Students–Frequently Asked Questions

Who can be a Koret mentor? 
Any faculty member, graduate student, researcher, post-doc or lecturer can serve as a Koret mentor. Mentors who are not faculty or graduate students do need to have their own research account so that their award can be transferred to them. Please let us know if you, or your mentor, have any questions or concerns regarding this stipulation.

Who writes the letter of support, and how is it submitted?
The mentor writes the letter of support and then provides it to the student in PDF format. The student applicant then uploads the letter of support to their online application. If your mentor does not wish to provide you with the letter, please let us know well before the application deadline--by Friday, October 26 at the latest. In such cases, we will arrange an alternate approach with you and your mentor.

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How will this scholarship affect my financial aid? 
If you are a financial aid applicant, this award would be incorporated into your aid offer to meet your budgeted cost of attendance. In most cases, it will reduce your loan obligation. Once factored into your aid offer, the award is paid to your UCSC student account. If you owe the university any fees, the award will apply to those first, and any remaining funds will be issued to you via direct deposit or by check, depending upon how you are signed up to receive refunds. If you have questions about how this award would affect your current aid, please contact the Financial Aid and Scholarships Office by visiting 201 Hahn Student Services Building or calling (831) 459-2963.

How will the scholarship funds be disbursed?
$2,000 will be disbursed as a scholarship to your financial aid account in winter and/or spring quarters. As a scholarship, it is advised that you contact the Financial Aid and Scholarships Office regarding any questions you have about the award disbursement. The amount you receive will depend on your specific financial situation, including any unpaid bills and other awards or aid you have.

How many total Koret scholarships are available? 
In 2019, we awarded 64 Koret scholarships to undergraduate students. These included students with both faculty mentors and graduate student mentors. Please note that faculty can mentor up to five Koret Scholars and graduate students can mentor only one Koret Scholar. 

Will having a graduate student mentor decrease my chance of getting a scholarship?
Having a graduate student mentor will not negatively impact the merit of your proposal, but we have a limited capacity for how many graduate-student-mentored projects we can award. We will award up to 11 graduate-student-mentored projects and up to 53 faculty-mentored projects. So, while having a graduate student mentor will not negatively impact quality, there are some logistical constraints that should be considered. Applying with a graduate student mentor is better than not applying at all.

I am involved in a group project and our professor recommended that we apply for this funding, but I am unsure about how we would navigate the application as a group.
Each of the students involved in the project would have to apply for the funding individually, as the majority of the funds comes in the form of a scholarship to the individual student. You will want to discuss in the Project Description section that this is a group project, and clarify what your specific role would be. 

Is this scholarship strictly for research projects, or can they be for well-defined creative projects as well?
The project can be in any division and can be "a well-designed creative project." The term "research" applies to any project that contributes new information to a particular field. Projects in music, theater, film, etc., can all be research projects. 

Is the scholarship dependent on the project timeline?
It is expected that projects will be completed by the end of spring quarter and presented at the research slam in the first week of June. Final work on a project may go beyond these two quarters in order to "tie up loose ends," but the program is not meant to support summer projects. 

The application requires that I upload an unofficial transcript. I'm a freshman (or first quarter transfer student) so I have no final grades as of now. What should I do for this section?
You must still upload a copy of your unofficial transcript as you will not be able to complete the application without it. Since you are a freshman we know that your transcript will be limited. That is why we also ask your permission to review your academic record. We can check your grades after the fall quarter is officially over. 

Can I apply for the Koret Scholarship if I'm going to be off campus or on a study abroad program during winter and/or spring quarters? 
Yes, you can apply for the Koret Scholarship whether you will be on- or off campus during the program. For all applicants (especially those who will be off campus), it is important to be specific in your application about how you intend to perform the project while away. Indicate how you will maintain communication with your mentor and how the project is related to your off-campus program. The reviewers will be examining all applications to assess the strength of the project and the likelihood of student success.

I am having trouble navigating the application. It does not allow me to access the "Research" and "Submission" sections and view the prompts without submitting my letter of support. Are students expected to upload the letter of support?
Yes, you are expected to upload the letter of support. You could upload a temporary document in order to keep navigating the application (just remember to go back and upload the actual letter). 

What is the submission deadline?
For 2019, applications must be submitted by October 31, 2018

When will scholarship recipients be determined?
Scholarship notifications are scheduled to go out by early December. We will be notifying all students regarding the final status of their application. 

I was previously named a Koret Scholar, can I reapply?
No. Previous Koret Scholars are not eligible to recieve the scholarship a second time.

I'm currently in my last quarter at UCSC and was wondering if I'm still eligible to apply for this?
Unfortunately, you are not eligible as you would need to be a current student when you are awarded which would be Winter 2019.

Can I use the Koret Undergraduate Research Scholarship to work on a senior thesis?

If you have additional questions please contact Don Bard, Coordinator of Undergraduate Honors and Research Opportunities at or (831) 459-5386.