alicia López

Alicia López

Sociology, Chicana/o/x and Central American Studies Minor

Research Interests: Immigration, Gender, Race, Neighborhood Change, and COVID-19.

Andrea Macias

Andrea Macias

Psychology

Research Interests: Parenting Students, Education, Self-efficacy, and Relationships.

Stephanie Martinez

Stephanie Martinez

History, Chicana/o/x and Central American Studies

Research Interests: Indigenous, Mesoamerica, History, Colonialism, and Pre-Conquest/Contact.

Samantha Mazariegos

Samantha Mazariegos

Human Biology and Society, Global Health Minor

Research Interests: Mental Health, Trauma, Immigration, Central America, and U.S Immigration Policy.

Jessika Viveros

Jessika Viveros

Political Science

Research Interests: Labor Studies, White Supremacy, Police Brutality, Black, and Abolition.

Edwin Zamora

Edwin Zamora

Psychology, Applied Developmental Psychology and Education Studies Minor

Research Interests: Early Bilingual Education, and Early Childhood Education.

>>> Applications Open Fall 2022 <<<

Eligibility

In order to apply students must first ensure they meet the following criteria:

  • Are a low-income AND first generation college student OR Are a member of an underrepresented group within graduate education
  • Are an United States citizen or permanent resident
  • Are a currently enrolled Junior or transfer student who has completed between 90 – 175 units by Fall of the Application Year
  • Are available during the McNair Summer Research Institute (typically Summer Session A)
  • Are interested in pursuing Graduate School

Application Materials

Aside from a completed UCLA McNair Research Scholars Application, the following materials must be uploaded as PDFS (unless otherwise noted) by the application due date (which is currently TBA).

  • 500 Word Personal Statement
  • 1,000 Word Research Proposal/Statement
  • Resume OR Curriculum Vita
  • 2022 – 2023 UCLA Electronic Financial Aid Notification (eFAN)
  • Parent(s) or Guardian(s) *SIGNED* Federal Income Tax Return (with Social Security Numbers redacted)
  • Two Letter of Recommendation from Faculty
  • Signed Faculty Mentor Form (or Faculty Mentor of Interest Contact Form if you are a STEM Transfer student)
  • Screenshot of the Application Confirmation Page (JPG & PNG are acceptable file formats for this document)
  • Unofficial Transcript(s)
    • If you are a transfer student we require you submit a copy of the transcript(s) from the previous school(s) you attended alongside your UCLA transcript

Need Help?

If you’re having difficulties with applying whether it be the application process itself or finding out if the program is right for you, feel free to schedule an appointment with a McNair mentor using the Graduate Mentoring Application Request Form or by visiting Graduate Mentoring either in-person at 1202 Campbell Hall or using the Virtual Front Desk during operating hours.

Graduate Mentors

Wanda Quintanilla Duran

Wanda Quintanilla Duran

Mary Senyonga

Mary Senyonga

Kevin Gatter

Kevin Gatter

Desiree Tanimura

Desiree Tanimura

Staff

Alice Ho, Ph.D.

Alice Ho, Ph.D.

Director
Sandra Brukardt

Sandra Brukardt

Office Coordinator
Iris Lucero, Ph.D.

Iris Lucero, Ph.D.

Assistant Director
Sienna Martinez

Sienna Martinez

Student Team & Communications Coordinator

Main Office

1202 Campbell Hall

Phone Number: (310) 794-4186

Email: mcnair@college.ucla.edu