Graduate Division


"DECADE offers an opportunity for professional development while fueling an imperative mission for students who are passionate about our country's social climate."

DECADE stands for the Diverse Educational Community and Doctoral Experience. In collaboration with the Office of Inclusive Excellence, this program provides a diverse group of UCI graduate students with a supportive community consisting of faculty, staff, and students; resources tailored to fit specific needs, and a wide variety of professional development and leadership opportunities. DECADE seeks to improve inclusive excellence by increasing the participation and retention of women and underrepresented minorities in graduate programs. As part of the program’s mission to promote inclusive excellence in graduate education, DECADE provides a wide range of resources and leadership opportunities that all graduate students are welcomed to take advantage of, such as:
    • Competitive Edge Summer Research Program
    • DECADE Community Meetings
    • DECADE Faculty Mentors
    • DECADE School Based Councils
    • DECADE Professional Development Awards
    • WATzUP Community Outreach

To find out more about DECADE events, programs, and intiatives

 subscribe to the DECADE listserv HERE


DECADE Competitive Edge Summer Research Program

The DECADE Competitive Edge Summer Research Program is a summer pre-entry program geared towards incoming Ph.D and M.F.A students who are underrepresented in their disciplines. Participants conduct faculty mentored research and participate in workshops that prepare them to successfully transition to graudate school.

DECADE Community Meetings

DECADE community meetings provide a safe space for graduate students to openly dialogue about their experiences in graduate school and academia. They also serve as an opportunity for students to create interdisciplinary connections while discussing topics related to inclusive excellence.


To find out more about DECADE events, programs, and intiatives subscribe

to the DECADE listserv HERE

DECADE Faculty Mentors

Through collaborations, Faculty Mentors foster inclusive excellence at the graduate level. They work with students, faculty and administrators to improve climate, inclusion and access within their academic programs.

DECADE School Based Councils

While we we invite students to be involved with the campus-wide DECADE events that we organize, we also recognize the importance of school-based councils that can gather students to discuss school specific issues and resources based on the needs of each discipline.  We strongly encourage the formation of school-based DECADE student councils that will:

  • Provide a safe space for graduate students to discuss issues they may be facing
  • Promote opportunities for graduate students to implement programming regarding diversity
  • Promote more dialogue between graduate students and faculty, especially regarding diversity
  • Build and sustain an inclusive school-wide culture for all graduate students

If you are looking to start a DECADE school-based council, please contact

DECADE Student Representatives

DECADE Student Representatives are current graduate students who serve in an advisory role to DECADE leadership, Faculty Mentors and Equity Advisors, and the Graduate Dean's Diversity Council. They help plan and organize DECADE programming and events. Click here to learn more.

For information on getting involved contact your respective DECADE faculty mentor or

DECADE Professional Development Awards

Graduate students and postdoctoral scholars who have actively contributed to inclusive excellence on campus are eligible and encouraged to apply for funds that support their professional development. Examples include, but are not limited to, holding leadership positions within DECADE, organizing diversity and inclusion-based programs with DECADE Faculty Mentors, holding mentoring positions for Graduate Division programs including DECADE PLUS, Summer Undergraduate Research Program, and Competitive Edge, and/or participating in other campus initiatives that support inclusive excellence such as certificate programs and committees.

Awards of up to $500 are available. 

The 2020-2021 DECADE Professional Development Award application is now available here

We Are Them (WATz Up) Community Outreach

At UC Irvine, we are committed to engaging similarities and differences with respect and humility in order to create an inclusive environment for our diverse campus community.  As an extension of this commitment, the Graduate Division at UC Irvine has developed a program called ‘We Are Them’ (WATz Up) to provide workshops for our local K-12 schools, with WATz Up Jr. designed for our younger friends. The workshops use interactive activities to promote the importance of communication and kindness. The primary goal is to help students develop the skills needed to be successful in the classroom and beyond.  These workshops are facilitated by UCI staff and current graduate students involved with our DECADE program.  DECADE stands for Diverse Educational Community and Doctoral Experience and its mission is to promote an affirmative climate for all graduate students.  For questions or to set-up a classroom visit, please contact Dr. Phong Luong at 949-824-0246 or email at