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TRELS: How to Apply

Eligibility - Quarterly TRELS

TRELS Scholars will be selected quarterly on a competitive basis. You are eligible to apply if you meet the following criteria: 

  • All current UC San Diego undergraduates in any major who will be enrolled full-time in the quarter they are applying to receive an award.
  • Having a minimum 2.5 GPA 
    • If you are a first-time freshman or a transfer student without a UC San Diego GPA, you are still encouraged to apply. 
  • There are no class standing, citizenship status, or degree requirements.

Eligibility - Summer TRELS

TRELS Scholars will be selected for the summer program on a competitive basis. You are eligible to apply if you meet the following criteria: 

  • All current UC San Diego undergraduates in any major.
  • Having a minimum 2.5 GPA 
    • If you are a first-time freshman or a transfer student without a UC San Diego GPA, you are encouraged to apply. 
  • There are no class standing, citizenship status, or degree requirements.

Find a Mentor

Students must have a faculty member who has agreed to be their mentor prior to finishing the TRELS application. Students are responsible for finding and contacting their own mentor, but the TRELS coordinator can help if you're having a hard time. Start looking for a mentor early—be proactive! 

Here are some ways to get started:

  • If you're interested in working with a professor whose class you're currently taking, visit them during their office hours.
  • Check out UC San Diego’s research and job-related portals where professors often post open positions:
  • You may also find a faculty mentor by research topic:
  • Visit your department's website to search for faculty whose work aligns with your research interests, and reach out to them with a brief introductory email. For tips on how to contact a professor, check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

** Students should reach out to potential mentors and discuss their project ideas before adding a faculty member's name and email to the TRELS application. 

We highly encourage you to work with a faculty mentor you feel comfortable working with and encourages you to do your best during the ten-week program. The faculty mentor needs to first agree to guide you on your research topic and be familiar with your intellectual ability, quality of previous work, ability to work independently, promise of productive scholarship, and research potential. 

Application Materials

There are 4 items required to apply to the TRELS Program:

1. Applications

  • General Application and Undergraduate Application (When you finish the general application, you will be automatically directed to complete the undergraduate application).
  • TRELS Application (After you finish the previous two applications, you will given the opportunity to choose to complete the TRELS application.)

2. Short-answer questions (as part of the TRELS Application):

  • Statement of Interest: Explain how your participation in the TRELS program will help you achieve your educational and career goals. (100 words max)
  • Statement of Obstacles: Explain what obstacles you have faced that have limited your ability to do research, participate in creative endeavors, or do community service projects. How will the TRELS program help to alleviate these obstacles? (100 words max)
  • Project Proposal: Please describe the project you would like to conduct in terms that can be understood by a non-expert audience. Each project proposal will be different based on your field of study, but some general points that you MIGHT discuss include: topic, central question(s), methods, and/or a project timeline.(500 words max) 
    • We encourage students to reach out to faculty mentors and/or the Writing Hub ( for support and feedback in writing project proposals.
  • Independence: TRELS is meant to support your independent project, which should be supervised and mentored by a faculty member, but which should be your own work and responsibility. Please explain how your project reflects your independent work. If you are proposing to work on a larger collaborative project, please explain which piece of this project will be your specific responsibility. (100 words max)
  • Deliverable: TRELS requires students to submit a summary of their project (a paper, poster presentation, oral presentation, or creative product) by the end of the academic year during which they receive their scholarship. What will the outcome of your project be, and how will you submit it by the deadline? (100 words max)
  • Progress Report (if applicable): If you have previously accepted a TRELS award for this project, please provide a brief update on the progress of your project thus far. Updates might include notes of meetings held with your mentor, a project timeline, a research plan, etc. (100 word max)
  • Duo Project (if applicable): If you are proposing a project in partnership with another undergraduate student, write their name here and provide a brief rationale for pursuing this project as a partnership. Why is it necessary to pursue this as a duo project, and how will it improve the project outcome(s)? How will each person contribute to ensure this is a unified project? (100 word max)
    • Please note that both you and your partner must submit your own TRELS application. If you choose to submit a proposal for a duo project, your applications will likely receive a joint decision of either being offered or not offered TRELS awards. If you both are offered and accept a TRELS award, you will each receive your own $1,000 scholarship.

Be sure to proofread and edit your answers many times before submitting. It is also advised to have someone else review it and provide feedback. In addition to spelling, grammar, and punctuation, review your personal statement for clarity, flow, and continuity of points. Remember to use paragraphs to separate the main points.

3. Copies of Transcripts

  • If you are an incoming transfer student (You do not have a UC San Diego GPA):
    • A copy of your unofficial transcript(s) from previous school(s) (community colleges, other universities, etc.)
  • If you have attended UC San Diego for at least 1 quarter:
    • If you completed coursework prior to attending UC San Diego (e.g., transfer credits), they will appear on your UC San Diego transcript. You do not need to upload transfer transcripts.

4. Name and Contact Information for Mentor / Letter of Support

  • Don't wait! Students should find a mentor and discuss a potential research project before adding that faculty member's name and email to the TRELS application.
  • Once you save your faculty mentor's information in the application, an email is automatically sent to that person asking them to agree a number of statements with regards to their support to mentor you in TRELS. (NOT a formal letter of recommendation.)
  • The faculty mentor needs to complete this section before the application deadline.
Text illustration APPLY

Apply to TRELS

The application for Summer TRELS is now closed. Check back in fall for Winter TRELS applications. 

Start General Application

TRELS Coordinator Contact Information

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Contact: Daniel Movahed