University of California, Riverside



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Applying for the Water SENSE IGERT Fellowship

UCR IGERT is no longer accepting fellowship applications.
Applicants must fulfill the following criteria:
  • Must be U.S. citizen or permanent resident.

  • Qualified Chancellor’s Distinguished Fellowship (UG GPA > 3.5, GRE > 1200 (old), GRE > 315 (new)

  • Research interest related to water sustainability in the social sciences, natural sciences, or engineering

  • Stated interest in interdisciplinary research and participation

  • Select a prospective faculty advisor that is a member of the participating Water SENSE faculty

  • Must be matriculated as a PhD student in one of the participating graduate programs. (See Table 1, below)

  • Excellent in oral and written communication

  • Prior undergraduate research experience in water related issues is preferred

  • Must be committed to the program requirements for Water SENSE IGERT Fellows (See Table 2, below)

The following documentation is required for the application:
  • CV or resumé
  • Recommendation letter from preliminary major advisor. (Advisor must agree to applicant’s participation in the Water SENSE IGERT program and its requirements including inclusion of a faculty member from a different college to serve on the dissertation committee.)
  • Contact information for Graduate Assistant or SAO in the applicant’s major program to obtain access to applicant file
  • Statement of proposed dissertation research (limit to 250 words)
  • Statement of proposed dissertation research to Water SENSE IGERT program goals (limit to 250 words)
Goals of the Program

The Water SENSE IGERT is intended to produce scholars who will be able to work in leadership positions in government, private, and nonprofit organizations interested in improving community health and child development outcomes via improved water supply, utilization, and management. The training Water SENSE IGERT Fellows receive will prepare them in all aspects of water and waterborne disease management, including designing, executing and evaluating water-based interventions in close consultation – and with the active participation – of the intended beneficiaries. We will be teaching and using new and established approaches to water utilization and management, waterborne pathogen control and vector biology, and simultaneously training students in the social and cultural challenges required for the sustainable use of clean water.

The vision of UCR’s Water SENSE IGERT is to impart three sets of skills toward creating water scholars who are able to address this complex and pressing problem: 1) substantive disciplinary knowledge that allows them to understand and engage in technical problems at the knowledge frontier; 2) boundary-spanning knowledge that allows them to direct project teams composed of diverse practitioners; and 3) communication knowledge that allows them to motivate students (at all levels), advise policy makers, and influence public awareness.

This vision will be realized by integrating expertise on water drawn from a variety of disciplines, including microbiology, entomology, environmental engineering, economics, public policy, psychology, sociology, political science, education, and anthropology, to develop practical, cost-effective, and sustainable solutions to improve the quantity and quality of water available and people’s use of this water.


 Table 1. List of Participating Graduate Programs and IGERT Program Faculty

Graduate Program
Participating Faculty Members

Anthropology (ANTH)

Biomedical Sciences (BMSC)

Chemical and Environmental Engineering (CEE)

Chemistry (CHEM)

Cell, Molecular, and Developmental Biology (CMDB)

Economics (ECON)

Entomology (ENTM)

Environmental Sciences (ENSC)

Microbiology (MCBL)

Political Science (POSC)

Psychology (PYSC)

School of Medicine (SOM)

Atkinson, Peter (ENTM) – PI, Steering Committee

Deolalikar, Anil (ECON) – Co-PI, Steering Committee

Gauvain, Mary (PSYC) – Co-PI, Steering Committee

Walker, Sharon (CEE) – Co-PI, Steering Committee

Yates, Marylynn (ENSC) – Co-PI, Steering Committee

Matsumoto, Mark (CEE) – Steering Committee, Admissions Committee

Anderson, Michael (ENSC) – Admissions Committee

Barndt, William (POSC)

Cheng, Jason (CHEM)

Dinar, Ariel (ENSC)

Esterling, Kevin (POSC)

Harvey, T.S. (ANTH)

Lo, David (BMSC)

McMullin, Juliet (ANTH) – Admissions Committee

Mulchandani, Ashok (CEE)

Olds, Richard (SOM)

Regan, Helen (BIOL) – Admissions Committee

Walton, William (ENTM) – Admissions Committee

Wilson, Emma (BMSC)

Wu, Laosheng (ENSC)

Table 2. Program Requirements for UCR Water SENSE IGERT Fellows
  • Enrollment as a full-time Ph.D. student in one of the graduate programs listed in Table 1
  • Maintain satisfactory progress towards the degree requirements of her/his graduate major including, but limited to:

    • Overall GPA ≥ 3.5 for the duration of the Fellowship

    • Coursework

    • Examinations

    • Teaching assistantship

    • Seminars

    • Annual reports

    • Dissertation requirements

  • Participation and completion of the Water SENSE proseminar , a year-long course consisting of six five-week modules:   physical science, life science, social science, applied science (e.g., engineering), policy science, and professional development (team building, project management, and ethics)

  • Successful completion of the required Water SENSE IGERT course – Science in the Public Interest

  • Have a primary faculty advisor that is a member of the participating Water SENSE faculty

  • Have a secondary faculty advisor in a college different than the Fellows’ major

  • Participate in the weekly Water SENSE journal club and bi-weekly brown-bag lunch meetings
  • Participate and substantially contribute to the Water SENSE team project
  • Attend and participate in the Water SENSE IGERT annual retreat and the biennial symposium
  • Supervise and mentor a student in a Water SENSE NSF-Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program (if funded) for one summer (eight to nine-week project)
  • Establish a dissertation research project that focuses on science, technology, economics, policy, education, or behavior related to sustaining or enhancing safe water supplies
  • Abide by the rules and guidelines of academic integrity for graduate students of UC Riverside
  • Comply with policies and guidelines set forth by the UC Riverside Graduate Division


More Information 

General Campus Information

University of California, Riverside
900 University Ave.
Riverside, CA 92521
Tel: (951) 827-1012

Department Information

College of Natural and Agricultural Sciences
College Building North, floors 2 & 3

Tel: (951) 827-7289
Fax: (951) 827-4190