About Bruin Scholars

The Office for Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion has launched a new program supporting outstanding DGSOM residents and fellows who are finishing training and transitioning to a faculty position. The Bruin Scholars program aims to retain promising DGSOM residents and fellows and also support their development as successful junior faculty members by developing their academic interest and building leadership abilities. To that end, those chosen as Bruin Scholars will have evidence of a deep commitment to justice, equity, diversity, inclusion, anti-racism, and/or service to underserved populations. This program was built to ensure that we are able to retain trainees to become faculty who are committed to our DGSOM/UCLA Health System mission and values, as well as ensure their success as a junior faculty member.

The award will assist scholars longitudinally by building leadership experience through projects that help elevate health equity, diversity and inclusion. Each awardee will be allotted a minimum of 3 months buyout time to get their project off the ground. Implementation of certain percent effort or calendar months over the year for the scholarly project are to be determined by the scholar and their department.

Bruin Scholars are guaranteed admission to JEDI Academic Mentor Council (JAM) work with senior faculty mentors on Professional Development. This 6-month program hosts 14 topics varied from Effective Communication and Building Grant Writing Skills, Financial Wellbeing in Academia and Work life Balance among other professional development learning.

The JEDI Office will provide $75,000 to the Scholar/Awardee and the Awardee’s department will provide $25,000 for a total of 100k per selected scholar, per academic year for a period of at least a 2-years.

The award is to be used at the discretion of the Bruin Scholar to pursue their scholarly project. This award is not to be used in lieu of startup funds or for salary support.

  •  Pursue academic interests such as teaching, research, or community work
  • Hire part-time staff to assist with research projects and regulatory processes, manage operations of a research program, or provide support for other similar work that will reduce faculty workload allowing deeper focus on activities to further academic careers (with approval of department chair)
  • Pay for an array of basic science and clinical pilot studies
  • Attend conferences or other professional development programs
  • Purchase items essential for professional activities

Bruin Scholars are not allowed to use their funds for the following:

  • Z supplements
  • Tuition for graduate school programs
  • Funding for other faculty colleagues to pursue their interests unrelated to the Bruin Scholar’s direct projects
  • Event sponsorship

Apply to Bruin Scholars

All residents and fellows who are transitioning from trainee to faculty can be nominated by their Department Chair and Program Director. This program focuses on those who are interested in pursuing an academic career position and share our commitments to diversity and service to underserved or structurally vulnerable populations. Applicants who demonstrate a commitment to inclusive excellence are also strongly encouraged to apply.

Each department is encouraged to nominate one current UCLA resident or fellow.

The Program Director, Department Chair, and the candidate's mentor must submit three separate letters of support/ recommendation that highlight the following:

  • Program Director – Aptitude, skills, and potential to impact populations that are underserved or structurally vulnerable.
  • Dept. Chair – Candidate’s commitment, accomplishments in their time within your department, and potential in an academic career.
  • Designated Mentor – strengths and opportunities for growth for the candidates, and their capacity to manage a project from idea to fruition.

The nominee's CV must be included in the application. Departments will be informed of the status of their nominations by Feb 1, 2023. Each Bruin Scholar will have until March 17, 2023, to accept their award and sign their offer letter. Those that cannot commit to UCLA by March 17th will lose their Bruin Scholar award and the award will be given to another candidate.


By submitting this application, the Department Chair agrees to cover $25,000 per year should their nominee be awarded as a Bruin Scholar. The intention of this award is for the funds to be used at the discretion of the Bruin Scholar to pursue their scholarly project. Bruin Scholar funds should not be used to supplement startup funds or salary support.

  • Request for nominations / applications open - November 22, 2022
  • Applications Due - January 6, 2023
  • Award Notification - February 1 , 2023
  • Recipient Deadline to Accept - March 17, 2023

Deadline: January 6, 2023 at 11 p.m. PST

Connect With Us

Questions regarding the Bruin Scholar Program can be directed to:

Melanie Bonilla
310-206-3217
mmbonilla@mednet.ucla.edu