Undergraduate Student Writing Fellowship — Strategic Communications

Paid fellowship, 10-15 hours weekly; academic credit potential of 3-5 units per quarter 

The Strategic Communications department is offering up to two, paid, undergraduate writing fellowships for the school year beginning in the fall of 2021 as part of the department’s efforts to tell the stories of UC Davis from many perspectives. 

Among the goals of the Strategic Communications department is to share the impact and value of UC Davis to diverse audiences, fostering a greater recognition of how we address social issues, solve global problems and enrich lives.

The ideal candidates for the Student Writing Fellowship Program will be independent and creative thinkers and have strong writing skills, with an interest in telling stories in compelling ways. They will be students who are interested in improving their skills in science, arts or humanities communications, for non-research audiences. 

Job description

Student Writing Fellows in Strategic Communications are expected to take on a lot of responsibility quickly — learning through experience.

The fellows will develop strong storytelling and communications skills through a variety of writing assignments. Fellows also will generate meaningful content for UC Davis publications such as websites, press releases, blogs, magazines, newsletters and social media channels.

Additionally, the fellowship program will focus on professional development and fostering leadership skills. 

Writing assignments will be given by the fellowship coordinator, and fellows will be expected to suggest story ideas for profiles, features, news and other pieces that highlight UC Davis. Students will complete their fellowships with many published pieces to show potential future employers. 


Students who are chosen for the Strategic Communications Student Writing Fellowship must be undergraduates who are very strong writers, and who have already completed at least one upper division writing course. All majors are encouraged to apply; writing assignments will include a range of subjects.

Students must also:

  • Be self-directed as well as able to work well with a variety of people;
  • Have excellent written and verbal skills;
  • Be critical thinkers and problem-solvers;
  • Be organized and able to meet deadlines;
  • Be in good academic standing.

Some experience conducting interviews is preferred but not required.

Time commitment and compensation

Student fellows will work between 10 to 15 hours per week each of the three quarters of 2021-22, excluding finals weeks. This time will be spent researching and writing, meeting with the fellowship coordinator, who also serves as supervisor and mentor, and attending occasional Strategic Communications meetings. Note: Fellows need to commit to working for the entire school year.

The fellowship award, which should not impact financial aid, is $5,000, and will be paid in three installments (one per quarter). Professional Writing Minor students can apply for academic internship credit as well, via the University Writing Program, fulfilling the Professional Writing Minor internship requirement. Fellowship hours translate to between 3 and 5 units (3 hours per unit) per quarter for students registering for internship credit.  

Application requirements

All applicants will need to submit, via email: a résumé; cover letter; proof of completion of an upper division writing course; proof of academic good standing; and two writing samples to the fellowship coordinator. PDFs are recommended so that document formatting is not affected.

Résumé should include:

  • Name and contact information;
  • Year in school and major;
  • Résumé summary or objective — a short, one-to-two sentence section that briefly explains why you’re qualified;
  • Work history;
  • List of skills relevant to the position;
  • Additional relevant accomplishments.

Cover letter should include:

  • A statement of interest that indicates why writing is important to you, and why you value it;
  • Why you chose the two writing samples you are including;
  • Details about why you are qualified for the position — expand on specific stories or anecdotes that display your fitness for the role;
  • Any other information you feel is relevant.

Academic good standing and proof of completion of an upper division writing course will appear on a student’s transcript. An unofficial transcript is acceptable and is obtainable through myucdavis.edu. 

Writing samples should be nonfiction and in the range of 400-800 words. Submissions can be academic writing, feature writing, news writing, blog posts, or any other samples that show tone, style and writing skills (including content, grammar, spelling and punctuation). 

Note: The interview process will include a writing test, as well.

How to apply: Email cover letter, résumé, copy of transcript, and writing samples to the fellowship coordinator, Tanya Perez, at thperez@ucdavis.edu by 5 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 27, 2021. Applications submitted without all documentation will not be considered.

Any questions about the Student Writing Fellowship can be emailed to thperez@ucdavis.edu.