The Summer Research Incubator (SRI) is directed through the Office of the Dean of Undergraduate Education and administered by the Undergraduate Research Center–Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences.

The Summer Research Incubator is a virtual, entry-level seven-week summer program that runs during Summer Session C plus one additional week (August 5-September 20, 2024) for students who are interested in pursuing research or creative inquiry on issues of diversity or social justice in the humanities, arts, or social sciences at UCLA. Students complete an original research or creative project under the guidance of a graduate student mentor and present their work at the end of the summer at the SRI Symposium. Weekly programming includes workshops with UCLA faculty and staff on topics including research skills, ethics, professionalization, and graduate school, as well as talks with UCLA faculty about their research or creative practice.

The SRI is run by URC-HASS Director Dr. Jacquelyn Ardam. The Faculty Advisory Board for the SRI consists of Dr. Ju Hui Judy Han (Gender Studies), Dr. Summer Kim Lee (English) and Dr. Janna Shadduck-Hernandez (UCLA Labor Center).


  • Receive a $3,000 scholarship
  • Conduct an original research or creative project under the guidance of a graduate student mentor
  • Attend weekly programming on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays
  • Commit to spending 20 hours/week on the program
  • Present their work at the SRI Symposium on Thursday, September 19
  • Submit a summary of their project for an online profile
  • Participate in tracking of their academic career post-SRI


  • Continuing students who will be sophomores, juniors, and seniors, including second-year transfers, during the 2024-2025 academic year. Students who are graduating in summer 2024 are not eligible to participate.
  • Majors or minors in humanities, arts, social sciences, or psychology who are interested in pursuing research in these fields
  • Students have commitment to pursuing questions of diversity or social justice in their research
  • CANNOT be enrolled in more than one class during Summer Session C. The SRI is a significant time commitment. There will be no exceptions to this rule.
  • CANNOT be a current or previous recipient of a multi-quarter research program scholarship including those through the Undergraduate Research Centers, AAP, College Honors, the Center for Community Learning, Education Abroad Programs, or academic departments
  • CANNOT apply to both the SRI and the URC-HASS Summer Fellows Program
  • CAN be a previous recipient of Research Revealed
  • Minimum 3.25 GPA
  • US citizens, permanent residents, AB 540, DACA, undocumented, and international students are eligible
  • While financial need is not required, some awards are for students with established financial need


Application deadline for summer 2024: April 22, 2024 at 11:59 p.m.

Apply on MyUCLA: The SRI application is now open. Visit MyUCLA, click on “Campus Life,” and select “Survey” to access the Summer Research Incubator application.

The SRI application consists of the following components:

  1. Statement of previous research experience, if applicable. Include the names of any previous UCLA research programs in which you have participated (200 words max)
  2. Area of research inquiry. Choose one area of inquiry that you would like to spend the summer working on. (See the Areas of Research Inquiry tab above.)
  3. Research interest statement: What interests you about this area of research? How does it relate to your major and your past or future academic coursework? What do you know already about it, and what do you hope to learn by researching it more fully this summer? How does it relate to your post-UCLA goals? (500 words max)
  4. Choice of back-up areas of research inquiry in case your first choice is not available
  5. Personal statement: Place your academic record into the context of your opportunities and obstacles. Briefly describe how receiving the scholarship and participating in the SRI will impact your short- and long-term goals. Make sure you describe your goals in detail. Include any special circumstances (i.e., personal, academic, financial hardships) that you feel are relevant to your application. (500 words max)

If you have any questions, please email the Undergraduate Research Center at or schedule an advising appointment with a Graduate Research Mentor. The Undergraduate Research Center also hosts Summer Research Opportunities Info Sessions in winter and spring quarters.

Undergraduate Research Center –
Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences
A334 Murphy Hall
Monday through Friday 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
(310) 825-2935


View the 2022 cohort of SRI participants and explore their research 

View the 2023 cohort of SRI participants and explore their research


As part of your application to the Summer Research Incubator, you will be asked to choose an area of research inquiry (as well as two back-up areas) to work on this summer. The areas of inquiry are below.

Research Inquiry 1: How do migration and labor intersect in Los Angeles? 

Los Angeles has a long history of migration and labor dating back to the late 1800s. The city currently houses thousands of workers in various industries, including the garment, service, care, and construction industries. Many of these workers are also migrants who arrived from regions such as India, Latin America, and Asia, often in response to social, political, and economic-based reasons. In addition, since the 1800s, the United States has called upon the labor of migrants from across the globe, resulting in ethnic, gendered, and industrial shifts in labor. It is undeniable that migrants have greatly contributed to Los Angeles’ social and cultural, physical, and economic landscape. Yet, as much of the literature shows, migrants and workers in Los Angeles have historically faced and combatted various layers of social, political, and economic inequality, including wage theft, exploitation, discrimination, and more. What would it mean to use analytical lenses from labor and migration studies to trace historical labor in Los Angeles or in relation to Los Angeles? What new insights might we gain by exploring various facets surrounding migration and labor in Los Angeles, including globalization, gender, race, and physical space? Focusing on the case study of Los Angeles, this project will provide students interested in labor, history, migration, race, and gender with an opportunity to explore how migration and labor take shape in Los Angeles. 


Research Inquiry 2: How do race and socioeconomic factors impact marginalized students of color in higher education?  

Historical injustices, policies, and practices continue to disadvantage marginalized students of color in accessing higher education. These disparities widen the educational gaps among communities of color and their counterparts. Students of color have access to fewer resources while facing more social, structural, and financial barriers to entry and advancement in higher education. The overturning of affirmative action policy in the summer of 2023 continues to create new and pressing systematic challenges and barriers for students of color. This research inquiry will utilize critical race theories among other critical frameworks to examine and analyze the experiences of students of color in higher education, and explore how to better support them to succeed and thrive. We will also consider the various institutional, social, and political issues, practices, and policies—such as the pandemic, public health disparities, socioeconomic inequities, and gender discrimination among others—that are intertwined with higher education. This research inquiry will be of interest to students studying education, political science, ethnic studies, history, gender studies, and other related fields.  


Research Inquiry 3: How do queer folks use performance to move closer to a sense of belonging? 

Queer folks have always carved out their own spaces of belonging. These spaces have historically taken on many forms, from underground clubs to non-profit organizations, book clubs to massive urban parades. With the rise of queer representation and visibility through film, music, social media, and other mediums, belonging seems to be possible in increasingly new ways. This project looks to today’s queer people and artists, and particularly towards queer artists of color, to see how queerness and performance have evolved to fit the landscape of the 21st century. We will address the following questions: How do queer people and artists reckon with queerness through performance? How do they redefine queerness? How does queerness intersect with race? Are there ways queer performers are pushing us to think of queerness beyond the scope of sexuality, and if so, how? How do different modes of performance—music, film, performance art, street performances, drag, and more—affect the audience’s engagement with queerness? This project will thus allow students interested in the humanities and social sciences, gender and sexuality, performance, race, and their intersections to explore the power and potential of performance for queer folks.  


Research Inquiry 4: How do we address translation and the role it plays—past, present, and future—within the struggle for social justice and equity?  

The practice, purpose, and business of translation are all undergoing incredible shifts as technology and global capital continue to evolve and morph. This research area will focus on the following questions: what role/s do/es language/s play in the struggle for social justice? Are certain translation practices better or more ethical than others when it comes to addressing diversity, equity, and inclusion? Can translation play a role in addressing what many see as a crisis of democracy occurring around the world? Are there historical examples where translation played a central role in addressing inequities in particular ignored or underserved communities? What are the future opportunities and risks as translation technologies (Google Translate, ChatGPT) alter, augment, or even remove the traditional role of the translator? Will these technologies lead to more possibilities for coalition building across time and space or will these technologies privilege and reinforce hegemonic biases? This research area will be of interest to students studying literature, cultural studies, media studies, political science, history, as well as linguistics and language studies more broadly. 


Research Inquiry 5: What role does media play in the development and understanding of intersectional identity formation? 

Media and popular culture are heavy influencing factors of identity formation, particularly now in our age of widespread internet and media access. This project invites students to ask research questions that interrogate the relationship between media and overlapping identities. How are the intersections of multiple identities (class, race, gender, etc.) acknowledged in tv and film in your community? What role does social media play in the development and understanding of identity formation? What facets of interlocking identities affect social media usage and interaction? How have concepts of self-identity evolved with the development of social media and on-demand media? This project is aimed at students interested in questions of positionality, identity formation, digital humanities, and intersectionality, and may appeal to students in anthropology, sociology, race, gender and ethnic studies, theater, film, and television and media studies.  


Research Inquiry 6: What curricula, programs, and policies can schools implement to best support immigrant students?  

Challenges around immigration are not new; throughout US history there have been waves of migration that have posed complex questions around belonging, membership, and community. Immigration has become even more pertinent in political and social discourse over the last two decades, particularly with the rise of right-wing extremism and the election of Trump in 2016 and the legitimized anti-immigrant rhetoric that accompanied his win. These challenges and complexities have permeated deeply into almost every aspect of society, and one such area that poses particular challenges—and polarizing rhetoric—is education and schooling. A recent increase in immigration has led to an increase in immigrant students attending schools across the country, raising pressing questions around how to best support immigrant students. And while significant strides have been made within education policy to support immigrant students glaring disparities remain, particularly around access to postsecondary education and career opportunities. Given the current sociopolitical context, and the rising anti-immigration rhetoric, what are the best approaches to support immigrant students in schools? How can schools be safe environments for immigrant students, and in what ways does the curriculum impact immigrant students’ sense of belonging? What kind of programs and policies can schools implement to end disparities facing immigrant students? This research area will be of interest to students studying education, political science, history, race, gender and ethnic studies.  


Research Area 7: How do movements on- and off-line shape social justice projects? 

This research area focuses on the intersection of media circulation, physical movements, and social justice organizing, attending to the ways that popular culture can be a battleground for social change. Social movements have historically involved direct actions in which people physically engage in protests, civil disobedience, and other events aimed toward changing varied aspects of the status quo. Yet they have also been entangled with media circulation, as people seek to change or reinforce public opinions through newspaper articles, live broadcasts, scripted content, and recent manifestations on social media like tweets, memes, reels, infographics, and more. How, then, do bodily movements and digital movements converge to advance social justice? This project will examine whose movements are circulated, by whom and for whom, across multiple media forms, linking aesthetic strategies, popular culture trends, movements for social justice, and the backlash against them. Movements will be analyzed utilizing an intersectional lens, considering how social structures of race, gender, sexuality, class, and citizenship impact whose movements go viral and whose are overwhelmingly shadowbanned. This research area will appeal to students interested in the arts, media studies, politics, information studies, and race, gender, and ethnicity studies who want to explore how these spheres come together to advance or thwart progressive social change.