Student Research Awards

The Institute for Research on Labor and Employment (IRLE) at the University of California, Berkeley supports rigorous interdisciplinary research projects on topics aligned with our mission: to understand the dynamics and policies affecting workers, working life, and employment. We invite applications from graduate students at UC Berkeley working on projects related to our mission. The application period for 2019-20 is closed, but we will continue to accept applications on a rolling basis, subject to available funding.

IRLE seeks to fund a broad and interdisciplinary range of research areas that intersect with our mission. In recent years, we have funded projects focused on education, public employment, criminal justice, labor markets, racial equity, gender discrimination, and immigration.

In addition to funding, IRLE will provide grantees with collaborative meeting space, opportunities for publication and promotion of work products, and other research support appropriate to the project.

Award amounts: up to $6,000

Eligible expenditures:

  • Student research stipend to be paid in one installment at the beginning of the academic term in which you will be conducting research (Summer 2019, Fall 2019, or Spring 2020).
  • Reimbursement for travel costs to conduct research, purchasing of data, or other expenses explained clearly in the application.

Requirements and expectations:

  • Awardees must submit a one-page report within two weeks of the end of the grant period that describes the research accomplishments of the project.
  • Awardees are strongly encouraged to submit their work to IRLE’s working paper or policy brief series.


  • Masters and doctoral students with a GPA above 3.0 and no incompletes.
  • Applicants must be in residence at UC Berkeley and not on leave during the grant period.

To apply:

Visit and submit the following:

  1.  Cover letter that includes: your interest and experience related to IRLE’s mission, a short description (500 words) of the research project, and the name of a faculty or other research mentor.
  2. Short Budget that specifies how the funds will be spent.
  3. Curriculum Vitae (CV).
  4. Current, unofficial transcript.
  5. Writing sample (5-10 pages).



  • The application period has closed, but new proposals will be considered on a rolling basis pending fund availability.

Student Research Awardees »