PER and RFP Academic Year FAQ


Q: Can I get research units and participate in this program at the same time?

A: You cannot get research for units for the same research hours you are being paid for through this funding (10 hours a week). Please discuss this with the BSP Research Coordinator if you have any questions or concerns.

Q: Can I participate in PER to complete an honors thesis?

A: As this is largely dependent on department/program rules, please be sure to check if you can receive financial compensation for your honors thesis work with an advisor in that department.

Q: I am already getting paid to do research in the lab- can I still get funded?

A: Yes, but only if the hours you are working as part of the program are in ADDITION to your paid hours. You cannot be compensated twice for the same effort. However, this funding is intended to provide support for students who would otherwise NOT be able to afford to engage significantly in research. Generally, this means that it is intended to assist students who have no alternative means of support for research. We have access to campus HR data and can verify your appointment, so you must mention all your employment activities.

Q: Am I required to report all my employed / paid commitments?

A: Yes. You are required to report all of your employment. We need to accurately verify that you are employed under the standards of the university policies.

Q: I have an off campus job during the semester. Can I keep my job and receive this funding?

A: Yes. As long as you are meeting the program requirements, which include working in the lab at least 10 hours a week, attending required meetings and workshops, and organizing and presenting at the Undergraduate Research Symposium.

Q: I'm graduating Spring 2019, am I still eligible to participate in PER/RFP?

A: Yes, you are still eligible to participate if you graduate at the end of the academic year.

Q: I am not a member of the UC Berkeley Biology Scholars Program. Can I apply for the program?

A: No, the PER and RFP programs are only open to currently enrolled Biology Scholars Program students at UC Berkeley.

Q: Can I appeal a decision on my application?

A: No. There is no appeal process. If you are unsatisfied with the program's decision, you may schedule an appointment with the program coordinators to talk about weaknesses or areas in your application that you can improve on.

Q: I missed the deadline. Can I get an extension?

A: No. All application materials are due by the application deadline.

Q: I don't have a lab yet. Can I apply for PER/RFP?

A: Yes. We understand that students are sometimes in the process of finding labs when they are applying to PER or RFP (irrespective of their status as a first-time/early researcher, or a more experienced researcher). PER applicants have the option of being matched into a lab or finding their own lab. For RFP, it is your responsibility to make arrangements to start in a lab. Having a lab in place adds to your application and increases your chances of being selected, particularly for RFP. Those who indicate plans to secure their own lab or are required to do so mustconfirm lab placement prior to the beginning of the semester when funding starts if selected, or admittance may be revoked. For further questions please contact the Research Coordinator.

Q: I work in a lab off site (e.g. UCSF, Molecular Science Institute, CHORI, etc.). Can I apply to the PER/RFP?

A: Yes. The basic requirement for your research is that it has some biological component. Please check with the program coordinator if you are unsure about whether your lab is suitable. You must also be able to participate in PER/RFP events (workshops, symposium, etc.) held at UC Berkeley as outlined on the website.


Further Questions?

If you have a question that was not addressed above, please email Dr. Missy Soto (