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New Experiences for Research and Diversity in Science (NERDS)

Raised toward our $30,000 Goal
27 Donors
Project has ended
Project ended on June 20, at 11:59 PM PDT
Project Owners

New Experiences for Research and Diversity in Science (NERDS)

Who are we?

The Cal NERDS program is made up of a suite of programs and initiatives that provide faculty mentored research opportunities, specialized tech training, graduate school and career preparation, and professional development to high achieving diversity undergraduate and graduate students in STEM. Our NERDS gain the academic expertise that helps transform them into competitive leaders and innovators in academia, government, industry, and technology.

What programs do we have? 

  • Bergeron Scholars - Women in STEM Leadership, Mentoring, and Scholarship Program
  • NSF CAMP - Diversity STEM Research Program
  • NSF Bridge to the Doctorate - Graduate Fellowship Program
  • University of California Leadership Excellence through Advanced Degrees - Research Program
  • Visting Scholars - Summer Research Program

Support through our programs 

Through our programs, students have the opportunity to weave their academic and professional development together through our high-impact learning practices. We provide experiences such as industry and university visits, coding and data science training, communication and presentation skills, GRE/MCAT Prep, high-level industry mentors, faculty mentored research, travel to research conferences, shopping excursion for professional clothing, and more. 

We also provide coaching opportunities through our specialists in graduate school, leadership, LinkedIn, and careers. They connect with students through the phone, Skype, or in person, providing individualized support to all of our students. 

General support to students that visit our center

  • Weekly Wednesday Wellness/Networking Lunches
  • Snacks to avoid skipping meals
  • Comfortable and transformational study space 
  • Access to professionals

Why do we need your support? 

Our funds are used to fulfill the needs of our students. Every semester we ask what are the most imminent issues we can help with, and they revolve around food security, book expenses, professional clothing expenses, and more. We believe everyone should have access to every tool necessary to be healthy, confident, and successful throughout their undergraduate years. 

Last October we started our initiative of Weekly Wellness Wednesday Lunches; during these lunches we highlight healthcare tips, mental health resources, healthy eating habits, and more. Students expressed their gratitude for being able to rely on a hot meal at least one time a week at our center. This semester we expanded our Wellness Lunches to include Networking/Mentorship Lunches where each month's theme is a different field of study. We invite faculty, scientists, engineers, program directors, and many more to talk to our students about their career path and interests. Our goal is to continue providing these weekly interactions with scientists, mathematicians, and engineers in our thriving center. 

Our student center is not the most beautiful center, but it is a comfortable space where students study and have access to chalkboards, whiteboards, and computers. As more students continue to use our space, we believe it is time to renovate! Renovations are underway with new couches, fresh painted walls, new whiteboards, new decorations, new tables, and new chairs. We need your support to create an even more inclusive and safe space where our students thrive. 

By listening to our students, we are able to help them create solutions that positively impact their lives. Help us help them! 

Choose a giving level


NERD Approved

We will send you a NERDy thank you note for supporting our campaign!


NERD Gold Star

We will send you a NERDy thank you card and give you a shoutout on our instagram and twitter accounts!


NERD Universe

We will send you a NERDy card, give you a shout out on twitter on instagram, and invite you to attend a Wednesday lunch at our student center!

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