Frequently Asked Questions

What is the expected project and funding timeline?

Students are expected to complete their project within one quarter of receiving funding, and must remain a UCI student through the duration the quarter in which they implement their project.

For example, a student who applies for the May 25 deadline can expect to hear results by early June. Students being offered funding will receive an offer letter; if the offer is accepted, the disbursement of funds is initiated by mid-June. The recipient will then be expected to complete their project over the Summer quarter, and submit a post-project survey by November 25.

What is the purpose of the student survey included in the application?

The Blum Center is committed to providing effective programs that make a difference for UCI students and the communities we serve. To help us assess the program, all applicants are required to complete a survey as part of the application process.

The purpose of the survey is to allow Blum Center staff to assess the effectiveness of the program as a whole. We do not use the survey to evaluate individuals, and <strong>your survey responses have absolutely no impact on how we review your application.</strong> In fact, we won’t even look at your survey responses until after grants have been awarded.

What types of projects can receive funding?

Small Change, Better World provides funding to a variety of project types. See examples of previously funded projects on the <a href=”;usp=sharing”>SCBW Map</a>.

For the Spring 2021 round of proposals, all proposals are welcome. We particularly encourage projects that address needs associated with COVID-19 and/or support communities of color.

How is this different from other study abroad programs?

There are a wide variety of study abroad opportunities. The Global Service Scholars program has a specific emphasis on compassion, empathy, and immersive service-learning with rural partners.

For more academic-focused or urban university settings, students may wish to explore other <a href=””>study abroad programs</a>.

For experiential trips centered around conflict-resolution and peace-building, students may want to consider <a href=””>the Olive Tree Initiative.</a>

For short-term service experiences, students can consider <a href=””>UCI Alternative Break</a>.

What are the site accommodations?

Accommodations vary from site to site, however students will have access to basic and comfortable dormitory-style rooms.

What types of tasks will students complete at service sites?

Projects and activities are site-specific. Typical tasks may include activities such as farming/sustainability, peacebuilding, education, community/youth development, and NGO development.

Read first-hand student accounts to learn about previous cohorts.

What are the Summer 2019 travel dates?

Exact dates have not yet been set, but we anticipate the travel taking place during August 2019. Travel will likely take place during Summer Session 2, allowing students the option to take courses during Summer Session 1.

How are students assigned to project sites?

Site assignment is based on a few factors including student preferences, language skills, program topics, and site capacity. Students indicate their site preference, but do not directly choose the site.

Expected sites for 2019 are Paraguay and South Africa, with the potential for an additional pilot site.

I'm not sure if my project is a good fit. What else is available?

There are many resources at UCI and beyond for funding and support. Depending on the type of project you have in mind, you may want to consider:


What can the funding be used for?

Funds can be used to support such expenditures as the purchase of materials and supplies, project-related travel, and the costs incurred in the implementation of project activities. These funds cannot support major hardware purchases, salaries or stipends, or travel expenditures only.

What types of costs should I itemize?

Your itemized budget will be unique to the goals of your project. Budget should include reasonable estimated costs for any necessary materials, supplies, equipment, taxes, transportation, shipping, delivery, etc.

How much should I ask for?

We’re looking to fund projects that cost under $3,000. You will need to provide an itemized cost estimate to justify the total amount requested.

I've implemented this project, and there's still a need. What's next?

You may be able to utilize Zotfunder, a UCI fundraising platform. Contact the Blum Center staff at to discuss whether Zotfunder is the right fit for your project.

When can I apply?

The next round of proposals will open in September 2021, and close on November 25, 2021.

Applications are accepted twice per year: November 25 and May 25.

Is there funding available for participants?

The program offers funding to cover airfare, housing expenses, and program fees.

Personal expenses such as visas, passport fees, weekend excursions, and souvenirs are not included.

Can students from other UC campuses apply?

Currently, only undergraduates at UC Irvine are eligible to participate in the Global Service Scholars program. To do so, they must complete the prerequisite Psy Beh 192B in Winter 2019.

When will students be notified of acceptance?

While there is no official application for this program, students who have completed the above requirements are accepted as Global Service Scholars. This distinction will appear on/as ______ and will serve as a _____.

What if I am studying abroad in Spring 2019?

Selected students must complete the Advanced Seminar in Spring 2019 to prepare for the Summer travel. The course is only offered in-person at UCI.

Where do I start?

Students must first enroll in Psy Beh 192B for Winter 2019. Space is limited; we recommend enrolling as soon as possible.

Are students graduating in Spring 2019 eligible?

To be eligible for the Global Service Scholars program, participants must be a matriculated UCI undergraduate student.

As a result, students who graduate in Spring 2019 and finish their undergraduate career will not be eligible for the Global Service Scholars Program.

Graduating students are however welcome to participate in Psy Beh 192B (Winter 2019) and UPPP 115 (Spring 2019).

How do I declare the Minor or Track?

If you intend to complete the Minor or Poverty Track, you can declare it in order to access resources that assist in selecting field experience and receive information on events and opportunities relevant to addressing global poverty and inequality.

When ready to declare, first use this Declaration Worksheet as a tool to outline your coursework and schedule.

Once complete, submit your Declaration online via the Google Form.

Can I petition to substitute a course?

The list of approved courses includes a wide variety of course offerings, topics, and levels. If a particular course is not listed but has clear relevance to engagement beyond the classroom, you may be able to petition to substitute it for an elective.

To petition, you must contact the Faculty Director of the Minor with an explanation of why you are making the request and how you feel the course demonstrates its relevance to the Minor. The Director will then follow up with a decision regarding the petition.

  • Matthew R.A. (2018) Climate Change Adaptation and Peacebuilding. In: Swain A., Öjendal J. (eds) Routledge Handbook of Environmental Conflict and Peacebuilding. Routledge. (Site)
  • Matthew R.A. (2018) Afterward: Closing Thoughts on the Water–Food–Energy–Climate Nexus. In: Swatuk L., Cash C. (eds) Water, Energy, Food and People Across the Global South. International Political Economy Series. Palgrave Macmillan. (Site)
  • Douglas Houston, Wing Cheung, Victoria Basolo, David Feldman, Richard Matthew, Brett F. Sanders, Beth Karlin, Jochen E. Schubert, Kristen A. Goodrich, Santina Contreras, Adam Luke. (2017) The Influence of Hazard Maps and Trust of Flood Controls on Coastal Flood Spatial Awareness and Risk Perception. Environment and Behavior. (Abstract)
  • Guinot, V., Sanders, B. F., Schubert, J. E. (2017). Dual integral porosity shallow water model for urban flood modelling. Advances in Water Resources, 103, 16-31. (Abstract)
  • Matthew, R. et al. , eds. (2017) The Social Ecology of the Anthropocene. London: World Scientific Publishing. (Abstract)
  • Matthew, R. (2017) Rethinking the Water-Food-Energy-Climate Security Nexus. In Matthew, R. et al. , eds. (2017) The Social Ecology of the Anthropocene. London: World Scientific Publishing. (Abstract)
  • Moftakhari, H. R., A. AghaKouchak, and B. F. Sanders, R. A. Matthew (2017), Cumulative Hazard: The Case of Nuisance Flooding, Earth’s Future, 5 (2), 214-223, DOI: 10.1002/2016EF000494. (Abstract)
  • Moftakhari, H. R., G. Salvadori, A. AghaKouchak, B. F. Sanders, and R. A. Matthew (2017), Compounding Effects of Sea Level Rise and Fluvial Flooding, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 114 (37), 9785-9790, DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1620325114. (Abstract)
  • Quas JA, Dickerson KL, Matthew R, Harron C, Quas CM (2017) Adversity, emotion recognition, and empathic concern in high-risk youth. PLoS ONE 12(7): e0181606. (Abstract)
  • Schubert, J. E., Burns, M. J., Fletcher, T. D., Sanders, B. F. (2017). A framework for the case-specific assessment of Green Infrastructure in mitigating urban flood hazards. Advances in Water Resources, 108, 55-68. (Abstract)
  • Cheung, W., Houston, D., Schubert, J. E., Basolo, V., Feldman, D. L., Matthew, R. A., Sanders, B. F., Karlin, B., Goodrich, K. A., Contreras, S. L., Luke, A. (2016). Integrating resident digital sketch maps with expert knowledge to assess spatial knowledge of flood risk: A case study of participatory mapping in Newport Beach, California. Applied Geography, 74, 56–64. Pergamon. doi: 10.1016/j.apgeog.2016.07.006. (Abstract)
  • Feldman, D. L., Contreras, S., Karlin, B., Basolo, V., Matthew, R. A., Sanders, B. F., Houston, D., Cheung, W., Goodrich, K., Reyes, A., Serrano, K., Schubert, J. E., Luke, A. (2016). Communicating flood risk: Looking back and forward at traditional and social media outlets. International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction, 15, 43–51. Elsevier. doi: 10.1016/j.ijdrr.2015.12.004. (Abstract)
  • Kim, B., Sanders, B. F. (2016). Dam-Break Flood Model Uncertainty Assessment: Case Study of Extreme Flooding with Multiple Dam Failures in Gangneung, South Korea. Journal of Hydraulic Engineering, 142(5), 05016002. American Society of Civil Engineers. doi: 10.1061/(ASCE)HY.1943-7900.0001097. (Abstract)
  • Luke, A., Vrugt, J. A., Aghakouchak, A., Matthew, R. A., Sanders, B. F. (2016). Predicting nonstationary flood frequencies: Evidence supports an updated stationarity thesis in the United States. Water Resources Research, 53(7), 5469-5494. (Abstract)
  • Vandenberg-Rodes, A., Moftakhari, H. R., A. AghaKouchak, B. Shahbaba, B. F. Sanders, and R. A. Matthew (2016), Predicting Nuisance Flooding Along the Coasts of United States Using Generalized Linear and Additive Models, Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans, 121, DOI: 10.1002/2016JC012084. (Abstract)
  • Moftakhari, H. R., A. AghaKouchak, B. F. Sanders, D. L. Feldman, W. Sweet, R. A. Matthew, and A. Luke (2015), Increased nuisance flooding due to sea-level rise: past and future, Geophysical Research Letters, 42, DOI:10.1002/2015GL066072. (Abstract)